Blaine Gamble has seen his last Notre Dame game. He succumbed April 17, 2017.
He was born in Mishawaka, IN, on May 3, 1921, to Lorenzo B. and Anna Jewel Gamble, who preceded him in death.
He had one sister, Eileen Albini of Northbrook, IL, and was preceded in death by a brother, Warren Gamble.
He is survived by his wife, Doris C. (Cutler), whom he married on Aug. 25, 1951, in Millidore, Wisconsin. He has one daughter, Shirley Jean (Milo) Borden of Martin, Tennessee, and a grandson, Matthew Daniel.
Blaine initially became involved with drum and bugle corps when he was 8 years old by becoming mascot for the Mishawaka American Legion Post 161 Drum Corps. As an eighth grader at Battell School, he was named drum major of the Mishawaka High School Band. He designed the letter formations and drilled that unit. He also served as drum major during his high school years.
Blaine served in the Pacific Theater during World War II and was a member of New Carlisle Post 274 American Legion and Rolling Prairie Post 9423 Veterans of Foreign Wars. He received his undergraduate degree from Milton College in Wisconsin and earned his Master’s at the University of Notre Dame. He continued to play an active role in drum and bugle corps, directing as well as playing in several units. His efforts won him a nomination into the All American Drum and Bugle Corps. He was also a member of the All American Judges Association. He was inducted into the Drum Majors Hall of Fame in ceremonies at Notre Dame.
Blaine worked at football and basketball games at Notre Dame, spending 30 years in Section 31, where he served as Senior Captain. This was the student section, so a sophomore explained to him why the student body chanted “Rudy” during that famous game.
He began his teaching career at Palmyra, Wisconsin, High School, where he coached basketball. An attractive beginning teacher rode the fan bus to all the away games, which convinced him he wanted her for his wife. After five years at Palmyra, the couple moved to Lakeville, Indiana. It was there they were joined by a daughter. Four years later he moved to New Carlisle, Indiana, where he taught History and Economics. He was active in coaching throughout his career and produced two state champions in track. Palmyra won a tri-state meet, the prestigious La Crosse Peacock Relays. New Carlisle won the Goshen Relays and established meet records in two events. As New Prairie Cross Country Coach, Blaine inaugurated the New Prairie Invitational and incorporated the Agony Hill as part of the course.
Blaine served as a member of the Board of Directors of Teachers Credit Union and was a member of the New Carlisle Lions Club, serving one year as President. He was also named a Melvin Jones Fellow by Lions International. He wrote sports copy for the Mishawaka Enterprise and Janesville Gazette and began writing part time for the LaPorte Herald-Argus in 1960 so he could get his students’ athletic accomplishments in the paper. Upon retirement from teaching, he worked full time for the Herald-Argus. It wasn’t until his grandson was born that he realized why so many grandparents welcomed him to games.
After his stroke, which created Doris as his primary caregiver, Blaine realized how fortunate he was that she rode that fan bus. In 2012 he and Doris moved to Martin, Tennessee, where he was able to see his grandson graduate from college. He also became a member of the Skyhawk Club.
A funeral service will be held Friday, April 21, at 1 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Martin with Rev. Randy Cooper officiating. Burial will follow in East Side Cemetery, Martin, with Military Honors. Visitation will be Friday at the church from noon until the service. Murphy Funeral Home, Martin, is handling arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the University of Notre Dame, the University of Tennessee Martin, or New Carlisle United Methodist Church.
Messages of condolence may be posted below on WNLP as well as at www.murphyfuneralhome.net.