Billy Thomas Gamble, who served as superintendent of Samford University's physical plant and later as a professor in the School of Business, died Friday, Aug. 24. Mr. Gamble was 88. His services were held Monday, Aug. 27, in Birmingham.
A native of Blount County, Ala., Gamble graduated from Blount County High School in 1941 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy the following December. Five days later, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and America went to war. Gamble served for 22 years, primarily in the submarine service, retiring in 1963 with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer.
Gamble joined Samford's physical plant staff as superintendent in 1963. He earned his bachelor's degree from Samford and master's degrees in business administration and vocational education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham--all in night school while directing Samford's physical plant program.
"I never sat in a day class," he told Seasons magazine writer Jack Brymer in 2005.
Gamble served as physical plant superintendent for 10 years, then spent two years as the architect's representative for the building of Wright Center at Samford. He joined the Samford business school faculty in 1975, serving until retirement in 1988. He was Samford's first full-time instructor of information systems, and also developed the first career placement office in the School of Business that evolved into the University's career development office.
During his retirement from Samford, Gamble and his wife, Stella, became interested in genealogy, and ultimately produced three family genealogy books. He was also active in the Samford retired faculty group, and St. Mark United Methodist Church in Vestavia Hills, Ala..
Gamble was survived by his wife of 66 years, a daughter, son, nine grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. He was buried in the Alabama National Cemetery.