Funeral services for Ruby Netty Gamble, mother of award-winning songwriter/businessman Kenneth Gamble, were held on Saturday, March 17, 2012 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 6826-40 Ardleigh Street. Ms. Gamble died last week, she was 96.
Ruby Netty Gamble was born to Enoch and Irene Gamble on October 17, 1915 in Ozark, Alabama.
She grew up with an enjoyable family life along with her five siblings. She enjoyed traveling with her father who was a minister and was known to always read her Bible. She began her spiritual life at a young age where she was a Sunday School Teacher in Eufala, Alabama. Ruby was educated in the public school system and earned her high school diploma in 1937 from the Van Buren School in Eufala. In her school, Ruby enjoyed playing sports and was a star athlete on the school basketball team where she played the position of guard. She furthered her education by attending the Henry County Training School in Abbyville, Alabama where she studied Home Economics mastering her cooking and other culinary skills. Although for many years, she had the primary responsibility to help raise her younger sisters Jannie and Agnes where she learned to clean, cook, make home repairs and sew including making clothes and curtains for the family.
Then, in 1937, Ruby traveled north to Philadelphia in search of employment and to join her other sisters (Ruth and Willie Bea). While in Philadelphia, she worked as a domestic worker, a power machine operator, and eventually landed a job with the City of Philadelphia’s Health Department as a Laboratory Technician. This was a job she was very proud of and ultimately retired from in 1977.
One of the greatest moments of her life was when she heard a message thai changed not only her life and but the lives of her children (Charles, Kenneth and Carl) as well. The life changing experience for Ruby was when she learned about her Grand Creator Jehovah and his purposes. As a result. Ruby began a Bible Study with Jehovah’s Witnesses and then later dedicated her life to Jehovah and symbolized her dedication through water baptism in the year 1948. From that point onward, she served faithfully as a preacher of the Good News – aiding many to come into and to know the truth about her loving God. Because of her love for the ministry, she became a full time minister (pioneer) in 1984, devoting up to 90 hours per month in the preaching work. Moreover and most notable is that as a senior citizen. Ruby was especially known for her street witnessing work. On any given day, she could be seen with her fellow witnesses walking the distance from Stenton Avenue to City Hall, preaching to all along the way. On other days, she might be seen at the Amtrak 30th Street Train Station where she passed out her Watchtower literature to the daily travelers, including her son Kenneth during his travels.
She continued, to be a faithful pioneer and preacher of the Good News until the very end including “whispering” her final field service hours of witnessing. She always witnessed from her bed to the care takers, nurses and her dear son, Carl whom was her primary caretaker; as he made her laugh and comfortable always giving her a tender kiss goodnight.
Some of the most enjoyable times for Ruby’s family and friends were the gatherings at her home for her wonderful meals. They will never forget her baked chicken and rice meal, sweet potato pie, coconut cake, lemon cake and of course her special “sweet potato and marsh mellow bake,” along with her famous grape juice punch.
Most memorable about our dear Ruby (Mom) and “Nanna” Gamble as she was so affectionately called by her family, was her tremendous love for her family and friends. She will always be known for her kind words and a source of encouragement for everybody, everyday, all day – all the time!”
Our dear Ruby was truly a humble, spiritual and beautiful person and will always be our minds for the rest of our lives in our hearts and in our minds for the rest of our lives.
She leaves to cherish her memory: her children Charles (Eunice), Kenneth (Faatimah), Carl; Willie Bea Bryant, Janie Dabney; step siblings James, Edward, Zoline, Mary Jean and one aunt Iredelle Ward-White. She was predeceased by two sisters, Ruth and Agnes and one brother, Enoch Jr. Ruby also leaves to cherish four generations of family including (17) grandchildren: Charles Jr. (Gwen), Mark, Terrence (Donna), Kelly, Wanda, Diadra, Tamilia, Caliph, Salahadeen, Princess, Tony, Lisa (William), Tanya, Crystal( Obe), Matrie, Karl, Desmond (Tamika); (37) great-grand-children and (10) great-great grand children along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, former daughters-in law and friends including her play grandson Howard and including her close spiritual daughters Delores Smith, Barbara Heath and Elaine Keys.