Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Little Tribute to Rose Estelle Hancock Gamble

My mom's friend, Rose Gamble, passed away last Tuesday, January 17, 2012. When I got home from work yesterday, my mom told me that she had a call from her friend, Gaylene, with the news and letting her know that there would be a viewing and funeral for Rose in Glendale, CA. The viewing was scheduled for today and the funeral mass and burial service will be tomorrow.

My mom was clearly upset and wanted to attend the funeral. I told her that we couldn't go to the funeral because she has dental surgery scheduled for Thursday, but we could certainly attend the viewing. When I got home from work today, mom and I went to the viewing (or visitation). It was at the very massive and very beautiful Forest Lawn in Glendale. I can say that Forest Lawn is probably the most difficult cemetery I have ever attempted to navigate. Their maps are dreadful and the directions are lacking. I've attempted many times to fulfill photo requests there, knowing where the graves where located, but the maps are not user friendly. Even had to enlist help from grounds keepers and my success rate was only ever 50%. Luckily, today's viewing was in the main building at the entrance to the grounds, which I found out only after arriving there.

I really had no idea where on the vast grounds the viewing was being held and when we arrived, the information guard shack was vacant! There was a sign posted directing questions to the Mortuary Office, yet I couldn't find any sign of that office. The only signs posted were for the various churches and chapels on the grounds. Anyway, after driving around, I finally found some employees at the Human Resources office that told me where the Mortuary Office was.

We found the viewing and as my mom and I approached the room, a lovely young woman saw us and immediately called my mom by name. It was Rose's granddaughter. She was so kind and so very charming. I can't even say enough good things about her! She remembered meeting my mom when she had stayed with Rose after she fell and injured her hip (like my mom had a few months prior). My mom and Rose met in the senior apartment complex they lived in and they had many things in common. As lovely young women in the 1940s, both girls enlisted in the armed forces during WWII to serve their countries (Rose in the US and my mom in Canada). Both girls were very proud of their service and very supportive of the troops and the veterans (especially female vets). Both girls were honorably discharged from their service and went on to be contributing and productive members of society and both ended up in Los Angeles to raise their families, and met spending their golden years in the high desert of California.

As it turned out, Rose had raised her family in the same city my mom and I now live and will be buried in our city cemetery next to her late husband. It was very nice to meet her children and grandchildren and the family friends that were at the viewing today. It was an open casket viewing, and Rose looked incredibly beautiful. Her hair and make up were perfect and she was in her uniform! On her lapel, was a badge with the picture below of her. You know, nearly 70 years and three children later, Rose could still fit into that uniform! Not to mention it was still in great shape. I was surprised though that it was a light brown or dark tan in color. As I only really see black and white photos of that era, I just assumed the uniform would be green.

You didn't have know her well or know her for a long period of time for her to leave an impression on you. She had something about her that made you remember her after your first meeting! She was a wonderful lady and may she now be in peace and free of any pain that her final days may have brought upon her.


ROSE (ROSIE) ESTELLE GAMBLE Rose Estelle Gamble, 92, was born on July 25th, 1919 in Savannah GA and passed away in Victorville, CA on January 17th 2012. Rosie enlisted in the Women's Army Air Corp (WACC) in 1943 as a medical dental technician during World War II. She was honorably discharged as a Tech Sgt. in 1945. She was proud to be a part of the armed services and supported the troops throughout her life. She traveled to Washington D.C. when they had the dedication of the memorial wall for the Women Veterans of America. She married Bernard (Buss) A. Gamble in 1945 and settled in Los Angeles to raise her family. She was preceded in death by her husband Buss in 1990. She is survived by brother John; daughters Carol, grandchildren Charlotte, Lorraine, Edward; Susan, granddaughter Rhonda; her son Thomas, grand-children Carly and Scott and 6 great grandchildren. A celebration of her life will be held at St.Bernard's Church, 2500 West Ave, 33, Los Angeles, CA on January 26th, 2012 at 11:00AM, with burial following at Forest Lawn, Glendale CA. In lieu of flowers, make donations to American Women Ventrans Foundation, 1250 Connecticut Ave., North West Ste. 200, Washington D.C., 20036 (

Published in the Daily Press on January 24, 2012


  1. I am sorry for your loss. What a lovely memorial. What a gorgeous photo!