Obituary for John Jacob "Jack" Gambold Jr

John Gambold Jr thumbnail

John Jacob "Jack" Gambold Jr

August 10, 1923 - December 12, 2014

John Jacob "Jack" Gambold, Jr., age 91 passed away Friday morning, December 12, 2014 at his daughter's residence in West Lafayette. He was a former resident of Bean Blossom in Brown County and Coatesville of Hendricks County.

John was born in Indianapolis on August 10, 1923, to his parents, the late John Jacob and Grace (Fordyce) Gambold Sr. He was a 1941 graduate of Amo High School in Hendricks County and earned the rank of Eagle Scout that same year. Jack went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in June of 1944. He then went on to serve his country as a Private with the United States Army Ordnance Department, where he helped Dr. Wernher Von Braun and his team of captured German V-2 rocket scientists set up the U.S. rocket programs at El Paso, TX and White Sands, NM at the close of World War II. This program resulted in the creation of Titan, Atlas and Gemini rockets and space capsule hardware.

Jack worked from 1944 until 1962 with Allison Division GMC in reciprocating and jet engine development. He was elected clerk of the Hendricks County Circuit Court by the Republican Party in 1963, becoming the first elected candidate to serve as clerk of the newly constituted Superior Court. During Jack's time as clerk, he was instrumental in forming the County Records Commission and served as the president of the State Association of Clerks. Jack also served three terms as chairman of their Legislative Committee and two terms on the Clerks' Advisory Committee to the State Election Board.

Jack worked from 1975 until 1982 for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management as a Sanitary Engineer, helping municipal water systems and individuals to apply the guidelines of the Safe Drinking Water Act. After his retirement in 1982, Jack served as Field Engineer for the Indiana Rural Water Association (IRWA) for many years, supporting and assisting water operators across the state. His beloved wife Marilyn was Executive Director of IRWA, and together they had a major impact improving water systems with education and training programs. They also supported the water industry by serving on many committees of the Indiana Section American Water Works Association (InAWWA).

He was also a founding member and past president of the Hendricks County Historical Society, past master of the Coatesville Masonic Lodge #542, and past patron of the Order of Eastern Star. Jack was a licensed hot air balloon pilot and a commercial pilot with glider rating and enjoyed farming. He was an avid reader of history, especially the Civil War era and had a passion for tracing his ancestry, which meant going to court houses and cemeteries to find birth and death records. Jack traveled to Wales twice to honor different ancestors by dedicating plaques in their honor at the churches they served as clergy.

Jack is survived by his first wife, Beulah (Farbach) Gambold of Indianapolis, whom he married on November 17, 1953 in Coatesville. Together they raised three children: John (Lucila) Gambold III of Milton, FL, Vinny (Jerry) Price of Coatesville, and Sharron (Scott) McAfee of West Lafayette. He later married Marilyn Taylor (Thomas) Gambold on December 14, 1991 in Hope. She preceded him in death on September 15, 2003. Jack will be remembered by his 11 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and two step children: Carol Skirvin of Nashville and Robert T. (Nicola) Thomas of Bloomington.

He was preceded in death by an infant son: James Christian Gambold; and a step daughter: Susan Slaughterbeck.

The Pastor Darrell Miller will conduct a funeral service on Monday, December 15th at 1p.m. at Meredith-Clark Funeral Home Cremation & Personalization Center, 179 E. Mulberry Street in Morgantown. Friends may call from 11 a.m. Monday until service time at the funeral home. A graveside service with full military rites will follow at 3 p.m. at the Hope Moravian Cemetery in Hope.

Memorial contributions may be sent in honor of Jack to the Morgantown Senior Center, PO Box 542 Morgantown, IN 46160.

Condolences may be sent to the Gambold family at

Information: (812) 597-4670


Leave a Condolence

Life Event Timeline

Help tell the story of John by contributing to the Life Event Timeline. Upload the photo of an event...

Post an Event

Timeline for John Gambold Jr

Born: August 10, 1923
Died: December 12, 2014

Condolences for John Gambold Jr

Carol Skirvin posted on 1/1/00

Prayers and hugs. Jack will missed by many. He was a good man. I love and will miss him. Carol Skirvin


Pastor Tod Brainard posted on 1/1/00

Our thoughts and prayers are with John, Lucy, Ariane and Chrissy. We had the privilege of meeting Jack Gambold several years ago and enjoyed getting to know him. He was a distinguished military veteran, father, grandfather and lover of God and America and he will be greatly missed.


Steve & Laurie Deal posted on 1/1/00

Our prayers are with the family now and in the coming months. Jack was a neat man, who I met through IRWA. He found out that I was from Fairmount and that he has a sister or aunt that lived there, so from that instant we had a personal connection with each other. I wish I would have known about his military background before now, what a part of history! He will be greatly missed, thanks for sharing Jack with us.


Sharon Meier posted on 1/1/00

My sincere and heartfelt sympathy to the Jack Gambold family. It was my honor to have met and known this wonderful man. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched. Rest in peace, Jack.


MARGO GREENING posted on 1/1/00

Vinny, Sharon, and John, your father was a delightful man to know. Even though many years have passed, fond memories remain. May God comfort you, and give you peace. Margo Greening


John Smitherman posted on 1/1/00

My wife and I would like to express our condolences to Jack's family. I enjoyed several conversations with him and he was a mentor to me in those early days in my career.