Still "Doin' It" after all these years (breathing)
Jo Ellen Gilmore Gamble succumbed to her fight with cancer August 4, 2016. She was born and grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the daughter of E.G. and Kay Gilmore. Her dad owned and operated a Muskogee landmark, the hot-dog eatery, "Chet's." Jo Ellen graduated from OSU in 1971. After collage she went to work for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, as a caseworker. In her 32 years of exemplary service for DHS she became a supervisor for Child Welfare and later a program liaison for Adult Protective Services. Health issues forced her retirement in 2003. During her career she was a member of virtually every organization promoting child welfare and adult protective services.
Jo Ellen and her husband, Charles, met in 1971 and married in November of 1972, just 3 months short of 45 years. They made Nichols Hills their home for most of their married life. Each pursued rich, rewarding professional careers, Jo Ellen's in social work and Charles as an architect with Benham.
She was proud of her Native American heritage, being a registered 1/32-degree member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Jo Ellen served for many years as the Board President for the Alpha Xi Delta Building Corporation of Edmond, Oklahoma, which provides housing for the Iota Delta Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority at UCO. Since Iota Delta Chapter's inception, Jo Ellen and Charles have been invaluable stabilizing factors in the operation of the facility. Her service to Alpha Xi Delta earned her the sorority's honor of "Woman of the Year" for the Oklahoma City Panhellenic Alumnae Association in 2006.
Embracing the Catholic faith, she became a full-confirmed member of Christ the King Catholic Church in 2015. After many years attending services, she referred to herself as "Catholic light" during that time.
Even though she suffered from many health problems, she always had a sense of humor that radiated to everyone with whom she came in contact. Her sincerity and love of humanity is to be patterned after. One of her close friends put it thus: "Her smile just makes me feel good."
Jo Ellen was preceded in death by her father and mother, E.G. and Kay Gilmore and her aunts, Mary Beth Rector, June Vermillion, Betty Watson, and her uncle, Tom J. Abbott Jr. She is survived by her husband, Charles Gamble, her brother, Ed and his wife, Jian Gilmore, her aunt Olyve Abbott and numerous beloved cousins, nieces, and many dear friends.
Services: Viewing will be from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday August 10, 2016 followed by a Rosary prayer service at Smith & Kernke Funeral Home, 14624 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City. The Funeral Mass will be held 10:00 a.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church, 8005 Dorset Drive, Nichols Hills, Oklahoma. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jo Ellen's name to Christ the King Catholic Church's food closet for the poor would be appreciated.