William Gamble '59M (MD)
William “Bill” Gamble, MD, was Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School (UMN), having maintained an active clinical practice for 33 years until his retirement in 1999. He taught surgical ethics and surgical technique at the UMN through his career, continuing to teach residents and students even after retiring from clinical practice. With more than 47 years of clinical practice and teaching, Dr. Gamble influenced countless students and surgical residents now in practice around the country.
Dr. Gamble received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Following his graduation from the University of Rochester, Dr. Gamble married his wife, Katherine “Cassie,” in 1956 and moved to Cleveland in 1960 to begin his surgical residency at Case Western Reserve University.
Before finishing his residency, Dr. Gamble was called to serve as an officer with the Air Force. He credited his service experience as the point when his career took off, for those two years helped him gain more confidence and enhanced his ability to make clinical decisions. At the end of his service with the Air Force, Dr. Gamble returned to finish his residency, and the couple headed to Edina, Minnesota, where he began his surgical career at St. Louis Park Medical Center (now Park Nicollet Medical Center).
While he maintained a very rewarding and busy career, family and faith were among Dr. Gamble’s greatest pleasures. He made every effort to attend his children’s school and extracurricular events. Following the death of his teenage son, David, in 1975, Dr. Gamble’s call to a faith-based medical missionary trip took him to Honduras. What started as a two-week trip to help him heal emotionally, inspired a lifelong passion to return to Honduras and to complete multiple long-term stints in Kenya. On these trips, his wife and their children would often join him—the only times the family would see him practice medicine.
Years later, Dr. Gamble and his wife lived in Tenwek, Kenya, where he practiced surgery for six months. He was a founding member of the Dodoma Tanzania Health Development (DTHD) organization and the Dodoma Christian Medical Center, in Dodoma, Tanzania—its mission is to provide high-quality, compassionate, Tanzanian-led health care for the people of central Tanzania. He remained on the DTHD Board until 2016.
Dr. Gamble was fortunate and thankful to enjoy good health up until the final months of his life. In the weeks before his passing on September 6, 2016 at the age of 82, the couple was able to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. In addition to his wife, Cassie, Dr. Gamble is survived by his son, Tom, daughters Anne and Kay, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.