James L. Gambler, 94, formerly of 1221 Central Ave., Columbia, passed away on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at St. Anne's Retirement Community where he had resided for the past two years. He was a devoted and loving husband to Cleta Flanagan Gambler with whom he was married to for 64 years until her death in 2011.
A lifelong Columbia resident, he was the son of the late Emerson and Lillian Musser Gambler. During the Second World War, he proudly served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He retired in 1988 after 40 years of service from Conrail where he worked as a block operator. Jim was a member of St. Peter's Catholic Church, Columbia; B.P.O.E #1074; V.F.W Post 2435 and the American Legion Post 372.
During his youth, Jim was a member of Columbia's Sixth Street Indians. He enjoyed spending time along his beloved Susquehanna River fishing, playing golf and rooting for the Philadelphia Phillies. Jim also was an ardent supporter of the Columbia Boys Athletic Association.
Surviving are his two sons, James "Mick" Gambler (Christine), Columbia; Mark Gambler (Barbara), Lancaster; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; brother Edward Gambler (Beatrice), Columbia. He was preceded in death by a great-grandson, Alexander, and siblings, Grace Baker, Cleon Gambler and Robert Gambler.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Peter's Catholic Church, 121 S. Second St., Columbia, PA 17512 on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Anthony Swamy, Celebrant. Interment will follow with military honors in Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery. There will be no public viewing. Kindly omit flowers. Contributions in Jim's memory to the C.B.A.A., PO Box 372, Columbia, PA 17512 would be deeply appreciated. Arrangements by the Clyde W. Kraft Funeral Home, Inc.