Michael Patrick Gamble
Died: Saturday, May 19, 2018
Michael Patrick Gamble
Michael Patrick Gamble, 54, of Mackinac Island, passed away Saturday, May 19, 2018, at his home, surrounded by his family. He was born May 9, 1964, to William and Margaret (nee Simmons) Gamble in St. Ignace.
Mr. Gamble attended school in St. Ignace, where he was graduated from LaSalle High School in 1982. After high school, he stayed with his brother Bill in Lansing and attended a trade school for automotive welding and repair. Since then, his love of cars was evident. After a lot of hard work, he was able to purchase his dream car, a yellow 1955 Chevy Bellaire, which was always the favorite in his collection. Others include a 1918 Model T Ford, a 1928 Ford Roadster, a 1903 Oldsmobile, and a few smaller recreational vehicles. He also purchased a small Coca-Cola car for his 10-year-old daughter, Madison, who also shares his passion for collecting and showing cars. The two of them have received numerous trophies and awards throughout the years.
Mr. Gamble was always known as an exceptionally hardworking man. At an early age, he cut and sold wood with his father, delivered newspapers each morning before school, and washed dishes and bussed tables at the Flame Restaurant in St. Ignace. He worked maintenance at Little Bob’s Restaurant on Mackinac Island. He also worked for a good friend, Mike Gould, doing roofing and siding for many years. In the winter months he worked construction for Rich Boss at Grand Hotel. It was these last two jobs he held that gave him the skills and knowledge to start his own business, M.P. Gamble Construction, that he has owned and operated successfully for the past 28 years, right up until the time of his death. His son, Mike Jr., who has worked alongside his father since the age of 16, has been transitioning to become the owner of the company, and family members say he will continue to make his father proud with the help of a talented, hardworking crew and friends, for whom Mr. Gamble had great respect.
He was encouraged by his father to join the Moose Lodge in St. Ignace right out of high school, and has been an active member since. He also bought and restored the old Rabbits Back Schoolhouse right next door.
Mr. Gamble loved sports, a love he shared with his son, Michael, with the University of Michigan being the favorite team they would cheer on. “Go Blue” was a phrase commonly heard around their home. The University of Michigan is where Mr. Gamble received a successful bone marrow transplant in 1997 to cure him of leukemia.
The family loved going to University of Michigan football, hockey, and basketball games, Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons games, and Great Lakes Invitational hockey tournaments throughout the years. He enjoyed reading the Detroit Free Press newspaper daily, delivered by his brother-in-law, Ike Bunker. He loved to watch shows about cars, building, or fixing things. He also loved to see children happy and having a great time. Mr. Gamble truly enjoyed being a great father and friend, family members said. He took great pride in his work and enjoyed roofing, building, and remodeling whatever he could get his hands on. His work can be seen everywhere on Mackinac Island.
He is survived by his partner, Trisha Bunker, and their two children, Michael Gamble, Jr. and Madison Marie Gamble; their dog Belle; a brother, Bill Gamble of St. Ignace; two sisters and their families, Debbie and Fred Luepnitz of Brevort Lake and Pam and Ron Taylor of Sault Ste. Marie; many nieces and nephews, and an uncle, Duane Gamble of St. Ignace, who was like a father to him. He is also survived by many cousins and relatives from this area, Lower Michigan, and Florida, and the Ike Bunker family on Mackinac Island.
Mr. Gamble was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Margaret Gamble; a brother, Dennis Gamble, and a sister, Kay McKenzie.
In accordance with his wishes, no services or memorial will be held. His ashes will be buried alongside his parents at Lakeside Cemetery in St. Ignace overlooking the Mackinac Bridge and also on Mackinac Island.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Mackinac Island Fire Department, P.O. Box 122, Mackinac Island, MI 49757 or the Mackinac Animal Aid Association, P.O. Box 71, St. Ignace, MI 49781.
Any monetary donations made to the family will be sent to Austin Gross of Boonsboro, Maryland, who as a Navy man on his ship one day read a sign that said, “You Can Help Save a Life.” He signed up for the National Bone Marrow Registry that same day, and years later ended up being a bone marrow match for Mr. Gamble, who at the age of 32 was diagnosed with CML leukemia. Without the transplant, Ms. Bunker said, Mr. Gamble would not have lived the extra 20-plus years. Mr. Gross is expected to visit the Gamble family on Mackinac Island later this summer.
Dodson Funeral Home of St. Ignace assisted the family with arrangements.
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