KINGSPORT – William T. (Bill) Gamble 90, Kingsport, died Monday, November 13, 2017, at home. Bill was a prominent attorney and beloved musician in the region since 1951.
Bill was predeceased by his parents, William Franklin Gamble and Vera Pruitt Gamble; one sister, Sarah Gamble Smith; and his first wife, Frances White Gamble.
He is survived by his loving wife of 18 years, Anna Dishner Bacon Gamble of Kingsport whom he married in 1999; three children, Charlotte Spear (Harry), Huntsville, AL; Alan Gamble (Rhoda Bliese) Kingsport, TN; and Susan Gamble (Ed Paradis), Lawrenceville, GA; stepdaughters, Leanna Bacon Baldwin (Steve) of Johnson City, TN; Laura Bacon Morse (Jim) of Kingsport; 11 grandchildren and step-grandchildren; and sister, Anna (Tippy) Burchfield of Rossville, GA.
Born in Chattanooga, TN on March 13, 1927, he was educated there, earning a BBS in economics at the University of Chattanooga (UT Chattanooga) where he met his future wife Frances Gamble. His studies were interrupted by Navy service in WWII. After his service he and Frances married. He completed his undergraduate degree and attended Vanderbilt University School of Law graduating in 1950 in the top 5% of his class. He was Order of the Coif and Note Editor and Acting Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. He received the Law Review Award for Outstanding Legal Writing. He moved to Kingsport in 1951 to practice law and raise a family. He was Of Counsel and past President at Wilson Worley Attorneys at Law (an 18-attorney firm) which he was proud to help found and build. His heaviest concentrations were general litigation, health care law, medical malpractice, and commercial real estate transactions.
Bill was elected as Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers in 1980, after serving as attorney for either plaintiff or defendant in hundreds of lawsuits. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America (for health care) continuously since 1993. He lectured on litigation and health care subjects at statewide and area seminars, and for over ten years served as Member and Chairperson of the Tennessee Supreme Court Advisory Commission on Civil and Appellate Rules. For over 40 years Bill was AV-rated in Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating awarded by this most widely used directory of lawyers. Bill was selected in 2005 by Fellows of the Tennessee Bar Foundation for inclusion in “Legal History Project” by videotaped interview of personal history and observations of the practice of law in Tennessee.
As an avocation, Bill was a prominent musician throughout the area. Before coming to Kingsport, he played regularly in top bands in Chattanooga and Nashville. For about 40 years, he was the band leader of “After Six”, a popular dance band with Bill featured on saxophone and clarinet. For several years he served as the principal clarinetist with the Kingsport Symphony Orchestra. In 1968 Bill initiated “Jazz at the Fine Arts Center,” which presented about 200 free concerts featuring regional performers and brought in national acts including the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Billy Taylor Trio, the Buddy Rich Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson, Urbie Green, and Buddy Morrow. The series earned him a Certificate of Appreciation from the Tennessee Fine Arts Commission and in 2003 he was honored by the Kingsport Arts Council as Outstanding Instrumentalist of the year.
He and his wife Anna shared a love of music, participating together in numerous choirs in the area. As a singer, he was active with the Kingsport Community Chorus, Kingsport Symphony Chorus, Greenville Choral Society, Voices of the Mountains Chorus and the choir at First Presbyterian Church of Kingsport where he served as President, Trustee, Elder and Sunday school teacher. He enjoyed performing at Carnegie Hall with Voices of the Mountains in 2006.
The family will receive friends from 5 pm to 7 pm on Thursday at Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, Kingsport.
A private graveside service will be held prior to the memorial service.
A memorial service will be conducted at 2 pm on Friday at First Presbyterian Church in Kingsport with the Rev. Kemper Huber and Rev. Sharon Amstutz officiating.
Memorial contributions can be made to First Presbyterian Church, 100 West Church Circle, Kingsport, TN 37660 or the Sullivan County Imagination Library, PO Box 3045, Kingsport, TN 37664 or the Literacy Council of Kingsport, 326 Commerce St., Kingsport, TN 37660.
Please visit www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an online condolence for the family.
Hamlett-Dobson, Kingsport is serving the family of William T. (Bill) Gamble.