October 30, 1936 – April 1, 2013
Evelyn Marie (Brown) Gambrall, 76, of Ankeny, Iowa, died Monday, April 1, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center after a 15-year battle with cancer. A memorial service, with a reception following, will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, April 11, at Unity Church of Des Moines, 414 31st Street, Des Moines, Iowa.
Evelyn was born on October 30, 1936, in Iowa City, Iowa, to Clarence D. Brown and Bertha Corine Helmholdt. Raised east of Des Moines, she graduated from Altoona High School.
During the summer breaks in high school, Evelyn worked at Linda Lee’s restaurant in downtown Des Moines. She would ride to work with her brother George, who worked at Brownie’s Parking Lot. One night after work, she met the love of her life, James Gambrall, who also worked at Brownie’s. Having money in his pocket from just getting paid, James asked her out. From that beginning, they dated for five years before being married on July 30, 1960. They have celebrated over 52 years of marriage.
She was employed at Standard Oil and Look Magazine before beginning her career in the federal government where she eventually retired as Human Resources Manager at the USDA Rural Development, formerly the USDA Farmers Home Administration.
In her spare time, Evelyn enjoyed collecting decorative art glass, angels and snowmen. One of her favorite vacations was spent touring art glass factories with James as well as her sister Alice and brother-in-law Thomas Crawford.
Evelyn loved spending time with family, especially her grandchildren. Some of the most joyous times in her life came at the holidays when she would prepare elaborate meals for her 14 family members.
In retirement, Evelyn enjoyed reading and working on word puzzles as well staying focused on eating healthy and exercising daily. Her exercise routine included joining the Campus in Altoona where she developed some of her closest friendships.
Evelyn is survived by her husband, James; two sons, Jeffery (Melissa) of Iowa City and Timothy (Starr) of Grimes; eight grandchildren Grant (Brooke), Gradey, Graham and Gordon Gambrall all of Iowa City as well as Dane, Grayson, Jaxon and Alyce Gambrall all of Grimes; and five siblings Clarence M. Brown of Des Moines, Alice Crawford of Cedar Rapids, Charles ‘Lindy’ Brown (Linda) of Clive, Bill Brown (Jeanette) of Johnston and George Brown (Marge) of Des Moines. She was preceded in death by her parents as well as a brother Harold Brown.
The Gambrall family wishes to express our deepest thanks and appreciation of all the acts of kindness shown to us during our time of sorrow. You have given so much while subtracting from our sorrow and multiplying our Faith in God and mankind. We would like to specially thank the Dr. Mark Westberg and the Powell 3 staff at Iowa Methodist Medical Center for years of care provided to Evelyn and our family. May God continue to richly bless all of you.
Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be directed to Unity Church of Des Moines, Iowa, in the name of Evelyn Gambrall.
Online condolences are welcome at www.IlesCares.com
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES FUNERAL HOMES ~ DUNN’S CHAPEL.Information provided by: Iles Funeral Homes Dunn’s Chapel 2121 Grand Ave Des Moines, IA 50312 www.ilesfuneralhomes.com