Mary Gartrell, died Sunday at the Hennis Care Center in Bolivar one month short of her 101st birthday. She was born Mary Gamble in Sherrodsvile, Ohio Dec. 6, 1917. Mary was the 4th of the five Gamble girls known for their brains, looks, and skill as basketball players. After marrying Ralph Gartrell, her high school sweetheart, in 1939, Mary followed her soldier husband to the West Coast and was employed in war industry jobs.

After the war, Mary spent her life as a homemaker and mother of her daughter, Jean Ann Alter (Jim). She enjoyed spending time picnicking at her country property with her sisters, who were her best friends. A superb athlete, Mary enjoyed sports throughout her life, shooting hoops and playing softball into her 80s. She played basketball and softball in her youth and was a shuffle- board champion when she aged. Mary loved sharing poetry and songs with her daughter, grandchildren and caregivers.

With her husband, Mary traveled to Alaska by car, ship and plane at least ten times to visit her daughter’s family. Ralph and Mary wintered in Florida for many years. After Ralph’s death Mary spent time in Alaska and spent winters in Hawaii with her family.

In addition to her daughter, Mary is survived by three grandchildren: Geoffrey Alter of Juneau, Alaska, Kirsten Alter (Dennis Fielding), Kathryn Alter (Luis Guzman), six great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents Harry R. and Rose Ann Minnick Gamble, sisters Rose Phillips (Jack), Katherine Merrick (Earl), Virginia Cheslock (Frank), and Dorothy Norris (Chuck). Also preceding her were her brothers Earl Gamble (Catherine) and Harry Gamble (Francis) and her sister-in-law Wanda Gamble, and the Gartrell parents, siblings and spouses of her husband of sixty years, Ralph.

During the last ten years, Mary received love and care from Evie and Todd Steele and the staff of Hennis Care Bolivar.

A graveside service will be held Sunday, November 11th at 2:00 PM at Ridgecrest Memory Gardens, Dover, Ohio.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the International Rescue Committee, ( or Doctors without Borders (

Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory
116 Second Street NE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

Geib Funeral Service
5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover, Ohio 44622

Geib Pet Crematory
5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover, Ohio 44622