Arlene D. Gambee

August 12, 1937 ‒ April 11, 2018

Howard, Ohio

HOWARD, OHIO—-Arlene D. Gambee, 80, of Howard, Ohio, passed away peacefully on April 11, 2018 at home in Apple Valley, Howard, Ohio.   She was born in Gardner, Illinois on August 12, 1937 to Howard and Eleanor (Christensen) Nelson.  She graduated with the class of 1955 from Gardner South Wilmington High School.  She worked as a secretary at the Veteran’s Hospital in Dwight until 1963 after which she became a devoted housewife and mother.  Arlene was an extremely pleasant, loving person who enjoyed her family. She loved cooking and baking for church activities and family.  She loved to read novels, travel and visit with friends.  When grandchildren arrived she was thrilled and could not wait to see them as well as make each one a quilt.

Surviving is her beloved husband of 58 years, Leslie (Les) Gambee of Howard, Ohio who she married April 9, 1960 at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Dwight, Illinois. Arlene is also survived by one daughter, Karen (James) Longtine, of Erie, PA; three granddaughters: Emma Longtine, Ashleigh Longtine and Kathlyn (Katie) Longtine; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her parents; two sons, Timothy Scott Gambee and Michael Scott Gambee; two sisters, Helen Humbert and Mary Ann Hiatt and two brothers, Francis Nelson and Donald Nelson.

A graveside service will be held at Oak Lawn Cemetery, Dwight, Illinois on April 21, 2018 at 10:00 AM; and a Memorial Service will be held on the same day at 2:00 PM at the Island City Baptist Church in Wilmington, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Hospice of Knox County, Mount Vernon, Ohio would be appreciated.

To share a memory or send an expression of sympathy to the family, please visit

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Arlene D. Gambee.


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  • My deepest condolences to the family on the loss of your loved one. And may you find comfort in knowing that “God is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalms 34:18) So the God of tender mercies will continue to bless you and strengthen you through this difficult time.

  • Arlene was a very special lady. I have very fond memories of her friendship with my parents and my bond with the family as I remember my very first babysitting experience with the Gambees– Arlene always made sure there were cookies for me. I thought and still think of her and how very sweet she was.

  • Her smile lights up the universe. May she rest in peace and be a part of you until you meet again. Love, Connie

  • Les, Karen and family
    We are so sorry to hear of Arlene’s death. I have such fond memories of going to her family farm as a child and seeing the windmill and sharing Aunt Elanore’s wonderful cooking. Then we ended up working together at the VA in Dwight and being neighbors in Gardner. We always looked forward to hearing at Christmas about your family. I feel blessed to have shared so many of years with such a special lady!
    Our sincere sympathy to you all

  • My condolences on your loss. She was such a kind person. May God grant you comfort and peace.

  • I send my love and thoughts to the family of the sweet and grand lady Arlene.l I will never forget the time she come over to our house with two different shoes. She was such a trouper when Todd teased her about it. Even through you moved away because she wanted to see those grandchildren more, we thought of you often. Russ just told me about the letter you sent him, and I am slow about answering and know it’s too late. I hope to see you Sat.