Class of 2008

William Gamble
MFMA is pleased to induct Mr. William Gamble III in to the MFMA Hall of Fame.
 
William Gamble III, known to all as Bill, was born on April 4, 1928 in Milwaukee, WI.  A scant two years later, Bill’s mother and father made a geographical move to White Lake, WI, that would prove to shape the rest of his life.  It was then, at the age of two that Bill’s connection to the wood industry began and has not deviated in the nearly 80 years since. 
 
The origins of the town of White Lake can be traced directly back to Bill’s grandfather in 1916.  The eldest William Gamble was instrumental in the initial startup of the Yawkey Bissell Company and helped create the community of White Lake, carving it out of the wilderness, when he started a sawmill operation.   In 1930, Bill’s father was given the opportunity to return with his young family to White Lake from Milwaukee as the sales manager for Yawkey Bissell.
 
Bill spent his childhood and teenage years in the warm community of White Lake, often becoming very involved in the family business by working at all levels in the sawmill operation.  “Sawdust crept into my veins at an early age and it’s still coursing through my body,” states Bill.  “It hasn’t ever let up!”
 
Bill studied business at Carroll College in Milwaukee and Ferris Institute in Lower Michigan from 1947-1950.  But the passion he felt for home and the wood business drew him back to White Lake in 1950 and he began working with his father by embarking upon a successful full-time career. 
 
Following his father’s death in the early sixties the plant was sold to E.L. Bruce Company. Bill continued working as plant manager with Carl Abendroth handling sales.  Bill and Carl continued with their careers with Bruce until 1975 when they decided to form a partnership to begin a new flooring company in Amasa, MI.  During that year, Bill, Carl, and Roy Ahonen started “AGA” and brought it on as a new MFMA mill with Bill serving in the capacity of vice president.
 
During his tenure with AGA, Bill also served as the president of the MFMA from 1975 through 1980 and was actively involved in the promotion of MFMA flooring within the industry.
 
In 1979, Bill was given the opportunity to return to his beloved roots of White Lake from Amasa, MI, when James Stoehr of Robbins, Inc. purchased the White Lake facility from the E.L. Bruce Company.  From then until his retirement in 1993, Bill acted as plant manager for Robbins.  Since his retirement, Bill has continued to consult for Robbins as well as sell flooring to a handful of his loyal, long-time customers.  Additionally, Bill served as the MFMA mill inspector for all MFMA member mills from 1997 through 2007.
 
After a lifetime of devoting his energy and dedication to the wood industry, Bill, along with his wife of nearly 56 years, Marge, continues to call White Lake their home.  They enjoy many of their winters in the warmer climates of Arizona and spending as much time as they can with their entire family, in particular their five children, Bill, Margy, Nancy, Becky, and Mike.  Both Bill and Marge have been extremely active in their community throughout the years and are touted and applauded for their willingness to help out anyone in need.
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