Marjorie Swain Gambs

Honored by:Edwin Gambs
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Marjorie Swain Gambs is a member of the Iowa State class of 1935. The daughter of Thomas Howland Swain and Lois Gertrude Swain she is one of eight children; six of whom graduated from Iowa State. In addition to Marjorie her brothers Oscar Cliff and Lyle and her sisters Lois and Marian are Iowa State graduates.

After graduating from Allerton High School at the age of 16, Marjorie attended a community college for one year. At the end of that year she was qualified to teach in country schools but as she had not yet turned eighteen she had to wait a year to receive her teaching certificate. Marjorie then taught in country school for 3 years before going to Iowa State where she majored in Home Economics.

After graduation she continued to teach holding teaching positions in New Hartford and Havelock before taking a teaching assignment in Dunlap, Iowa. Through a night school class for adults that she was teaching she met Phil Gambs. He was a guest expert on meat for her class. A year later on February 26, 1942 they were married. After finishing out the school year in 1942 Marjorie retired from school teaching to raise a familly.

She had six children all of whom graduated from Iowa universities: Carl M. Gambs (Ul 1965) Edwin P. Gambs (UNI 1966) Margaret Gambs Duncan (Ul 1967) John D. Gambs (UNI 1970) Ruth Gambs Johnson (Drake 1975) Janet Gambs Stammer (ISU. 1980). We her children have chosen to honor Marjorie as a notable woman of Iowa State University because of the heritage that she passed on to her children and Grandchildren. We all became readers thinkers and learners because of her guidance. She taught us to read critically to ask "Who says so?" of what we heard to "look it up" if we had unanswered questions and to make decisions and think for ourselves. She modeled what it meant to be a good wife mother and member of the community.

She was active in many civic organizations and her church. She was generous to those in need hard-working honest and fun. In the 70's and 80's many people began to devalue the position of homemaker and mother. However women in our mother's generation sacrificed a great deal for their children to their credit and our benefit. She used the skills that she learned in her home economics courses at Iowa State to make our lives richer and healthier.

She was there for us when we needed her. At age 84 she is still thinking and learning and passing on that heritage to her 13 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She and Phil recently celebrated 53 years of marriage.

Marjorie is a member of the Eastern Star as well as the Past Matron's Club. She has also been a member of the AAUW the County Republican Women of Harrison County Retired Teachers Association and Entre Nous a local study club. She and Phil are long-time members of the First Congregational Church of Dunlap where she has served in many areas.