Msgr. M.J. Gamber, Govans pastor, dies at 78A Mass of...


December 28, 1991

Msgr. M.J. Gamber, Govans pastor, dies at 78

A Mass of Christian burial for Msgr. Martin J. Gamber, pastor emeritus of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Govans, will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today at the Chapel of Stella Maris Hospice, Dulaney Valley Road.

Known for his simple, uncomplicated faith, he said shortly before he died that he would like to offer Christmas Mass in heaven. Monsignor Gamber died of cancer Christmas morning at Mercy Medical Center. He was 78.

Born in Baltimore on New Year's Day in 1913, he moved with his family to Gamber in Carroll County and attended elementary and high school at St. John's Catholic School in Westminster. He graduated in 1930.

After working as a salesman for six years and studying for three years at St. Charles College, formerly on Maiden Choice Lane, he entered St. Mary's Seminary on Paca Street to study philosophy. In 1941, he entered the seminary in Roland Park to study theology.

On St. Patrick's Day in 1945, he was ordained by Bishop John N. McNamara at the Basilica of the Assumption. His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Govans, a post he held until 1950 when he spent six months at St. Ambrose Church in Pimlico. Later that year, he became assistant chaplain at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, a position he held for six years.

In 1956, Monsignor Gamber was named chaplain of the motherhouse of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, where he was known for the devotion and loving attention he gave to the elderly and infirm. He became pastor of St. Martin of Tours Parish in Baltimore in 1966 and returned to St. Mary's Catholic Church in Govans in 1968 to become its pastor.

After six years at St. Mary's, he resigned his post and was given the title of pastor emeritus. He was appointed assistant chaplain at Stella Maris Hospice, a job he held until he retired to Long Crandan at the Cardinal Shehan Center for the Aging in 1983.

He was a visiting priest at St. Lawrence in Woodlawn and Our Lady of the Fields in Millersville after his retirement while his health permitted.

In addition to his assignments, Monsignor Gamber served as chaplain of the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae from 1945 to 1956 and chaplain of the National Federation of Catholic College Students from 1960 to 1965, when Pope Paul VI named him domestic prelate. He was also archdiocesan director of

the Family Life Bureau from 1965 to 1968.

He is survived by two brothers, Glenn Gamber of Los Angeles and Francis Gamber of Salisbury; and two sisters, Clara G. Rossbach and Janet G. Mitchell, both of Salisbury.

John William Phillips

U.S. investigator

John William Phillips, retired director of security and investigations for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, died Thursday at Howard County General Hospital of a combination of illnesses. He was 79.

Mr. Phillips, who had lived in Columbia, was born in Birmingham, Ala., and came to the Washington area in 1934, serving through the Depression with the federal Civilian Conservation Corps.

In 1937, he married Anne Catherine Burns of Washington, and the couple reared five children in Clarksville.

He worked with the FBI for 12 years, working as a clerk before receiving a night school law degree and being promoted to the rank of special agent. After World War II, he worked for the federal War Assets Administration and the National Fireworks Co., a munitions manufacturer. He joined the Commerce Department in the 1950s and rose to the top investigative post, which he held until he retired in the late 1960s.

In 1973, he and his wife moved to Stuart, Fla., where he enjoyed golf and fishing and was active in a conservation program.

After his first wife died in early 1985, he married Lucille Anderson Nerbun of Takoma Park before returning to the Baltimore area in 1988 and settling in Columbia.

He is survived by his wife; three sons, J. William Phillips Jr. of Hollywood, Fla., Robert E. Phillips of Laurel and Richard H. Phillips of Lancaster; two daughters, Susan E. Miller and Karen A. Lorditch, both of Clarksville; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Although there will be no services, the family will receive friends at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow at the home of Susan Miller, 7270 Guilford Road in Clarksville.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute or the American Heart Association.

Charlotte L. Williams

Social Security worker

Services for Charlotte L. Williams, a retired Social Security Administration worker, will be held at 6 p.m. tomorrow at Shiloh Christian Community Church, 2500 W. Lombard St.

Mrs. Williams, 69, died Wednesday at St. Agnes Hospital after a long illness.

The former Charlotte Love graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1940. She attended Coppin State University until 1942, when she married Henry R. Williams. He died in 1974.

In 1944, she began working as a claims authorizer for the Social Security Administration. She retired in 1979.

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