Cover photo for James Wendell Gambrell's Obituary
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James Wendell Gambrell

January 2, 1938 — July 9, 2021

James Wendell Gambrell, known as ‘Wendell’ or ‘Papaw,’ to his friends and family, went to be with his Lord and Savior, on Friday, July 9, 2021.

Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Wendell was the son of the late Holmes and Blanche Gambrell, and was of the Baptist faith. In high school, he was privileged to drive the school bus and was tickled to pick up and drop off all of his friends at their homes. Wendell attended Mississippi State University following graduation, and went on to proudly join the United States Army. From the time he attended MSU (Hail State!), and to this very day, he donned maroon and white to show support to his alma mater. Wendell was a hard worker for all of his life and displayed this attribute as a good and fair boss at Anchor Glass for several years. He retired in 2003 as the Plant Operations Manager.

Wendell was a loving and attentive husband to his wife, Shirley, who he devoted over half a century to. In his family, he was adored and loved for his sense of humor and for his genuine want of the best for each of them. Wendell was generally a quiet man, but when he did speak, his words were profound. He loved eating seafood, taking pristine care of his truck, doing yardwork and watching his Bulldogs on TV, but fishing was where he was most at peace. Wendell enjoyed spending most of his free time on Lake Blackshear.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Christy Adams (Larry).

Wendell is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, Shirley Joyce Gambrell of Warner Robins; daughters, Renee Gambrell (Danny) of Villa Rica and Wendy Gray (Bradley) of Centerville; grandchildren, Christopher Gray (Brittany), Kalie Ball, Amber Ball, Corey Gray (Porcha), Ashleigh Gray, Justin Ball, Madison Richardson and Morgan Richardson; great-grandchildren, Kaiden Irvin, Anslee Gray and Holt Gray; sister, Peggy Bridges; niece, Suzanne Stewart; and nephew, Mark Shephard.

A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 12, 2021, in the chapel of McCullough Funeral Home with visitation two hours prior to the service. Afterward, Wendell will be laid to rest in Magnolia Park Cemetery.

Learn about the measures McCullough Funeral Home is taking to ensure the health and safety of our guests at There you can also sign an Online Registry for the family. McCullough Funeral Home and Crematory has the privilege of being entrusted with these arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Wendell Gambrell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Monday, July 12, 2021

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, July 12, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Add to Calendar

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

*Standard text messaging rates apply.

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