Monday, March 20, 2023

Suzanne Elizabeth Stibbe Gamble, 52

WILMINGTON — Sunshine and smiles, Suzanne Gamble was a model of joy, positivity and love to all who knew her. Nicknamed “Sunny” Suzanne by her grandmother, she drew friends, coworkers, and family to her warm personality even as she battled cancer for over twelve years.

Suzanne was born on March 2, 1969, in the Cleveland area to Tom and Mary Ann Stibbe. After completing her biology degree at the College of Wooster, she pursued a Masters in entomology at the University of Georgia where she met her future husband Doug Gamble also of Cleveland. As a graduate student, Suzanne notably discovered the Rheocyclops (R. Carolinianus), a copepod that was later verified as a new genus by the Smithsonian Institute.

Following graduate school, she and Doug moved to Mississippi and then Wilmington, NC. Suzanne concentrated on raising their two boys while gardening, reselling furniture and antiques, and collecting bug specimens which she preserved in the kitchen freezer. Eventually, a part-time sales position turned into a twenty-year passion at Cape Fear Jewelry & Antiques where Suzanne specialized in identifying designer and unusual pieces, and enthusiastically explaining the entomology of insect jewelry to collectors. 

Just like the dragonfly, Suzanne’s known spirit insect, she was a transformational and inspirational example of strength, courage and grace as she pursued a life that never bowed to either pain or disease. With her ready smile, open heart, generous spirit, faithful friendship and forgiving nature, Suzanne Elizabeth Gamble, aged 52, passed in comfort surrounded by family on October 27, 2021.

Suzanne is survived by her devoted husband of 25 years, Doug Gamble (Wilmington) and two beloved sons, Devin (19) and Paul (12), her mother Mary Ann Stibbe of Leland, sister Sarah (Constantine) Damaskos of Montclair, NJ, sister Jennifer (Ravi) Rajan of Yardley, PA, brother Matthew (Fancy) Stibbe of Penn Valley, CA, eight nieces and nephews as well as her most faithful friend and mentor, Pait Skipper (Wilmington).

Services will be held in Wilmington, NC at First Presbyterian Church on Friday, November 5, 2021 at 2 pm. Immediately following, family and friends are invited to a reception and repast at the church. Calling hours are Thursday, November 4 from 2-4 pm at Andrews Mortuary. To join the Friday service online, go to

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to Lower Cape Fear Lifecare Center, the Zimmer Cancer Center or the blood bank or hospice of your choice.

Share online condolences with the family, here, in the guestbook.

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