Wallace Russell Gambill, born February 28, 1931, died on January 25, 2014.
Raised in and near Chattanooga, Tennessee by his parents, Alton L. and Ethel R. Gambill, Wally is survived by his wife, Bobbie Jean Ward of Clinton, Tennessee; his ex-wife, Patricia Miller of Chattanooga; his sister, Susan G. Sammons of Atlanta; his two daughters, Linda Voychehovski of Chattanooga and Eve Friedli of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and his granddaughter, Sophia Voychehovski of Atlanta.
Wally graduated with honors from the McCallie School in Chattanooga in 1948, and also with honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in 1952, with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering. He was initially employed as a design engineer by Union Carbide in Charleston, West Virginia, where he worked with C.H. (Charlie) Gilmour, a well-known heat transfer specialist of the time.
After moving with his family to Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1956, Wally began a 34-year career as a research engineer with the Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
Most of his work involved heat transfer and fluid flow, with an emphasis on convective thermal control. He was the Principal Investigator of heat transfer in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), Oak Ridge's only remaining operating nuclear reactor. In 1966, Wally served as an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) representative in Buenos Aires, Argentina, helping to set up a heat-transfer laboratory. After retiring in 1990, he consulted for several more years, primarily on the Advanced Neutron Source (ANS) project.
Wally was active for a number of years in the Oak Ridge Unitarian Church. He served on the Board of the Oak Ridge Art Center, and taught Tai Chi to area seniors for about eight years. His other interests included hiking and caving in the wilds of Tennessee and West Virginia, shooting handguns of various calibers, amateur car racing, and karate. He had a deep love for cats and dogs.
Wally's family and friends will be celebrating his life at the Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home on Sunday, February 2, 2014. Visiting will begin at 2:00, the service at 4:00. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter, 395 Belgrade Road, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830.