Jacqueline L. Gamper
Homemaker and longtime volunteer enjoyed cooking, entertaining and working in her garden
Jacqueline L. “Jackie” Gamper, who volunteered with outreach programs at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and served on the Women’s Board of Johns Hopkins Hospital, died Oct. 29 of congestive heart failure at the Pickersgill Retirement Community in Towson. She was 98.
“She was a lovely lady. We worked very closely together with the Women’s Board at Hopkins. She was always a pleasure to work with,” said Grace Symington “Gracie” Rienhoff, a friend of more than 40 years who now lives in Chestertown.
“Jackie was always very up and had a great sense of humor. She was a wonderfully pleasant person, and we felt very close to her family,” Mrs. Rienhoff said.
“She was just a lovely lady and I remember Jackie very fondly,” said Ellen H. Godine, a North Roland Park resident who also served on the Hopkins’ board with Mrs. Gamper. “She had a quiet way about her and a ladylike manner.”
Jacqueline Langrall was born in Baltimore and raised in Windsor Hills. She was the daughter of Ernest Langrall, who worked at J. Langrall and Brother, a family canning business, and Maude Harker Langrall, a homemaker and volunteer.
She was a 1935 graduate of Western High School, where she was active in theater and a member of the Sphinx Club, a discussion group.
Because of the Depression, Mrs. Gamper was unable to attend college. During World War II she worked for the Pennsylvania Water and Power Co.
In 1949, she married Charles Richard Gamper, a teacher, coach and administrator at Gilman School. The couple settled in the Roland Park Apartments, where they lived until the early 1950s, when they moved into a house on the Gilman campus.
Mrs. Gamper, an accomplished cook and a collector of cookbooks, enjoyed hosting dinner parties and Sunday brunches.
“What a gracious lady. She was an asset to the Gilman School community and was the perfect balance between her husband — who had a gravelly voice and was somewhat gruff. But both had hearts of gold,” said John E. Schmick, former Gilman headmaster. “They were both legends at Gilman.”
“Living on campus with three boys of her own and an extended family of ‘sons,’ she ‘adopted’ the daughters of faculty members and delighted in having tea parties for them,” a son, Thomas O. Gamper, wrote in an email profile of his mother. “This was a ritual that she continued with her granddaughters.
“As a young faculty family, we routinely joined the other families for potluck dinners on Saturday nights --- so much so, we were all dubbed The Saturday Night Club,” he wrote.
“She savored the ritual of dining and we often dined by candlelight even on school nights,” wrote Mr. Gamper, who lives in Charles Village.
Anton J. Vishio, who was chairman of the classical language department at Gilman, and his wife, Patricia Ann “Pat” Vishio, Gilman librarian, lived two doors down from the Gampers.
“Charlie and I became good friends, and Jackie was always something very special,” said Mr. Vishio, who spent 45 years at Gilman before retiring in 2010. “She had a center steadiness, and in the face of any occurrence displayed a certain grace. She remained focused. Nothing upset her.
“Her love for her family was substantial and limitless,” said Mr. Vishio, a Towson resident. “As a mother, she let us be little boys, and we had free rein over the fields, streams, Stony Run and woods of the Gilman campus — a lot of which was undeveloped back then,” Mr. Gamper wrote. “She endured tadpoles, rabbits, mice, turtles, dogs, cats, orphaned pigeons and the occasional duck as pets.”
Mrs. Gamper worked in outreach programs sponsored by the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, where she had been a longtime communicant.
She was so successful raising funds for the Women’s Board at Hopkins that at the time of her retirement from the organization, Mrs. Gamper was given an membership to the Hopkins Club. Her son wrote that she considered it “akin to receiving an honorary degree.”
After Mr. Gamper’s retirement in 1984, the couple moved to Center Sandwich, N.H., where Mrs. Gamper was active in the Woman’s Club of Sandwich and the Federated Church of Sandwich. She supported the church’s food bank, adult education and Oxfam programs.
She was an avid flower and vegetable gardener and an accomplished needlepoint artisan. She enjoyed collecting family history, photographs and recipes. She also had amassed a collection of Mother’s Day, Christmas and birthday cards that went back years, her son said.
Her husband died in 2008, and for the last 11 years, Mrs. Gamper resided at the Pickersgill Retirement Community.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at her church, 5603 N. Charles St.
In addition to Thomas Gamper, she is survived by two other sons, C. Richard Gamper Jr. of Homeland and William H. Gamper of Towson; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Jacqueline L. Gamper served on the Women’s Board of Johns Hopkins Hospital.