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Robert "Bob"  Lee Ambler
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Obituary for Robert "Bob" Lee Ambler

Robert “Bob” Ambler passed away quietly at Quality Care Hospice center January 5, 2018 just one day after reaching his 93rd birthday. “Mr. Ambler” or “Coach”, as he was known by his students, taught for 30 years in the Midwest City School System before retiring in 1983.

Bob was next to the youngest of 11 children born to Earl and Ione Ambler on January 4, 1925 in Texarkana, Texas. Bob’s father died when he was 8 years old leaving his mom with all 11 children to raise on her own during the Great Depression. Bob learned early in life to be resourceful, hunting, fishing and doing what he had to do to survive. He dropped out of school his sophomore year of high school and lied about his age to join the military during WWII. Being too large for any uniforms of any branch of service, he was rejected by all the military branches until he learned that the US Army was looking for anyone who would volunteer to fly in an experimental glider program. Bob was accepted in the program, which he thought was great because it was the first time in his life he got 3 square meals a day. During WWII, Bob was taken up in gliders where he was quietly flown in behind enemy lines at night to do demolition work destroying strategic enemy targets. It was while serving in the US Army that Bob got his General Education Degree (GED).

After receiving an honorable discharge from the army, Bob went to the University of Arkansas where he lettered in 3 sports- football, basketball and track. Upon graduation he was recruited to play professional football and professional basketball. Bob married his college sweetheart, Mary Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, on November 11, 1951. After living in Dayton, Ohio where he played professional basketball for a General Motors sponsored team, Bob and Liz moved to Midwest City in 1953 where Liz had a job waiting at Tinker AFB. It was then that Bob became a coach and science teacher in the Midwest City School System, teaching at Jarman Junior High and Midwest City High School, until he retired in 1983.

Bob loved teaching and coaching. He employed unique and sometimes unorthodox methods in his classrooms which made him among the most remembered teachers his students ever had. Mr. Ambler took the initiative to go beyond the norm in the classroom where he would introduce students to all kinds of activities in science and in the great outdoors. It was during such times Coach Ambler would voluntarily take students on weekend camping trips where he taught them such things as fishing and archery. Students always remembered his Nature Study classes where they dissected animals, then made skeletons of them to study, as well as, going fishing where they had to catch their own meal on lures they made or fishing flies they tied themselves.

Bob, Mr. Ambler, Coach, impacted the lives of several thousand students and friends during his years as a teacher. He often spoke of the cherished memories he had while teaching and told former students just days before he died that his students were the greatest and they made life fun for him.

Bob is survived by his son, Mark Ambler.

Friends, former students and all who knew him are invited to share special memories of Bob at a memorial service for him at Barnes Friederich Funeral Home at 3:00 P.M., Saturday, January 13, 2018. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Fisheries Division.


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Previous Events

Memorial

Saturday

13

Jan

3:00 PM
Barnes Friederich Funeral Home Chapel

1820 S Douglas Blvd
Midwest City, OK 73130

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