1930 - 2010
Her Career In
Bullseye, Combat & International Pistol Shooting

WINTER HAVEN - Lucile "Lucy" Chambliss, of Winter Haven, died at her home on April 8th, 2010 from cancer.
 Lucy was best known for her highly successful, 35-year career in bullseye, combat, and international pistol shooting and her work as a firearms instructor and secretary with the Winter Haven Police Department. Born in Hatboro, PA, Lucy and her family moved to Winter Haven in 1934. From 1934 to 1967 they lived in a house on River Lake, at the end of Chambliss Road.
 Lucy started shooting at the age of 10, taught by her father, George E. Chambliss. By 1941 she had joined the Winter Haven Rifle Club, which her father had founded, and continued shooting. Lucy attended Winter Haven schools while growing up.  In addition to shooting, she was fond of riding and horses, buying her first horse in 1944. In the 1940s and 50s, she was an accomplished horsewoman, owned several horses, and won many awards. After high school, she enrolled in Florida Southern in Lakeland, majoring in commercial art. She felt that she wasn't good at art and about 1950 turned to shooting in competitive pistol matches all over Florida. COL Perry Swindler, a retired Army shooting coach from Lakeland, and Jim Thompson, one of Winter Haven's most outstanding shooters at the time, were early contributors to her training. Lucy won the Florida Women's Pistol Championship 11 times. She won the U.S. National Women's Pistol Championship in 1954, 1960 and 1961 and was the runnerup in four other years. She was the first woman ever elected to the Mayleigh Cup pistol team in 1953 and was the first woman to win the Florida Open Pistol Championship in 1954. She also earned the National Women's Combat Pistol Championship in 1966 and 1968.
 Lucy worked for the Winter Haven Police Department from 1958 to 1984 as a firearms instructor and police secretary. She was a sworn police officer, but did not work in the field. She was also a firearms instructor for police recruit training at the Polk County Police Academy from 1966 to 1979.
 Lucy was thrown from a horse and broke her right leg in five places in 1959. Just a few days before, she won the Women's National Mid-Winter Pistol Tournament championship in Tampa. She recovered and went on to earn more national pistol championships. She appeared on the "To Tell the Truth" television program in 1960 and the "What's My Line?" television program in 1970. In both programs, she stumped the celebrity panels and gave shooting demonstrations. Also in 1970, she participated in the 40th World Shooting Championships as a member of the U.S. three-woman team. The team earned a bronze medal in the Air Pistol Championships. In the ladies .22 match, the team won a gold medal, beating the USSR and West German teams with a world record score, a first for a U.S. women's team. Lucy earned the second place score in the three-woman team event and individual overall fifth place. Her outstanding shooting at the world event earned her the 139th U.S. International Distinguished Shooter's Badge awarded by the U.S. government. Lucy returned to combat shooting in 1973 and won another national women's combat title, earning the 48th Police Distinguished Badge. Lucy served as a member of the National Rifle Association Board of Directors from 1978 to 1981. She retired from the Winter Haven Police Department in 1984. Lucy was a member of The Colonial Dames of America.
 Lucy is survived by her sister, Sylvia W. McElvey, of Middleburg, VA; her nephew, John O. McElvey of Reston, VA; her nephew, Dale R Deniston, Jr. of Colorado Springs, CO; her niece, Rebecca M. Hinely of Cottage Grove, OR; and her niece, Barbara D. Leibeck, of Gradyville, KY. She was preceded in death by her father, George E. Chambliss of Winter Haven; her mother, Sylvia W. Chambliss of Winter Haven; and her sister, Barbara C. Deniston of Winter Haven. Ott-Laughlin Funeral Home, Winter Haven. -  Ledger, April 10, 2010

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