Gene Oliver Chambliss
Gene Oliver Chambliss, 91, of Dale, Texas, passed away January 19, 2021 at Hays Nursing and Rehab in San Marcos. Gene was born on July 11, 1929 in Dale, Texas to Leonard Alexander Chambliss and Velma Ann Martin Chambliss. His father worked in the oilfield, and he spent much of his younger years in the Darst Creek area. He graduated from Dowdy High School in 1948. Some of his favorite memories were of playing football and basketball at Dowdy High. He even repeated a grade in high school so he could play one more year. After high school he went to Southwest Texas State Teachers College for three years. Then he and his brother, Norman, joined the United States Air Force. He served for 4 years as a crypto teletype operator during the Korean Conflict. This included a deployment to Japan for two years where he talked to family about decoding messages and delivering them to higher ranking officials. After his time in the service, he returned to San Marcos and completed his bachelor’s degree. Then he went to work for Sun Oil Company on the business end. After leaving Sun Oil Company, Gene went into property management, and, sold title insurance for a time.
During his adult years, his true passion was volleyball. It started at Southwest Texas State University where he competed on an intramural all-star team against other university teams at the University of Texas. After that while he was stationed in Japan, he was selected to the All-Air Force team and then transferred to Hamilton AFB in the California. That is where he said he had the opportunity to learn more about the fundamentals, executing proper techniques and game tactics. In 1955 Gene was honored by being selected to the All-Air Force first team and competed in the USAV Open Championships in Oklahoma with Hamilton AFB. After being discharged from the Air Force, he returned to college and finished his degree. It was in 1957 that he decided to get back into volleyball coaching men and women’s teams at the Dallas Athletic Club. Later, he was chosen as Women’s Assistant Coach for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and the Head Coach of the NORCECA Games that were held in Mexico City in 1969. Gene was inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame and won several All-American awards throughout his years of play. In the Senior age group competition, he was named most valuable player six times. Gene continued playing competitive volleyball until he was eighty years old. Gene was, also, instrumental in upgrading the Dale Community Center when he was the coordinator. Teams from all over the area would go to Dale to play the great game of volleyball. This helped finance some of the improvements.
Gene is survived by his niece, Karen Buckner and husband, Billy Ray of Lockhart, Texas. He is also survived by his niece, Beverly Killebrew and husband, Larry of Beggs, Oklahoma. He is survived by many great nieces and nephews. Danny Mullen, a great friend, and caregiver to Gene in his later years was like family to him.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Velma Chambliss, his brother Norman Chambliss and sister-in-law, Georgia Chambliss. Also, preceding him in death were twin nieces, Norma Jean, and Carma Dean Chambliss.
Family received friends and family at McCurdy’s Funeral Home in Lockhart, Texas on Monday, January 25, 2021 for a visitation at 9:30 in the morning with services followed at 10:30. Interment at Bunton Cemetery in Dale, Texas.