Jac Chambliss, one of Chattanooga's most beloved attorneys and wordsmith, died Tuesday at the age of 99.
Mr. Chambliss had continued to submit his elegant life commentaries to Chattanoogan.com for the Opinion section up until the last few weeks.
He was born in 1910 to John A. Chambliss and Margaret Sizer Chambliss of Chattanooga. His grandfathers were Alexander Wilds Chambliss, several times mayor of Chattanooga and later Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, and James Burnet Sizer, an outstanding attorney.
He was educated at the Webb School of Bell Buckle, the Virginia Military Institute, Southwestern (now Rhodes) College and Cumberland University Law School. He entered his family's law firm, Sizer, Chambliss & Kefauver, in the summer of 1932, and practiced until his death.
In addition to his legal career, he served as a gunnery officer in the Navy in World War II in the South Pacific.
Active in the Episcopal Church, he was for many years a teacher, vestryman and lay reader at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
He served on a number of corporate boards, among which were Richmond Hosiery Mills, Tri-State Telecasting Corp., TAG Railway, Standard-Coosa Thatcher Company, Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company and Gilman Paint & Varnish Company. He was active in the founding of St. Barnabas Nursing Home, and served several terms as president of the YMCA.
With talent for writing both poetry and prose, for over sixty years he contributed columns to the local newspapers, and was sought after as a speaker. A guitar and banjo player, he composed and sang ballads for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London, he both lectured and chaired lectures there.
Married in 1934 to Bena McVea of Baton Rouge, La., the couple spent many winters in Winter Park, Florida. They traveled extensively. He was also a talented photographer.
One of his proudest accomplishments was as co-founder of the Citizens Good Government League, a local non-partisan group dedicated to promoting better government on the local level.
He is survived by daughter Ann Lacambra (José Maria) of Winter Park, Fla.; son John A. Chambliss, III of Chattanooga; daughter Betsy Chambliss McLean of Wenatchee, Wash., eight grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Family visitation and a memorial service at the Church of the Good Shepherd will be announced at a later date.
Interment will be in Forest Hills Cemetery, where his gravestone is already engraved with "Amare et Pugnare".
Contributions may be made to the Reflection Riding Endowment Fund, 400 Garden Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37419, or the McVea-Chambliss Scholarship Fund of the Webb School, 319 Webb Road East, Bell Buckle, Tennessee 37020-2044.
Jac Chambliss at book signing
- Photo2 by Wes Schultz