Former President of Delaware State Fair dies

05:15 AM 29 Nov 2011 NZDT
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Williams M. Chambers Jr., 76, former president of Delaware State Fair which owns harness racing's Harrington Raceway and one of the most popular and humble people in southern Delaware, passed away on Nov. 19.

Mr. Chambers, a longtime harness racing supporter was a member of the U.S,T.A., Delaware Standardbred Owners Association and previous Cloverleaf Horsemen’s Association, is credited with being an active supporter of the legislation providing support of Delaware’s racing industry and Harrington and Dover Downs harness racing and Delaware Park thoroughbred racing.

A lifelong resident of lower Delaware, Mr. Chambers served in the U.S. Army National Guard and served an active tour of duty in Germany. Following his honorable discharge in December 1058, he joined the family business founded by his father in 1915. His first duties were as a welding, auto body building and tow truck operation. He later operated Dodge and Chrysler franchises for many years.

One of his proudest moments came when presented a plaque by the Delaware State Police in recognition of his and his family business as the oldest towing company in The First State.

In 1966, Mr. Chambers was elected to the Delaware State Fair Board of Directors. He was elected its presidency in 1988 and served until 1996 remaining on the boards of the State Fair and Harrington Raceway. During that association, he is credited bringing business changes to develop the State Fair and Harrington Raceway.

During his career, Mr. Chambers, at one time was Democratic Committeeman. He also was a member of the board of directors of the First National Bank of Harrington, JC Penny Bank and Felton (Del.) Bank and a number of public service causes.

In recent years, he along with his wife, Betty, and daughter Bonnie bred, owned and raced horses at Delaware racetrack.

Mr. Chambers is survived by, Betty, his wife and companion of 55 years, a son, Jeffery, daughter Bonnie, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

A huge crowd of friends turned out for to pay last respects at his funeral on Sunday, Nov. 27 at the Delaware State Fair.

Marv BACHRAD

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