Communication Builds Our Community

Alfred "Chip" Thullbery

Alfred Charles (Chip) Thullbery, Jr., 67, of Lake Wales died on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, in Moffitt Cancer Center, from an aggressive melanoma cancer in his liver and bone marrow. He lived fully until the cancer emerged and within three weeks debilitated him and took his life.

We, his family and friends, are feeling bereft at losing Chip so suddenly, but are grateful to have had him in our lives, grateful to have known someone who was such a good friend, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle.

Chip was born Nov. 29, 1952. A native of Lake Wales, Chip attended Washington and Lee University and Law School in Lexington, VA. He graduated in 1977 and after some time as clerk for a court judge, began working in the State Attorney's office for Polk County, serving much of his career as Chief Assistant State Attorney until his retirement in 2012. Chip became a familiar face in the midst of difficult cases, and worked to bring the spirit of the law in a way that balanced compassion with justice. His colleagues spoke of how much they enjoyed serving with Chip; how his mix of clarity of thought, his planning abilities, and his caring heart meant that their jobs went well and the office functioned smoothly.

Chip embraced many opportunities for community service that connected with his abilities, his values, and things he enjoyed in life.

-A great reader of a wide variety of books, Chip served the Lake Wales Library Association as member and President.

-A lover of art in many forms, Chip served on the Lake Wales Arts Council including a term as president. He was highly involved over the years with the Lake Wales Art Show, a familiar face in many roles of planning and oversight, including serving as Chair of the Arts Council Art Show.

-In addition, Chip served as member and Chair of the YMCA Board, and member of the Lake Wales Hospital Board.

-Along with these specific examples of community service, Chip quietly shared wisdom and guidance to many local and wider organizations and individuals.

Chip was a lifetime member of Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church where he offered ministries of leadership and service. A few examples of his many lay ministries over the years included serving many terms on the lay leadership of the church and as Senior Warden, oversight of the Christmas Pageant, and oversight of the acolytes. Perhaps the most visible and appreciated ministry over the decades was Chip's ministry of hospitality. He prepared countless dinners for celebrations at the church, giving attention not only to delicious food, but also to beautiful presentation. He helped provide breakfasts for elementary school teachers and food for the backpack program for children.

Through the years Chip enjoyed many hobbies that included: scuba diving, running, cooking, and reading. Some of his favorite leisure activities were hosting gatherings for family and friends, spending time with good friends, lunch and a stroll at Bok Tower, and enjoying 3 or 4 nights at Disney several times a year.

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to send memorials in honor of Chip to one of the following: The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, The Lake Wales Arts Council, and Friends of the Lake Wales Library Association.

The family deeply regrets, especially given Chip's involvement in the church over his lifetime, that due to COVID concerns, the service will be for immediate family. But the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd will live stream the service at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15 on Facebook. The service will also be posted for later viewing on their YouTube Channel. The church plans to host a memorial celebration of Chip's life for the church and community when it is safe to do so properly.

Chip is survived by: his sister, The Rev. Marion F. Thullbery (Sally Harbold); his brothers Robert H. Thullbery (Janet) and John B. Thullbery (Lea); and his four nieces and nephews, Jason Thullbery (Hannah), Sarah Proctor (Joey), Jay Thullbery, and Anna Thullbery (Chad Newsome). We are grateful to The Rev. Tim Nunez and The Rev. John Motis, for their support through this time, as well as Chip's friends and community.

Marion Nelson Funeral Home in Lake Wales is handling arrangements.


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