TAHOKA, TX (KCBD) - Beloved community figure and Santa's Land founder Bill Chancy died on Monday night, June 11. He was 88. The Chancy Family founded the Santa's Land Drive-Thru Park in Tahoka in 2009.
His obituary says he was not a fan of spare time and dedicated much of his life to serving others in various organizations. Bill was involved in Lions Club, softball, Little League, Tahoka Booster Club, a member of the chain gang for the Tahoka Football team for more than 60 years, sponsored breakfasts for the Special Olympic Torch Runs, Caring Hearts of Tahoka, Lynn County Historical Society, Senior Softball League in Lubbock, and founder of Santa's Land.
Santa's Land hosted families from around the area over the years and the Chancy family kept it free for the public, even as the lights ran up a $2,000 electric bill each November and December.
The drive-thru park is set up on South 11th and Avenue O in Tahoka, 30 miles south of Lubbock, each year, with the help of eager volunteers.
Most people will remember Bill as Santa Claus, as he dressed up for the kids during every holiday season. Without a doubt Bill's favorite time of year was the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when he was able to fill the lives of thousands of children and families with Christmas cheer, according to his obituary.
Bill's generosity and work ethic was passed down to his seven children, all of whom he was very proud of. Each took their own path in life, but any chance Bill would get, he would brag about each of them.
Bill's wife Frances died in 2016. They were married for 54 years.
According to his obituary, several years ago, Bill and Frances both decided to donate their bodies to science. Even in death, helping others was something that was very important to them.
His obituary says he was preceded in death by his parents, six brothers, an infant son, William, and his beloved wife Frances. He is survived by his sister Veda Reed of Tahoka, TX, his children Susan and Chuck Tipton of Tahoka, TX, Steve and Michele Chancy of Clovis, NM, Jabo and Doris Chancy of New Deal, TX, Cindy Carpenter of Nebraska, Malcolm and Kelly Chancy of Lubbock, TX, Cathy Ross of Tahoka, TX, and Cloey and Roy Pierce of Arlington, TX, 15 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren and his special friend, Barbara Orr Morton.
A visitation will be held at the Chancy home in Tahoka on Thursday, June 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The memorial service will be held at the Church of Christ in Tahoka at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 15.