Retired Cullman Police Sgt. Rex Chambers dies at 51; services today

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This photo of avid fisherman and retired Cullman Police Sgt. Rex Chambers was taken this weekend by his friend Brent Crow. (Courtesy of Brent Crow)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Family, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of Baileyton resident Rex Chambers, who passed away unexpectedly Saturday night at the age of 51. Chambers suffered a heart attack while traveling home from a fishing tournament in Eufaula. He is survived by his wife Teresa and daughter Jennifer.

Chambers was a 25-year veteran of the Cullman Police Department where he was hired as a patrolman in October 1990 retired in December 2015.

Cullman Police Chief Kenny Culpepper spoke about Chambers, saying, “Fishing was his passion. Being outdoors. Being outside.”

Chambers was promoted to patrol sergeant in October 2001 and patrol lieutenant in 2002. He transferred to the investigation department in May 2003. In 2013, he had the position he wanted most: water patrol.

Said Culpepper, “I was the chief here when he was hired. He was a super guy. He found his niche when he went to lake patrol because that coincided with being out on the water and doing outdoor stuff, which he liked doing- to the point where we were all excited for him when he retired because that’s what he was going to be doing, professional fishing.”

A statement from the Cullman Police Department said, “Rex attended numerous classes and earned many certifications in his 25-year career. Rex was a dedicated and trusted officer who served with passion in every position he held. He was admired for retiring to enjoy his off-duty passion, which was fishing.”

Chambers parlayed his love and fishing and his knowledge of the sport into creating the Rex Chambers’ Bass Guide Service, where he shared his expertise with others. He especially loved the waters of Smith Lake and Lake Guntersville.

He described himself on his Rex Chambers’ Bass Guide Service Facebook page as, “Retired L.E.O., USCG Licensed bass fishing guide and tournament junkie. I’m not a professional angler and never aspired to be. I’m a guy that has had great opportunities over the years to associate with some nationally known companies in the world of fishing. I dabble in outdoors articles for a few publications and am always looking for a tournament to fish. Glad to help ya’ in any way I can on my local waters…just yell.”

As the news of his passing spread, his social media pages soon filled with messages from those who knew and loved him.

His daughter Jennifer Chambers Boike posted, “It is with overwhelming sadness that I have to announce the passing of my father Rex Chambers. Just please keep me and mom in your prayers. We have a very tough road ahead of us.”

Brent Crow shared, “I was looking forward to sharing this picture yesterday when I took it of my fishing partner and best friend, Rex Chambers. She weighed 7.88lbs and I don’t know if I ever saw him more excited about catching a fish. It was the highlight of great day on the water at Lake Eufaula Bass Trail South division together. I never imagined I would be sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I post it or that it would be the last time he held up a big bass for me to take a picture of.”

The Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series page shared, “It is with overwhelming sadness that we share the loss of our friend ABT North and South Angler Rex Chambers. Out of 65 ABT tournaments, Rex has fished 64 of them. The ABT family sends our thoughts and prayers to the Chambers family. Rex loved and admired his wife Teresa and his daughter Jennifer and her husband Alex. RIP Rex.”

A Rex Chambers Memorial Fund has been established on GoFundMe for those who would like to help the Chambers family. Family friend, Kay Donaldson, set up the memorial fund and said of her friend, “Everyone who knew Rex knew his love for his wife Teresa, his daughter Jennifer, his dog Gus, and then fishing and golf.”

“It’s my understanding that his family has requested a full honors funeral just as you would see at a military funeral,” said Culpepper, who shared, “He had a dry wit and was funny, but kind of in a different way. (He was) a big Auburn fan and one of the few in the department who could come in my office and talk football and sports about Auburn. It really hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 18 at Cullman Heritage Funeral Home, where visitation will take place from noon-3.

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This photo of avid fisherman and retired Cullman Police Sgt. Rex Chambers was taken this weekend by his friend Brent Crow. (Courtesy of Brent Crow)
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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com