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Nancy Ann Chaffee Kiner Whitaker
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Birth: Mar. 6, 1929
Ventura
Ventura County
California, USA
Death: Aug. 12, 2002
Coronado
San Diego County
California, USA

Nancy Ann Chaffee became one of the greatest pro tennis female player's in the world. Nancy won many state and local tournaments at an early age. Upon graduation from St. Catherine's Girls' School, Nancy enrolled at the University of Southern California, where as a freshman in 1947 she captured the USTA National Junior Grass Court Championship. She won 14 national titles, including consecutive U.S. Indoor women's singles titles from 1950 to 1952, which included a victory over legend Althea Gibson in the 1950 final, and a pair of junior championships. Although Nancy won the national girl's 18-and-under title in 1947, she didn't compete at Wimbledon until 1950. She was named to the Whiteman Cup squad in 1950 and, in that same year, reached the singles quarterfinals at Wimbledon and the semifinals of the U.S. National Championships at Forest Hills. A Los Angeles sportswriter helped her raise the necessary funds by writing a column, suggesting a "Chaffee to Wimbledon fund". She retired from competitive tennis, then a predominately amateur sport, in 1956 as the No. 4-ranked player in the world and as the reigning national women's hardcourt champion. Her father, Harold, was a private instructor of tennis for three decades. He coached at the Academy of St. Catherine in Ventura, where Nancy went to school. Nancy's 1951 marriage to Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player Ralph Kiner in Santa Barbara was a media event. They divorced in 1968. She played against Maureen "Little Mo" Connelly 1950 in Wimbledon, England. They were very good friends before and after their careers ended. Besides Maureen, Nancy played tennis with Doris Hart and Shirley Fry. She reached the semifinals of what is now called the U.S. Open in 1950 as an unseeded player. A year later, at that event, Chaffee and her partner, Patricia Todd, lost in the doubles final to Fry and Hart. In 1958 Nancy was named director of tennis at the famed Palm Springs Racquet Club and in 1966, became the director of Tennis at the new La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, CA. Nancy created a tennis school in Palm Springs "Nancy Chaffee-Kiner Enterprises Tennis School", in which she conducted corporate tennis clinics for clients (ABC-TV, Bristol-Meyers and others) and she was a former TV tennis commentator. She covered many tennis events, including the first famed "Battle of the Sexes" between Bobby Riggs and Margaret Court. With tennis glamour girl Gussie Moran, Nancy toured Vietnam with the USO in 1969, playing tennis exhibitions for the troops. Nancy was active in fund raising. In 1992 she helped start an amateur mixed doubles tournament in East Hampden, NY, raising funds for the American Cancer Society. She also helped with the Desert Cancer Foundation and the Desert AIDS Project. She married renowned pro-sports golf broadcaster Jack Whitaker in 1991. Nancy was inducted into Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.

 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Ralph Kiner (1922 - 2014)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Ivy Lawn Memorial Park
Ventura
Ventura County
California, USA
 
Created by: Terry Chaffee
Record added: Oct 31, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22585730
Nancy Ann <i>Chaffee</i> Kiner Whitaker
Added by: Joseph Papalia
 
Nancy Ann <i>Chaffee</i> Kiner Whitaker
Added by: Robin & John Mercer
 
Nancy Ann <i>Chaffee</i> Kiner Whitaker
Added by: Terry Chaffee
 
 
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- Aunt Bee on the porch in Mayberry
 Added: Oct. 27, 2016

- Me2u
 Added: May. 8, 2014

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