Ex-state lawmaker, Polk County figure dies

Published: Wednesday, January 5, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2005 at 10:56 p.m.
LAKELAND - Former state lawmaker and Polk County state attorney Quillian Yancey, whose career of public service spanned four decades, has died of heart failure. He was 82.
Yancey, known by his characteristic Stetson and no-nonsense attitude, served in the Florida House from 1966 to 1972 and in the Senate from 1990 to 1992. He also was a former FBI agent, former Polk County state attorney and for a few months also served as the county's sheriff.
"He was really someone who took public service seriously," said his son, Polk Circuit Judge Jay Yancey.
The son of a Georgia sharecropper, the elder Yancey served in the United States Army during World War II in Europe. After graduating from Florida Southern College in 1949, he became an FBI agent stationed in New York and Washington, D.C.
He earned a law degree from George Washington Law School and returned to Florida. He was elected Polk County's state attorney in 1976.
Current state attorney Jerry Hill described Yancey as an "intense man" with firm convictions, who wasn't shy about venting his strong convictions.

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