obituaries

David Kernell, who as UT student hacked Sarah Palin’s email account, dead at age 30

David Kernell,  the son of a former Tennessee legislator from Memphis who guessed his way into Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s personal email account in 2008, has died in California at age 30, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Continue reading

Former state Sen. Joe Haynes dies aged 81

Joe M. Haynes, a Nashville lawyer who served almost 30 years as a state legislator including a decade as Senate Democratic Caucus chairman, has died at age 81.

Continue reading

Disgraced former Judge Richard Baumgartner found dead

Richard Baumgartner, who served 19 years as Knox County Criminal Court judge before resigning in disgrace amidst a drug scandal, died Tuesday at the age of 70, reports the News Sentinel.

Continue reading

‘Lewie’ Donelson, TN GOP leader and prominent lawyer, dies at age 100

Lewis Randolph “Lewie” Donelson III – a pioneer in developing the modern Tennessee Republican Party, a former state finance commissioner and co-founder of the Tennessee-based national law firm Baker Donelson — died Thursday at age 100.

Continue reading

GOP leader Bill Giannini killed in I-40 traffic accident

Bill Giannini, former deputy commissioner of the state Department of Commerce and Insurance and former Shelby County Republican chairman, was killed in an Interstate 40 traffic accident between Jackson and Nashville on Thursday, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Continue reading

Hortense Cooper, governor’s wife & congressman’s mother, dies age 98

Hortense Hayes Powell Cooper, widow of Gov. Prentice Cooper and mother of U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, died Monday night at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville at age 98, according to the congressman’s office.

Continue reading

Bruce Saltsman, former TDOT commissioner, dies aged 87

John Bruce Saltsman Sr., who served served eight years as Tennessee Commissioner of Transportation, has died of cancer at his home. He was 87.

Continue reading

Remains of bomber crew member, shot down in WWII, returned to TN

News release from Department of Veterans Services

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder recognize the service and sacrifice of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant William Turner of Nashville, who was presumably killed on December 13, 1943 along with five other American crew members while serving in World War II.  Turner along with the rest of the “Hell’s Fury” crew were part of an armada of 219 B-26 aircrafts flying form Essex, England to Amsterdam, Holland for a bombing raid.   “Hell’s Fury” was struck by anti-aircraft artillery and crashed near Schiphol near Amsterdam.  The 20-year old aerial engineer was assigned to the 555th Bomb Squadron, 386th Bomb Group and was a crew member of “Hell’s Fury” B-26 bomber.  The crash was recorded by the military as Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 1413.

Continue reading

Former UT President Eli Fly dies, age 82

News release from the University of Tennessee

Former University of Tennessee President Emerson “Eli” Fly died Aug. 7 in Knoxville at the age of 82.

“Another UT legend has left us and he will be missed by all,” said UT President Joe DiPietro. “We are thankful for his many years of service and leadership, including serving as president, to his beloved alma mater.”

Continue reading

Former state Sen. Ray Albright dies, aged 83

Former Republican state Sen. Ray Albright, who spent 26 years as a state legislator working to improve Tennessee’s environment and its education system, died Monday at age 83, reports the Times Free Press.

Albright announced in November he had mesothelioma, a lung cancer caused by asbestos. He said he was exposed to the deadly mineral in the 1950s and ’60s when working to support his family at Combustion Engineering. Later he joined Union Planters Bank and rose to vice president before he retired.

He ran for and won a seat in the Tennessee House in 1968 on a promise to battle pollution and bring clean air back to a city dubbed in 1969 as having the dirtiest air in the nation.

Elected to the Senate in 1970, he was proud of sponsoring the bill that made Chattanooga State a technical community college. The first building on the Chattanooga State campus, the administration building, was renamed the Albright Omniplex in his honor.

Continue reading