Home Local News Don Sundquist, 47th governor of Tennessee, passes away

Don Sundquist, 47th governor of Tennessee, passes away

Sundquist served as governor from 1995 to 2003

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Former Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist

Former Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist passed away on Sunday, August 27, peacefully, surrounded by family, following surgery and a short illness. He was 87 years old.

Born in Moline, Illinois on March 15, 1936, Sundquist was a graduate of Augustana College. He went on to serve in the United States Navy. After years in the printing and advertising industry in Shelbyville and Memphis, he was elected to Congress, representing Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District. Sundquist served six terms in Congress, and was on the Ways and Means Committee, where he earned the reputation as a staunch fiscal conservative.

He was elected governor of Tennessee in 1994, and re-elected to a second term in 1998. Under his leadership, Tennessee implemented a ground-breaking welfare reform program, comprehensive crime legislation focusing on victims’ rights, and set record levels of economic development. His administration was instrumental in bringing two national sports franchises, the Tennessee Titans and the Nashville Predators, to the state.

“We are comforted by our faith and friends, and know he is with our Lord and loved ones in heaven,” said former First Lady Martha Sundquist.

“Gov. Sundquist was an impactful leader and principled statesman who devoted his life to public service,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “As Tennessee’s governor for two terms, he contributed to our state’s legacy of fiscal responsibility and expanded opportunity for Tennesseans through historic economic development. Maria and I join all Tennesseans in honoring Gov. Sundquist’s remarkable life, and we pray God’s comfort over Martha and their family in the days ahead.”

Gov. Sundquist is survived by former First Lady Martha Sundquist, his wife of 64 years, and their children: Andrea, Tania (David), and Deke; and beloved granddaughters: Gabby (Markos), and Alex.

A funeral service for Sundquist will take place at the First Lutheran Evangelical Church in downtown Nashville on Sept. 5 at 11 am. Prior to the funeral, he will lie in state in the Rotunda of the Tennessee State Capitol from 9 am to 3 pm. Both are open to the public.

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