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Senate Democrats release statements on the passing of Former Lt. Gov. John Wilder

John Stanley Wilder (1921-2010)
John Stanley Wilder (1921-2010)

Nashville – The Senate Democratic Caucus released a statement after receiving word that former Lieutenant Governor John Stanley Wilder (1921-2010) had passed away as the result of a stroke yesterday at the age of 88.

John Wilder was born in Fayette County Tennesee. He attended Fayette County Public Schools, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee College of Agriculture, and a law degree from the Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) Law School. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and served in extensively in City, County, and State Governments, including a stint as the Lt. Governor of Tennessee.

He was preceded in death by his wife Marcelle Ann Morton Wilder who passed away in 2004. Together they had two sons, Shelton Wilder and wife Judy of the Longtown Community and David M. Wilder and wife Patti of Collierville; four grandchildren, John Wilder III, of Longtown, Joseph C. Wilder of Knoxville, Jarod Wilder of Memphis, and Whitney Wilder of Collierville; five great grandchildren, John Wilder, IV, and Judith Suzanne Wilder, both of Longtown, Russell Wilder, Marcel Wilder and Ansel Wilder, all of Knoxville.

They were long time members of Braden Methodist Church. John was a Scottish Rite Mason & Shriner.

John served as Speaker of the Senate and Lieutenant Governor from 1971-2006. He was a member of Senate in the 81st and 85th through 105th General Assemblies. He represented Chester, Crockett, Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, McNairy, and Wayne counties in the 26th Senatorial District.

Senators Joe Haynes, Jamie Woodson, Doug Jackson, Bill Ketron, Steve Roller, Jim Kyle, Tim Burchett, Mike Williams, Jim Tracy and Paul Stanley pay tribute to Former Lt. Governor John Wilder on the occasion of his retirement from public office.

Below are the statements on the passing of John Wilder:

Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle

Senator Jim Kyle

“Since 1960, powerful people have come and gone in Tennessee, but John Wilder was a constant and steady presence,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle (D-Memphis).”From civil rights, to the creation of an independent legislature, to the Tennessee Judicial Selection Plan, everything that has shaped modern Tennessee involved Governor Wilder. Ultimately, he became so much a part of the landscape that people didn’t see him. But a closer look will find John Wilder’s fingerprints on every good and progressive event of the last 50 years.”

Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney

Senator Lowe Finney
Senator Lowe Finney

“Our most sincere condolences go to the entire Wilder family, and we pause with them to remember Lieutenant Governor John Wilder’s life,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney (D-Jackson), “He was a man who often preferred the simpler title of “Speaker”, and for 36 years, Tennessee benefited from the leadership of a Senate Speaker who saw opportunity in every challenge, who came to the public eye as a young state senator and spent the rest of his life fighting for teachers, improving the lives of state employees, and serving as a voice for farmers on Capitol Hill. He left an indelible mark on the face of our state, and in the future, as in the past, we will look to John Wilder as an example.”

Senator Roy Herron

Roy Herron

“Tennessee has lost a giant, Heaven has gained a leader, and his beloved Marcelle has him with her again. John Wilder will be remembered for his long and record-setting service, but also for his faith in his Lord, Tennessee, the Senate, and his family.” said Senator Herron. “He was deeply committed to the rule of law, bipartisanship, racial equality and fiscal conservatism. We will not see his likes again.”

Visitation and Funeral Information

Funeral services for John Wilder will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Peebles West Funeral Chapel in Oakland (Fayette County) with visitation scheduled from 11:30 to 2:00p.m. The burial will take place at Belmont Cemetery.


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