A resolution honoring the life of Nashvillian Douglas Selph Henry, Jr., the longest serving member of the Tennessee General Assembly and a Southern statesman and gentleman.

WHEREAS, Douglas Henry, Jr. served in the Tennessee legislature for six decades, first serving in the State House of Representatives in the 79th General Assembly and then beginning an historic and remarkable run of serving Nashville for 44 years as the State Senator from District 21 from the 87th through the 108th General Assemblies; and

WHEREAS, Senator Henry, born on May 18, 1926, was a graduate of Vanderbilt University and served this country in the United States Army during World War II and later with the National Guard; and

WHEREAS, he was a man of many interests and talents: he was an expert on Tennessee history, he was an avid reader, he was fluent in French and spoke six other languages, and he was involved in a wide variety of diverse and important organizations and entities both locally and nationally; and

WHEREAS, in the Legislature, he led and was a champion on issues concerning children, the environment, conservation, public education, women, and seniors; and

WHEREAS, Senator Henry was a strong believer in preservation, working to protect and preserve the State Capitol, Radnor Lake, and the Natchez Trace, just to name a few; and

WHEREAS, he was also known for his understanding and his work on the State budget and its finances and served as a leader in protecting the financial health and wellbeing of the State of Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, even after he stepped down from the Senate, he continued to make a difference, serving on task forces designed to prevent the abuse of the State’s more vulnerable adults and offering assistance to a multitude of different people on a range of issues who respected his opinions and sought out his advice; and

WHEREAS, as he worked to continually make a difference on behalf of the citizens of his district and the State, he was known as a man of integrity who treated people with respect and who had the ability to reach across the aisle politically in order to get things accomplished; and

WHEREAS, he genuinely cared about people and saw public service as a good thing and one that, as an elected official, meant that he had a duty to be involved and to show up at events and to listen to his constituents; and

WHEREAS, whether it was participating in a community meeting or attending the annual 4th of July event on Whitland Avenue (which he would always attend in his traditional seer sucker suit even though it was 90 degrees outside), Senator Henry was one of the most visible elected officials that constituents will ever see; and

WHEREAS, he will be remembered as one of the greatest of Tennesseans who loved his country and his state and his city and truly understood the word “service” and knew how to be courteous and kind and respectful; and

WHEREAS, we were so fortunate to have had his knowledge and his efforts and his love for so long and the things that he accomplished for our State will forever have a lasting impact on all of us; and

WHEREAS, Senator Henry’s death follows less than three months after the death of his wife of 67 years, Miss Lolly, and he is survived by five children, 13 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren and by a host of people that helped Senator Henry while he was in office or with his work or while he was at home; and

WHEREAS, we most likely will never again see anyone quite like Senator Henry and we will miss him greatly;


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as honoring the life of Douglas Selph Henry, Jr., the longest serving member in the history of the Tennessee General Assembly.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to the family of Senator Henry.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Jim Shulman, Kathleen Murphy, Sheri Weiner, Mina Johnson, Karen Johnson, Dave Rosenberg, Fabian Bedne, Nick Leonardo, Anthony Davis, Robert Swope, Jeff Syracuse, Jeremy Elrod, Colby Sledge, Freddie O'Connell, Kevin Rhoten, Brett Withers, Larry Hagar, Burkley Allen, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Steve Glover, Brenda Haywood


Referred to: Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee
Introduced: March 21, 2017
Adopted: March 21, 2017
Returned unsigned by the Mayor: March 22, 2017

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