Bridge Named To Honor The Late Kent Coleman

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(Photos by Frank Caperton)
(Photos by Frank Caperton)
(Photos by Frank Caperton
(Photos by Frank Caperton)
(Photos by Frank Caperton)
(Photos by Frank Caperton)
(Photos by Frank Caperton)

(MURFREESBORO) A longtime community leader who passed away years ago was honored Friday when a bridge in Smyrna was named to honor the late State Representative Kent Coleman.

State Representative John Hood told those at the dedication, "It's appropriate that a bridge is named to honor Kent, because he was a bridge builder."

Coleman was a well-known Murfreesboro attorney who help many over his three-plus decades of practice. He was a Smyrna native, a product of that community's public schools and then of Vanderbilt.

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The Murfreesboro resident and his wife Cecil were active in their dedication of helping others, as was obvious with Kent's participation on the Christy-Houston board, MTSU Foundation, American Cancer and United Way boards, along with the Cystic Fibrosis Board, a disease that would have slowed others.

He served the residents who lived in Tennessee's 49th district State Senate District during the 103rd through 106th general assembly.

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Rev. Dr. John Hinkle, Kent's pastor at Murfreesboro First Presbyterian, told WGNS News, "At the end of his day, he added more to this world than he took away I am honored to have called him a friend."

In fact, current Representative Mike Sparks, the Republican who defeated the Democratic incumbent, referred to Coleman during the dedication ceremony as a "true statesman"

After the ceremony Sparks told WGNS, "When I was 33 there was a new 49th house district being created and I was asked to run for the position by the republican party. I prayed about it and I believed the Lord wanted me to wait a few years. I ran for the Rutherford County Commission instead. About two years later I recall seeing Kent in front of the courthouse and he asked me to come up to the state capitol with him and bring one of my sons to serve as a page. Kent was always very kind and friendly. After our election in 2010, he graciously conceded and I asked him if he would allow me to buy him lunch at City Cafe. We had lunch and I asked him why is it that elected officials aren't discussing this drug epidemic we see today? He told me, 'Mike if no one has ever been affected by drugs, they probably don't care. You should consider asking the new speaker to put you on the health committee, that way you could be an effective changemaker and advocate for that issue.' Kent Coleman, my opponent, gave me great political advice because he cared about our community. Our political environment today has often become very divisive and people put their egos and self-interest ahead of their constituent's interest. Kent's kindness shown to my family and me and his willingness to help others will always be fondly remembered."

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Kent Coleman, Murfreesboro, Smyrna bridge named after the late representative, WGNS
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