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.

Saltsman was a road construction company executive prior to being appointed commissioner by Gov. Don Sundquist at the outset of his administration in January 1995. He served until January, 2003.

From a Tennessee Blue Book bio sketch during that time: “Having been involved in the transportation industry for 47 years, Commissioner Saltsman has brought to the department a first hand understanding of the road building industry, a necessary ingredient to move Tennessee forward in its efforts to provide the best transportation system in the country.

“A native of Loretto, Kentucky, Commissioner Saltsman is an avid golfer and, in his spare time, enjoys duck hunting, skeet shooting and trap shooting.”

Saltsman did, indeed, have an extraordinary knowledge of Tennessee’s road system. He also had a good grasp of state politics and could be quite candid in his commentary – which often included quick-witted humor.

Survivors include his widow, Edna Elaine, and five children.

One of his children is John Bruce “Chip” Saltsman Jr., a former state Republican chairman and longtime political operative, currently serving as CEO of Randy Boyd’s campaign for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.

Marshall Donnelly Combs Funeral Home in Nashville is in charge of arrangements.

From the obituary: Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at St. Henry Catholic Church, 6401 Harding Rd (in Nashville). Visitation will be held 2 hours prior to the service at the church.

…In lieu of flowers the family respectfully requests memorial contributions to Saint Henry Catholic Church, 6401 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205, and Alive Hospice, 1718 Patterson Street, Nashville, TN 37203.

6 Responses to Bruce Saltsman, former TDOT commissioner, dies aged 87

  • Junelandrum says:

    So sorry chip to hear of your fathers death. Please express our sympathy to all your family. June and bill landrum

  • Dan and Jane Lindsey says:

    The Lindsey family sends it’s heartfelt condolences to the Saltsman fsmily. Brucecasca fine gentleman and friend. He will be missed.

  • Luanne Grandinetti says:

    Thanks Tom. There is so much more one could say about who we sometimes called “Mishner” (the beginnings a story in itself.) Often the media would shake their heads at his unfettered honesty, but you always knew where he stood.

  • Jim and Connie McCarter says:

    Jim and I are sorry for your loss. We are praying for you and your family!

    Jim and Connie McCarter

  • Jim Rout says:

    Chip, your dad was a great public servant. I had the opportunity to work with him while he was Commissioner and I was Mayor. We developed a real friendship that I cherished. Please know that Sandy and I will be praying for you and your family during this difficult time. God bless my friend! Jim Rout

  • Jeff Willett says:

    I knew Bruce and his wife Elaine and his children Terry and Chip from an early age when they lived in Bardstown, Kentucky. He was a fine gentleman and dear family friend. My condolences to his lovely wife Elaine and all of his children and family.

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