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.

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