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Tennessee's longest-serving lawmaker passes away at age 90

People across the state are remembered long-time state Senator Douglas Henry, who passed away late Sunday night surrounded by his family.

Henry, a Nashville native, was 90 years-old. He served in the state senate for more than 40 years before retiring in 2014. He chaired the senate finance committee for three decades.

In addition to his efforts to put Tennessee on firm financial footing with conservative spending and revenue projections, friends remember Henry's kindness.

A public visitation service is scheduled for Thursday from 10 to noon and 2 to 6 at the state capitol. As Monday night, funeral arrangements are incomplete.

Various Tennessee lawmakers weighed in on the news Monday morning, honoring the World War II veteran who served his state for longer than any other lawmaker in the state's history.

In a statement release, Governor Bill Haslam stated the following:

"One of the most fun calls I have been able to make as governor was a call in 2015 to Sen. Henry when we knew we would be able to put funding for the new state museum in the budget. Sen. Henry was a tireless champion of the museum, its mission and the importance of preserving Tennessee history for future generations. His dedication to the museum may only be surpassed by his commitment to the state’s financial strength. I was fortunate to be able to visit with Sen. Henry Friday, and I can attest that the state’s finances were still top of mind to him. He served the state for nearly 50 years, and it is not an exaggeration to say that he is one of the primary reasons the state is on such solid financial footing today. He was a powerhouse intellect, courteous, kind, genuine and a statesman, and I will miss knowing that his wisdom and perspective are only a phone call away.”

Respect for Henry crossed both aisles, with Democrats and Republicans sharing their appreciation for the Senator. In a statement on Twitter, TN Senate Democrats stated "We are very saddened by the passing of Senator Douglas Henry. He stands alone in the history of the legislature."

Lt. Governor Rand McNally said Henry was "a man with no equal" in a statement on his Facebook page. He described Henry as "somebody who treated everybody very fairly and with respect, whether it was the governor down to a janitor or cafeteria worker."


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