As I See It - "Director Emeritus Dan Smith Passes Away"
No one over Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative’s 82-year history demonstrated a greater love for the cooperative way than Dan Smith, director emeritus, who passed away in April following a brief illness. He was 87.
Mr. Smith faithfully and diligently served on our electric cooperative’s board of directors for 48 years. He spoke to hundreds of individual MTEMC members over that time to hear their concerns and answer their questions. At the board level, he was on multiple committees and served as an officer. He often represented MTEMC member interests as a voting delegate at state, regional and national electric cooperative meetings. In particular, he served for more than 25 years as sergeant-at-arms (and for many years as a chief sergeant) at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s annual meeting.
Mr. Smith was a charter member of Wilson Farmers Cooperative, where he served on the board for 42 years. He was a founding member and director of the Wilson County Farm Bureau (another cooperative), where he served as president for 17 years and had been a member of the board since 1956.
Of course, those acquainted with Mr. Smith knew he was a Wilson County farmer. He farmed 360 acres, raising beef cattle and, at one time, burley tobacco. He often talked about how hard farm work could be but also how much he loved it.
He was fiercely committed to the farm, his wife, Vondie, and to Middle Tennessee Electric. He was always the first to arrive on board meeting day or at any meeting he was supposed to attend. And he always had a special appreciation for MTEMC’s employee team.
For all of these reasons and many others, MTEMC’s board and staff benefited from Mr. Smith’s knowledge, experience and commitment. His stalwart loyalty to the cooperative way has been an inspiration, and his dedication to MTEMC has deep roots.
He remembered when MTEMC brought life-changing electricity to Wilson County, and he told us that inspiring story many times, reminding us of the proud tradition carried on to this day. For him and his family, electricity ushered in greater convenience and comfort for everyday life. Also, thankfully, it illuminated his thinking and appreciation of the difference a cooperative can make ... and this outlook was a direct benefit to the members of MTEMC for nearly five decades.