Family, Friends Remember Veterinarian Killed In Farming Accident

Posted at 2:38 PM, Jul 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-23 23:43:37-04

Police in Gallatin have identified a man who was killed in a farming accident in Sumner County.

Authorities said the man was 64-year-old Dr. Jerry McMillan, DVM, a longtime resident and owner of McMillan Veterinary Clinic in Gallatin.

The incident happened Friday on Wayne Drive off of Highway 109, and officials said McMillan was found around 8 p.m.

According to reports, McMillan fell backwards off of a tractor. The blades were not turning, but he became trapped under a bush hog.

He passed away from severe injuries.

Family and friends spoke to NewsChannel 5 and described McMillan as a man who always served others with a smile. 

McMillan lived in Gallatin for 38 years and was a member of the the Gallatin Lions Club and Gallatin First United Methodist Church. He was also named 2006 Tennessee Veterinarian of the Year.

"Gallatin is darker," Charlie Appleton, friend and Lions Club member said. "He was one of our shining and leading citizens who did whatever he could to help you."

McMillan was also credited for saving a friend's life during a Lions Club meeting in November. Hack Gilliam was feeling ill when he collapsed due to high-blood pressure. McMillan was there to provide CPR before emergency personnel arrived.

"I owe him my life," Gilliam told NewsChannel 5. "He always had a thing about saving lives whether it was me or my cat."

Those with the Gallatin Police Department said they’re investigating the accident. No further details were available.

McMillan is survived by his wife of 41 years, Linda. He also has four children and six grandchildren. 

The family released a statement: 

"We both celebrate and mourn the passing of the rock of our family and a pillar of this community. Dad left us with wonderful memories and a thriving legacy.  He loved, and was was loved by so many.  We are deeply humbled and honored by the outpouring of love and support in this trying time for our family."

The community responded to the loss by laying out flowers in front of his clinic. 

Visitation will be held at Alexander Funeral Home in Gallatin on Monday, July 25 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A second visitation will be held at First United Methodist Church in Gallatin on Tuesday, July 26 at 11 a.m. followed by a memorial service at noon.