FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — The City of Franklin has announced the death of Pearl Bransford, who served the city as an Alderman for more than a decade.
Officials said Bransford passed away Friday night.
She served as an Alderman-At-Large since 2007. She previously served on the Franklin Special School District Board of Directors for 11 years, then as its Vice President for eight more.
Bransford was also a nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for 18 years where she served in a leadership role.
"Pearl Bransford loved Franklin and served the community with a beautiful and gracious spirit," the city shared on Facebook. "As a community and City team, we are grieving and will greatly miss our friend, Pearl Bransford. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bransford family and Pearl’s many friends."
Pastor Kevin Riggs said Franklin has a huge void to fill. "To me, her voice was always on the right side, and so she’s going to be missed," Riggs said, "My heart broke yesterday when I got the news, and so my prayers are with the family, and she’s just going to be greatly missed."
In addition, race reconciliation was important to her. She was an advocate for the Fuller Story Project. It was a push to have a statue of a U.S. Colored Troop soldier across from a Confederate monument in downtown Franklin. "She even made contact with the Daughters of the Confederacy to try to set up a meeting between us, and then to facilitate some type of friendship and reconciliation," Riggs said.
According to the former Franklin Mayor, she brought a unique viewpoint to the table. "She went from school to the city to patients with ease, and that’s what she liked the most," John Schroer said, "You don’t want a whole bunch of people on a board that look the same, and act the same, and talk the same, so she added the different perspective."
Pastor Riggs said her legacy will live on as she's irreplaceable. "She was really the conscience of that board and I think it’s going to be extremely important that we replace her with someone of like mind and a minority as well," Riggs said.