Mayor Fulton remembered as 'passionate' politician

Posted at 6:30 PM, Nov 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 21:31:17-05

Mayor Richard Fulton was never afraid to standup for causes he saw as just, even if it meant voting for pieces of legislation that his southern constituents didn't agree with at the time. He was one of Nashville's biggest champions, decades before Music City was labeled as the "It City."

He died on Wednesday at the age of 91.

Mayor Fulton, who was better known to his friends and colleagues as "Dick," was elected as Nashville's second mayor in 1975. He served for 12 years, until leaving Davidson County's office in 1987. 

Fulton was instrumental in shaping Nashville for the way it is today. He worked tirelessly to revitalize Second Avenue, fought hard to preserve the Ryman Auditorium and even oversaw the construction of 440 Parkway. But those who knew him best remember Dick Fulton as a passionate politician, who was also a kind human being.

May Dean Eberling spent years working alongside of the former Mayor as the first chair of Metro's Historical Commission.

"He was a very modest, mile person. A gentle, gentleman and there is so much that we are indebted to him for here in Nashville," she said holding back tears while sitting in the shadow of the Parthenon on Thursday afternoon.

May Dean wants those who didn't know the former Mayor, to remember him for helping shape the future of Nashville decades ago, "He opened doors for this city that are still opening today and there's no way to thank him enough."

Fulton grew up in East Nashville. Prior to becoming Mayor, Dick Fulton spent seven terms in Congress representing the Nashville area. He was a pivotal vote in the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"Dick tried to do what was right, he made decisions that he thought were for the best for all people," May Dean Eberling added.

Funeral arrangements are still being made for Mayor Fulton. He passed peacefully at Alive Hospice in Nashville.