Former Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture and Dresden native Terry Oliver passed away Saturday morning unexpectedly. He was 79.
Mr. Oliver was appointed Commissioner by former Governor Phil Bredesen in August of 2010, and served until he retired from the position in 2011. Commissioner Oliver spent almost 25 years in public service, and was an advisor and confidant to the late Governor Ned McWherter.
Mr. Oliver was a farmer and businessman, and served under four commissioners as a deputy until he was named to the position. He succeeded Ken Givens as Commissioner.
In his position, Oliver led efforts to improve the effectiveness of the Division of Forestry, and also played a significant role in the development and implementation of the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program – a cost share program established by Governor Bredesen to spur farm innovation and agricultural development in Tennessee.
After he retired, his home town of Dresden named the Farmers Market in his honor, now known as the “Terry Oliver Plaza.”
Mr. Oliver is survived by his wife Marsha and their daughters Melissa Overton and Angie Morris, as well as three grandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers Johnny and David Oliver and a sister Sandra Oliver.
Funeral services will be Tuesday at 2:30 at Dresden First Baptist Church.
Bowlin Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.