Longtime Tennessee lawmaker Frank Buck dies at 80

 January 26, 2024

Frank Buck, the Tennessee politician, has died at the age of 80. 

According to his obituary, which was posted to lovecantrell.com, Buck died on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024.

The obituary states, "Frank Forrest Buck, 80, of Dowelltown passed away on January 24, 2024, at NHC HealthCare in Smithville, Tennessee."

Further details about Buck's passing have not been provided. The cause of his death remains unreported.

Who was Frank Buck?

Buck was a farmer and an attorney, but he is most well-known for his time in Tennessee state politics.

WTVF reports:

[Buck] graduated from Tennessee Technological University, and while he was a student at the university, married his wife, Lena Ann Graves Buck, in 1962. Buck went to law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law, and eventually, joined the DeKalb County law firm owned by McAllen Foutch before starting his own practice — Buck & Buck Attorneys.

It was in 1972 that Buck entered into state politics as a Democrat.

The outlet continues:

He ran for the Tennessee General Assembly in 1972, representing DeKalb, Cannon and Smith Counties, as well as a portion of Rutherford County. For the next 36 years, Buck represented District 40 in the General Assembly as a Democrat. He left the role in 2008.

During his time in the state house, Buck spent time as the chairman of various committees, including the judiciary, conservation, and environment committees, among others.

Buck's legacy

Buck is probably best known for the work that he did on ethics reform.

The Tennessean reports:

During his 18 terms in the state House of Representatives, Buck was known for championing ethics reform. He worked to establish avenues for transparency and accountability in state government, and advocated for public disclosure of lobbyists’ activity, financial disclosures for lawmakers and establishment of a strong ethics commission.

Buck continued in the Tennessee State House until 2008.

A few years before his retirement, he said, "I’ve been here 33 years, and when I retire from this place and when I see my constituents on the street, I’d like to have their respect that I did a good job for them and that I was an honorable public servant."

Buck's obituary states:

Frank is survived by his wife of over sixty-one (61) years, Lena, and daughters, Kathryn Buck Pursell (Brice) of Dowelltown; Melinda Buck Brown (Chase) of Oak Ridge; Sara Buck Doude (John) of Milledgeville, Georgia; and Jennifer Buck of Dowelltown; six grandchildren, Frank Forrest Pursell (Taylor) of Crossville; Ann Pursell Williams (Timothy) of Liberty; William Pursell of Liberty; Emeline Brown Hébert (Luke) of Nashville; Ellie Brown of Nashville; and Lilah Brown of Oak Ridge; and two great grandchildren, Lena Pursell of Liberty and Caroline Pursell of Crossville.

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