PHOTO: Charles Sargent (Fourth from Left) during a ceremony marking his retirement from the state House. // Photo courtesy of Tennessee House Republican Caucus
By ALEXANDER WILLIS
Tennessee House Rep. Charles Sargent passed away on Tuesday at the age of 73.
Representing Tennessee’s District 61, Sargent had served in that seat since 1997. He continued unopposed for reelection to that seat for the first 10 years.
Sargent, who chaired the Ways and Means committee overseeing the budget, had announced in late 2017 that he did not intend on running for reelection in 2018, citing health concerns. Sargent had battled with skin cancer in previous years, and was diagnosed with a condition related to skin cancer in 2017.
Sargent leaves behind his wife of more than 40 years, Nancy, his two children and two granddaughters.
Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson has been a close personal friend of Sargent for more than 38 years, and said his impact on the county could not be overstated.
“This is a personal loss for me, as he and I had a brotherhood type of friendship,” Rogers said in a statement. “He has been a great friend and mentor me. There are few places in Williamson County that does not have his fingerprint on it in some way. Our hearts are with his wife, Nancy and his children during this difficult time.”
Originally from New York City, Sargent moved to Nashville in 1970 after serving in the United States Navy, later moving to the Franklin area in 1977. Before being elected to serve in the Tennessee Congress, Sargent had served on the Williamson County Planning Commission for seven years, and the Williamson County Commission for six years.
“Charles and Nancy Sargent have been such faithful public servants, committed to the growth and development of Williamson County and creating a stellar quality of life for those who, like them, chose to make it their home,” said Senate-elect Marsha Blackburn in a statement. “We worked together for decades through political endeavors to achieve this goal. His positive impact on our county and state will be felt for decades to come. I will miss him.”
Beyond his governmental career, Sargent was a State Farm insurance agent for more than 40 years.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of my good friend and our former Finance Chairman, Charles Sargent,” said House Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams in a statement. “Charles was a dedicated servant for his community and a fierce advocate for Tennessee’s students and educators during his time in our General Assembly. Most importantly, Charles was a devoted husband to his wife Nancy, an incredible father to his children, and he loved his grandchildren very much.”