Longtime Williamson County commissioner dies at age 86

Bert Chalfant had served as a Williamson County Commissioner since 1986. He died on Wednesday...
Bert Chalfant had served as a Williamson County Commissioner since 1986. He died on Wednesday at age 86.(Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home)
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 5:08 PM CDT
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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WSMV) - Bert Chalfant, who has served on the Williamson County Commission since 1986, died on Wednesday. He was 86.

After graduation from Vanderbilt University, he was commissioned from ROTC in 1958 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He eventually earned the rank of Brigadier General. After being reassigned to the U.S. Army Reserve, he taught Basic Enlisted and Advanced Officers courses for the U.S. Army Reserve Forces School in Nashville.

In January 1991, he was called back to active service and served in Operation Desert Storm to establish a Casualty Notification Division during which he notified next of kin if a service member was killed in action. As a result, he was responsible for giving Final Honors presented to 10 service member families.

During Chalfant’s 33 years of military service, he earned two Distinguished Service Medals, one Meritorious Medal, a Bronze Star among other medals.

He was appointed Brigadier General of the Tennessee State Guard. His unit was activated on Sept. 11, 2001, at the time of the bombing of the World Trade Center to support the security of the naval Activity Mid-South at Millington, Tennessee.

Chalfant worked in the banking industry in Middle Tennessee for 25 years, retiring as President of Frist Tennessee Bank of Rutherford County.

In 1987, he established Chalfant Travel Services with his wife where they worked together in their Brentwood office and traveled extensively until 2003. After closing their Brentwood office, they continued to offer travel services from their home office.

Chalfant gave back to his community in many ways. In addition to serving as a Williamson County Commissioner for District 7 since 1986, he was a Williamson Medical Center Board of Trustees member; a member of the St. Andrew Priory of the SMOTJ Christian charitable organization; past president of the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce; on the Board of Deacons and served as treasurer for First Presbyterian Church in Nashville; a seven-term Commander at Brentwood American Legion Post 156; he served as charter president of Kiwanis Club of Franklin; charter President of Crime Stoppers of Williamson County; served as President of the Sons of the Revolution John Donelson Chapter, President of Andrew Crocket Sons of the American Revolution and a members of Sons of Confederate Veterans; a Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge; and was a member of First Families of Tennessee and First Families of Williamson County, among many other activities.

Tom Tunnicliffe served along-side Chalfant as a District 7 commissioner for the past four years.

“Bert has been my friend for many years and my fellow commissioner representing District 7 for the last four years,” Tunnicliffe said in a social media post. “My favorite thing about Bert, he was a strong Christian and I know that not because we spoke of it, because he lived it every day of his life. He lived by example at all times. Bert will be missed.”

Chalfant is survived by his wife of 40 years, Betty Jane Brindley Cook Chalfant, two daughters, two stepsons, a sister a nephew and niece, and 10 grandchildren, according to his published obit.

Celebration of Life services will be conducted Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, at 1 p.m. with visitation in the Cheek House from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Graveside to follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 1101 Lebanon Rd., Nashville, TN 37210.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church Nashville (4815 Franklin Rd., Nashville, TN 37220) or Alive Hospice (1718 Patterson St., Nashville, TN 37203).