Remembering Bobby Mathews, Nashville visionary and doer

One of Nashville’s great business leaders, Bobby Mathews, passed away yesterday. (Coverage in and The Tennessean).

This quote from captures his role in the development of Nashville:

“Besides building a family, he helped build the city of Nashville. There hasn’t been much in Nashville over the past half-century that Mathews wasn’t involved in either building or renovating.”

A lot will be written about his role in building (and preserving) many of the buildings and developments that have transformed the city, while embracing its past. However, I’d like to add a word about the first part of the quote — the “building a family” part. My wife and I, along with our children, have many close friendships among the children and grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. Mathews. Our thoughts and sympathies are with them today.

Mr. Mathews passed on his legacy of love for Nashville to his children — and to all those who experienced his zeal for the city’s past and promise — including me. Today, many Nashvillians, because of his leadership and influence and passion, carry on the commitment to his civic vision. He will be missed, but his lasting contributions to Nashville will be with us for the ages.