Longtime Wilson County Mayor Robert Dedman died last week, and the current county mayor spoke about the impact his mentor had on Wilson County.
Dedman, 85, served as Wilson County mayor from 1998 until his retirement in 2010. Prior to that, he served on the Lebanon City Council from 1981-1985, Wilson County assessor of property from 1984-1996 and Tennessee Senate sergeant-at-arms from 1997-1998.
“He had a way of getting people to come around the table, see all sides of an issue and work it out,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said. “He had that knack. He was able to get things done like that.”
Dedman attended Highland Heights School before attending Lebanon High School where he played on the 1951-1953 Blue Devils football team that won a state record 27 consecutive games. In 1952, Robert was the first LHS football player to win statewide recognition, selected to the Associated Press All State Team.
Dedman attended the University of Kentucky and played football for coach Paul “Bear” Bryant before joining the U.S. Army.
He returned to Lebanon and married Faye Tribble Dedman and began his government career in 1972 when he became Lebanon’s first purchasing agent.
Hutto called Dedman a “great statesman” that knew how to deal with people, seemingly with ease. He was honored for his public service in 1998-1999 with the Lebanon High School Distinguished Service Award. Wilson County dedicated Robert Dedman Drive at the James E. Ward Ag Center last year in his honor.
Dedman was known to be humble and down-to-earth, and kept a picture of the home where he was raised on his office desk.
“He was just a remarkable man and I appreciate him so much for being a mentor to me,” Hutto said.