Alan Broyles, one of the most well-known local political figures over the last three decades, passed away Wednesday following a tractor accident on his western Greene County farm.
He was 70.
He died doing what brought him joy – caring for the Warrensburg land owned by his family since the early 20th century.
Alan Dawson Broyles was born in 1948 to the late Savel Broyles and Willis Broyles, a leader in the agricultural community and former elected road superintendent.
He attended Warrensburg and Glenwood elementary schools and graduated from Mosheim High School before earning an associate’s degree from Hiwassee College and a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Wesleyan College.
He served his country as a member of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War-era. His service took him to the NATO Test Firing Center on the island of Crete, where he was a firing-set operator.
He was also a teacher in the county school system, where he enjoyed considerable success coaching sports teams at Mosheim School in the 1980s. Since his death, dozens of former students posted fond memories to social media.
He is perhaps best known for his decades-long career in politics. He served on the Greene County Commission in the 1980s before he was elected county executive (the former term for county mayor) in 1990.
Broyles held the post for 20 years, during which the county witnessed considerable economic growth. While serving as both mayor and chairman of the Industrial Development Board, he oversaw the development of the Mt. Pleasant Industrial Park, filled to this day with large employers.
He was re-elected as the county’s chief executive in 1994 and 1998 before losing a close re-election bid in 2002. He won the seat back in 2006, this time receiving nearly 60 percent of the vote. He won again in 2010 before retiring in 2014.
A strong conservative who worked hard to see other like-minded candidates elected, the Greene County Republican Party recruited Broyles to serve as chairman following his retirement as mayor. He held that position until his death. His commitment to the party was reflected by his collection of hundreds of elephant figurines, the Republican mascot.
He always credited his beloved wife, Peggy, for his successes.
Through the years, his interests extended far beyond politics.
He was a devoted member of Bewley’s Chapel United Methodist Church, where he served in a variety of positions, including Sunday school teacher.
A 32nd degree Mason, he was a member of The Order of the Eastern Star, American Legion Post No. 64, the Greene County Fishing & Hunting Club, the Rotary Club, Gideons International, Farm Bureau and Glenwood Ruritan, among other organizations.
Survivors include his wife of 45 years: Peggy Broyles; one brother: Clyde Willis Broyles Jr.; three sisters-in-law: Joyce Bird, Marcella Franklin and Shirley Kite; nieces and nephews and their spouses: Mark and Sarah Broyles, Nicole and Brian Miller, Tony and Gretchen Franklin, Carla Kay Lewis and Bobby Kite; great-nieces and great-nephews: Addisyn Broyles, Ethan Haynes, and Rebecca, Caleb, Sarah, Joshua and Christina Franklin; several cousins, including a special cousin: Craig White; and special friends: Dan Walker, Jay Early, O.J. Early, Alford Taylor, Winfred Taylor, Guyman Gregg, Wayne Busler, Brett Purgason, Roger Woolsey, Dr. Wade McCamey, and Karen and Rusty Ottinger.
He was preceded in death by his parents: Clyde Willis Broyles Sr. and Savel Dawson Broyles; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law: Howard and Opal Franklin.
The family will receive friends at Doughty-Stevens Funeral Home from 2-7 p.m. Saturday.
Funeral services will be Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Bewley’s Chapel United Methodist Church. The Rev. Mark Barber, Mr. John Pursley and the Rev. Danny Ricker will officiate. A eulogy will be given by O.J. Early.
Interment will follow in Bewley’s Chapel Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Dan Walker, W.T. Daniels, Winfred Taylor, Alford Taylor, Brett Purgason and Jay Early.
Honorary pallbearers will be Craig White and the men of Bewley’s Chapel United Methodist Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Bewley’s Chapel Cemetery, c/o Paulette Fezell, 4930 Warrensburg Road, Greeneville, TN 37743.