|Birth: ||Jan. 6, 1933|
|Death: ||Jul. 18, 2009|
An Old Guard Soldier, 3d Infantry Regiment, US Army who was a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Retired colonel and former state Commissioner of Banking Talmadge Gilley, a lifelong resident of Murfreesboro, died Saturday.
Son-in-law Wade Pope remembered Gilley as "an excellent father and father in law...The Lord really blessed us with him and we're just thankful for all the years we've had him."
As commissioner, Gilley was responsible for regulating the bank system in the state. The commissioner is appointed by the governor of Tennessee and is a member of the governor's Cabinet.
Bruce Plummer, vice president of business development with F&M Bank, said he was director of education with the Tennessee Banker's Association when Gilley was commissioner of banking.
"He was one of our better commissioners and served with several commissions," Plummer recalled. "He was a great man, because any time you can serve under that many governors you had to be pretty good."
But it was his devotion to country that Gilley will be most remembered for, including his service as a member of the Honor Guard at Arlington Cemetery. As a member of the Honor Guard, Gilley was also assigned to the Tomb Guard, where he supervised the changing of the guard each hour at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Gilley's most memorable event while on the Tomb Guard was on May 30, 1958, when remains of unknown soldiers from World War II and the Korean War were entombed on the site.
"President (Dwight) Eisenhower, Vice President (Richard) Nixon, and members of Congress from both houses were there," Gilley told The Daily News Journal in an article on the Fourth of July. "The amphitheater was filled with dignitaries except for one section, which had Gold Star mothers."
Plummer visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the early 1990s with Gilley.
"When he told me he was on the detail the day they entombed the Korean and World War II soldiers, I got chills, I was so moved. I never realized what a patriot he was," Plummer said.
The Rutherford County resident served in the Army from 1956 to 1958 and continued in the Tennessee Army National Guard from 1958 until 1989.
Gilley graduated from Kittrell High School, then from Middle Tennessee State College (1956). He was in ROTC at Middle Tennessee for three years, but joined the Army National Guard during his senior year of college. By the time he graduated, he was already an E-5 (sergeant).
Gilley is survived by his wife, Linda, of 20 years.
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 60 GRAVE 8942
Created by: John Michael
Record added: Oct 13, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43071456