View image A surprise reception was held recently at the Dowell Springs offices of the insurance firm Atchley, Cunningham & Shoemaker to honor Ben Atchley, the firm’s retired partner and a former state senator.
In addition to Mike Cunningham and Ed Shoemaker, several high-profile local politicos attended the event to honor a man widely appreciated for his integrity and honesty during his many years as a legislator.
A portrait and plaque that will hang in the firm’s office were unveiled.
Among those who attended were Congressman Jimnmy Duncan; state Sen. Tim Burchett, who last week won the Republican primary for Knox County mayor; Victor Ashe, former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and former Knoxville mayor; and former TVA chairman Bill Sansom, chairman of H.T. Hackney Co.
Also attending were Ben’s wife, Sue, his son and daughter-in-law Jerry and Cathy, and his daughter Cindy.
The reception was held “to acknowledge (Atchley’s) distinguished business career and acknowledge that a post office branch, a street, and a Tennessee Veteran’s Home are named after him,” the insurance firm said in a statement.
Naming roads and buildings after elected officials is a long-standing tradition around here. Sometimes these honors are given a little too freely, it seems to me. But that’s not the case with Atchley. No one I can think of is more deserving.