“She was Tennessee’s first Madame Chairman. At a time when there were few powerful women leaders in politics or business, “Lady O’Brien” showed us with grace and style that a woman can be an influential leader.”
Anna Belle Clement O’Brien: 1923-2009
It is with deep regret that the Clement Railroad Hotel Museum announces the death of one of our founders, former Tennessee State Senator Anna Belle Clement O’Brien. Miss Anna Belle, as so many fondly called her, passed away yesterday, August 31, 2009.
Senator O’Brien attended the Grand Opening of the Clement Railroad Hotel Museum on June 2nd of this year. She had worked tirelessly to see her dream come true: that the birthplace of her brother, Governor Frank G. Clement, would become a historic site and museum that would preserve and interpret the heritage of railroading, the Civil War, Dickson County history, industry and innovation, and the significant accomplishments of Governor Clement during his three terms of office.
Among her many accomplishments, Senator O’Brien was a fierce patient advocate. She changed laws that forced medical insurance companies to cover mammograms for women, an early cancer detection procedure that saves thousands of lives each year. Furthermore, Senator O’Brien was a champion for patient rights, helping pass the law that empowered patients to control their terminal care through a living will. In the Senate, she chaired the Transportation and Education committees, the Democratic Caucus, and helped pass significant education reforms under then Governor Lamar Alexander. She is often called, “The First Lady of Tennessee Politics”.
She is survived by her sister, Emma Gene Clement Peery.
Visitation: Thursday, September 3rd, Noon until 8 p.m. at Hood Funeral Home, 2371 Highway 127 South, Crossville.
Funeral: Friday, September 4th, 11:00 a.m. at the Tansi Community Church, 2067 Cravens Drive, Crossville. There will be visitation at the church one hour prior to the funeral service.
As an expression of sympathy, Bob Clement has suggested that memorial contributions may be sent to the Clement Railroad Hotel Museum at the address below.
Clement Railroad Hotel Museum
100 Frank Clement Place
PO Box 306
Dickson, TN 37055