VEC Board Chairman Passes Away at 74

Gene Carmichael, who served as chairman of the VEC Board of Directors since 1987, passed away Friday, July 22 at the age of 74.

A lifelong McMinn County resident, Carmichael was first elected to the VEC Board of Directors in 1974 and helped guide the cooperative through a period that saw tremendous growth and significant challenges throughout the energy industry.

He was a son of the late Curtis and Grace Whiteside Carmichael and was also preceded in death by a brother, James H. Carmichael.

He was a member of Calhoun First Baptist Church. He was a 1955 Calhoun High School graduate, and was honored for his career in agriculture, including serving on a number of agricultural-related organizations.

Gene was a member of the Valley Farmers Cooperative board and was a member of the board of directors of the Dairy Farmers of America in 2003. He was also a member of the Calhoun Cemetery Board and he served a tour of duty with the Tennessee National Guard.

He is survived by his wife, Clara Brannon Carmichael; two sons and daughters-in-law: Rod and Donna Carmichael and Russ and Tina Carmichael; one grandson, Cole Carmichael, all of Riceville; one stepgrandson and his wife, Chris and Shannon Cassada;two stepgreat-grandsons: Teigan Cassada and Raliegh Cassada; one sister and brother-in-law, Mildred and Jerry Prince of Riceville; one uncle and his wife, Jack and Betty Whiteside of Riceville; two aunts: Helen Scoggins of Etowah and Sue Goodwin of Houston; and several nieces and cousins.