DeVan Dumas Ard, Jr., of Franklin, TN, passed away on Thursday, June 23 at the age of 67. He is survived by his wife, Karen Ard; five children: DeVan III (35), Andy (31), Kristina Pulido (30), Brianna Brunson (29), and Alexandra Taber-Ard (25); six grandchildren; and two brothers, Garry (66) and Jimmy (63).
DeVan began his career with AmSouth Bank in 1981 in Birmingham, AL. He held various positions in banking before founding Reliant Bank in 2006 in Franklin, TN. He was a leader in the Nashville area business community and was beloved by his colleagues, who described Reliant as a “family.” (As a younger executive DeVan would even submit to a dunk tank to motivate and amuse employees.) DeVan oversaw Reliant’s growth into one of the largest local banks in Tennessee before it was acquired by United Community Banks of Greenville, SC this year.
DeVan was also active with Nashville nonprofits. He founded the We Are Building Lives Foundation, which helps veterans transition to civilian life, a reflection of his deep patriotism; he served as the Foundation’s board chair until 2020. He was also a member of the Rotary Club of Nashville, past Chairman of the Adventure Science Center, and past president of the PENCIL Foundation. Many will remember his unusual talent for service as well as leadership.
DeVan was a loving father, husband, and friend; above all, he was a devout Christian. He was an ardent Alabama football fan, sometimes counting down for his family the days until the season began. He loved to travel, and there was no book about World War II that he would not read. His gentle spirit was a source of much comfort and strength to those around him.
A memorial service will be held at Christ Presbyterian Church, 2323 Old Hickory Blvd., Nashville, TN. 37215 on Tuesday, June 28 at 3:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to We Are Building Lives at https://www.wearebuildinglives.org/donate by going to their website and clicking the donate today” button. Please place “in Memory of DeVan Ard” in the for section. Any checks can be mailed to: We Are Building Lives, 2000 Mallory Lane, Suite 130-166, Franklin, TN. 37067 or to The Boys and Girls Club of America at https://bgca.org