April 1, 1929 - September 20, 2016
William Lewis Tucker AKA Bill, Dad, Granddaddy, Mr. Tucker, and “Mr. Uncle Bill Sir”, passed away on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at Prestonwood Court Senior Living in Plano, TX where he lived with his wife of 65 years, Ruth Gene Leming Tucker. Born on April 1, 1929 in Jackson, Missouri, he was 87 years old.
Everyone who knew Bill will remember him as a character with a sly sense of humor and almost all who attend will certainly have a “tale to tell” at his Celebration of Life. He was a loving husband, wonderful father, adored grandfather, grumpy, but funny uncle, friend and mentor to many. He was an excellent baker. Many folks have eaten “Uncle Billy’s” famous biscuits, cakes or beef jerky that they purchased at church auctions. He loved to grow flowers and the Tucker House on Estates Way in Carrollton always looked like a professional nursery. He maintained a beautiful pool that he rarely got in unless it was a late night rendezvous with Ruth Gene.
He met Ruth Gene when they were in high school. Bill lived in Jackson, Missouri and Ruth Gene in the bigger city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. When Bill first saw her she was wearing a white painter’s jumpsuit that had “Leming” written on the back and, from what we hear, it was love at first sight.
Bill’s parents, now deceased, were Joseph Benjamin Tucker and Annie Ruth Trickey. “Joe Ben” died tragically when Bill was a young boy. Annie later married Elmer Ginter and had a daughter, Cheryl “Fritzi” Ginter, Bill’s sister.
He married Ruth Gene Tucker on February 24th 1951 at Centenary Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau. They had four boys: Will, Scott, Bruce and Jeff – all being fortunate to grow up on Manor Drive in Florissant, Missouri. It was the perfect kid neighborhood made of 26 houses with kids in most every house, many of whom are still friends of the family today.
Bill went to Southeast Missouri State and acquired 86 hours in a pre-legal program. Deciding, in 1950, to go to work so that he could support his soon to be wife, he started out as a lineman for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, working there for 2 years. The story goes that he fell off a telephone pole and decided that this might not be his “ideal” career path. He moved into office work with the phone company in Flat River, Missouri and, in March of 1956 got a job as a retail sales rep with Gulf Oil Corporation. He quickly moved up the ranks with Gulf, and after a training course in New Orleans in 1956, the family moved to the house on Manor Drive. In 1974, Gulf Oil transferred Bill to Dallas as the Marketing Sales Manager for the Dallas district, which included four southern states. After Gulf was bought out by Chevron, he retired at age 55. It was after his retirement that his love for baking and gardening began. Having spare time, he also worked on a freelance basis with Grant Sales selling carwashes to many of the same contacts he had made in his years in the oil business.
Bill was an active member of the United States Naval Reserve from 1947-1955 and then on inactive reserve from 1955-1959. He received an honorable discharge on April 4, 1959 as a Yeoman Second Class. We thank him and all military members past and present for their service to our country.
Bill is survived by the love of his life, Ruth Gene Leming Tucker, his sister Cheryl “Fritzi” Ginter, his four boys and their families. Will and Deb Tucker and their children Caitlin and Carson, Scott and Heather Tucker and their daughter Sally, Bruce Tucker, his late wife Donna, Bruce’s girlfriend Lynette Heath and his daughters Jessica Tucker and Autumn Cline, her husband Chris, their children Cash, and newborn twins Beau and Colt, and Jeff and Donna Tucker with their sons, Harold Tucker and Chad Tucker with his wife Lindsey and their children Juliet and Waylon. There are also many others, including Ruth Gene’s sister Lois Woodford, brother Paul and his wife Barbara Leming, and her late brother Buddy Leming and his widow, Barbara, along with all of their children and grandchildren who round out the family.
A Celebration of Life for Bill Tucker will be held at Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch, TX on October 12th at 2PM. A reception will follow immediately at the church and the festivities will continue at the home of Will and Deb Tucker. Bring your best “Bill” stories.
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