June 9, 1947 - November 2, 2017
I often teased my husband, Daniel S. Tucker, that the S stood for stubborn. He would laughingly reply that he was just "determined." I'm Carolyn Puckett Tucker, his wife of 51 years, and looking back, I now agree. He was born June 9, 1947 in Altavista. His parents were Fred and Vera Tucker of Lynch Station. Dan was a short, scrawny kid who had an older brother, Fred Jr., and a younger sister, Patricia. His grandparents in Evington were W.P. and Emma Tucker. Charles and Bonnie Eggers were his grandparents in Forest. He loved that he had lots of cousins to play with when he was young. One of Dan's favorite things to do was visit W.P. At 15, Dan picked up his grandpa's habit of smoking. Throughout his life, Dan was determined to continue smoking and no one could convince him to quit. He'd say, "W.P. lived to be 100 and only quit because he went to a nursing home when he was in his late 90's." He'd joke that he wanted to be buried with a carton of Pall Malls. Being cremated would be even better because no lighter was needed. Smoking never stunted Dan's growth. He played football at Altavista High School and I met him in 1964. Our first date took place the week before we went to the prom together. We went to see a movie (Under the Yum Yum Tree) and then talked for three hours at Dude's Drive-In. We talked about our life's goals and many of those dreams came true. I became an elementary school teacher in Campbell County and Dan went into the Army and later became a police officer. I remember how comfortable we were talking with each other. We never dated anyone else and were married at Lynch Station Baptist Church on June 26, 1966. It took me the "usual" time to graduate from Lynchburg College but Dan took a less direct route that required 14 years to get his B.A. degree. He studied business administration, personnel management, and public service. He took classes at Bluefield College, University of Virginia, University of Maryland, Central Virginia Community College, FBI National Academy, and finally graduated from Lynchburg College in 1979. His education was another example of his hard work and determination despite life's detours. A major turning point was June 26, 1967 on our first wedding anniversary. Dan had enlisted in the Army and stepped onto a bus headed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Vietnam War was in full fury and he wanted to do the right thing. He was deployed to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) on the border between North and South Korea. Dan learned the value of freedom through his experiences as a Military Police officer for 13 months. He was determined to protect others even if it meant giving his own life. I joined him at Fort Ritchie, Maryland when he returned to the States in 1969. Our daughter, Sherry Lynn, joined our family that snowy December. A stray cat was our first family pet. Dan was determined to always have cats. "The more, the merrier." Dan worked with personnel records at Fort Ritchie. His supervisors recognized Dan's devotion to duty, initiative, and leadership and the fort awarded him with "Soldier of the Month." Dan was determined to do what he thought was right and best for any situation. We returned to Virginia and Dan wanted to continue as a public servant. He loved God and Country. He wanted to make life better in our area. In his career, he worked for Campbell County Sheriff's Department, Virginia Department of Corrections, and Hurt Police Department. He ran for Sheriff twice which shows his determination and dedication to local law enforcement. As a hobby, Dan learned to restore old license plates to help his father Fred sell them to collectors and owners of classic and antique motor vehicles. Fred was known as "Tag Man Tucker" and would travel with his wife Vera to car shows, fairs, and flea markets. Dan later became "Tag Man Two" and we would set up tables outside on weekends at Happy's Flea Market in Roanoke. Even if he didn't sell any license plates that day, he enjoyed meeting a variety of people. He loved to talk with others who had different lives and opposing viewpoints. Dan respected those who were informed and passionate about their opinions. He told me that such conversations strengthen friendships, marriages, and countries. Dan loved to discuss current events. He wanted people to vote their beliefs even if they didn't agree with him. Dan was a member of the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association. He was a Brother Mason at Campbell Lodge No. 316 in Altavista and a 32 Degree Member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in Lynchburg since 1975. He was a proud member of the American Legion for 42 years and a member-at-large with the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His passionate determination to protect gun rights inspired him to become a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. Dan's health declined and he spent most of his time at home. He loved watching Mayberry with Andy Griffith on TV. He listened to bluegrass, gospel, and early rock and roll music on the radio. He enjoyed playing with his cats and reading American military history books. When Sherry and her husband Gary Wien would visit from New Jersey, Dan would debate the Civil War and politics with them. He was determined to defend his stance. One of Dan's favorite songs to sing was "Old Dan Tucker." The lyrics are "Old Dan Tucker was a fine old man. Washed his face in a fryin' pan. Combed his hair with a wagon wheel. And died with a toothache in his heel." Our Dan Tucker died at home in Gladys on November 2, 2017. After a lifetime with Dan, I think he was right. Dan wasn't stubborn, he was a determined man, and he left his mark on many hearts. Thank you Dr. Robert Elliott for taking care of Dan as a physician and friend all these years. Thank you to the public servants who assisted me in my time of need. Our family is thankful to Finch and Finch Funeral and Cremation Service for their thoughtfulness and professionalism. Thank you Pastor W. L. Pillow for your gift of song and words of comfort. I'm deeply appreciative to the members of the American Legion representing Altavista Memorial Post 36, Gretna Post 232, and Brookneal Post 52 for their presentation of Taps during military honors. I'm grateful to the Campbell Lodge 316 A. F. and A. M. for their presentation of Masonic Rites. Thanks to family and friends who attended the service and sent their thoughts and prayers online. According to Dan's wishes, those who want to make memorials can make donations to charities of their choice.
I often teased my husband, Daniel S. Tucker, that the S stood for stubborn. He would laughingly reply that he was just "determined." I'm Carolyn Puckett Tucker, his wife of 51 years, and looking back, I now agree. He was born June 9, 1947... View Obituary & Service Information
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