Cover photo for Maj. Lenard Earl Tucker's Obituary
Maj. Lenard Earl Tucker Profile Photo

Maj. Lenard Earl Tucker

July 1, 1924 — January 26, 2024

Cedar Park, Texas

Maj. Lenard Earl Tucker

 

Major Lenard E. Tucker, USMC (Ret)

Born in Waco, Texas in 1924 to Earl and Loucile Talley Tucker, Lenard Earl Tucker passed away peacefully on January 26, 2024 in Cedar Park, Texas.  He was six months shy of turning 100.

Len and his family moved to Fairfield, Illinois in 1938 , where he met his future wife, Louise Hearn.   It was a relationship that would last for 81 years.

Len joined the U.S. Marine Corps in August 1941, finishing boot camp just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor in December.  Len was immediately deployed, serving in the World War II Pacific Theater in Samoa, Guadalcanal, New Zealand, and finally on Tarawa, where he was wounded and evacuated to Hawaii. Len was awarded a Purple Heart for his actions in Tarawa.

After Len’s recuperation in Hawaii , he and Louise were married on August 19, 1944 in Fairfield, Illinois and left immediately for San Francisco, California. Over the next 10 years, all three of their children would be born in the San Francisco area.   Len served a total of 24 years in the Marine Corps, with posts in San Francisco, California; Albany, Georgia; Japan;  Parris Island, South Carolina; and, finally, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  He retired in 1965 and moved the family to Longview, Texas, where he took a year off apprenticing with a home builder.  A life-long woodworker, these advanced building skills would serve him well later in life. Len and family then relocated to Arlington, Texas where he began a second career with Kroger/SuperX corporation.

One vacation trip to the Texas Hill Country was all it took for both Len and Louise to fall in love with the area.  Len retired again in 1976 and they relocated to the Tierra Linda Ranch in Kerrville, TX. It was here where they designed and built their dream home, doing much of the work themselves.  Len and Louise stayed on “the ranch” for nearly 40 years, with Len always working on projects to add on to and improve the home and property.

Len had started flight training in 1960 and obtained his commercial multi-engine pilots license and flight instructor license.  Continuing his love for flying at Tierra Linda, Len operated a charter flight business working with Care Flight, an air ambulance transport service.  He also had a flight and ground training school at the Tierra Linda airport. At one point, he was also manager of the Tierra Linda Airport.  

Len and Louise were both very involved with the First Christian Church in Kerrville. Len served as Deacon, Property Chairman, Pastoral Relations Committee, Long-Range Planning Committee, Stained Glass Committee and Parsonage Committee. Louise was very active in volunteer work, working with the hospital in Kerrville as an aide as well as serving on many committees in the church.  Louise played the piano for Sunday services for many years.

When not building or flying, Len also studied stained glass and set up a workshop/studio, producing multiple windows for the First Christian Church, as well as many windows and glass pieces for family and friends.  Along with stained glass, Len’s other hobby was woodworking.  He built desks, chests, and cabinets, as well as many decks, workshops and fences for family and friends.  

Another passion of Len and Louise’s was motorhoming.  Thay started traveling in a borrowed motor home, which led to the purchase of the first of many motor homes. Their most memorable trip was a three-month long trip to Alaska, with them taking their young grandson Corey along for part of the trip.  In their years of traveling in the RV, they were able to go through every state in the union, except Hawaii, often traveling with friends in a caravan.   Even in the last months of Len’s life, he still talked about getting another motorhome and hitting the road again.

A major stroke in 2006 slowed Len down but did not stop him.  He re-learned how to walk and talk and just kept on going.  He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 but beat this as well. In 2014, after continuing to suffer mini strokes (TIAs), and along with Louise’s failing health and their loss of mobility, they decided to sell their beloved ranch and move to the Austin area to be near family. Ever the independent Marine, Len and Louise continued to live independently until dementia and Alzheimer’s were diagnosed.  They moved into a Memory Care home in 2019.  Louise passed away in July of 2019 after a series of strokes. Len would follow 4 ½ years later.

Len was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 75 years, Louise Hearn Tucker, his mother, Loucile Tucker Jones, father Earl Tucker, brother Donald Ray Tucker, sister Doris Hefner and many other much loved aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.  He was also predeceased by a great grandson, Michael Alvarado.  He is survived by his three children: daughters Linda Gitter (Robert) and Patricia Davis (Bill), son Michael Tucker (Camille), and his brother Jack Tucker (Linda); Nine grandchildren: Kristen Bell Guthrie (John), Stephanie Bell, Christopher Johnson (Lisa), Corey Tucker, Leah Tucker Hilburn (Greg), Andrew Tucker (Priscilla), Jacquelyn Davis Duran (Jerry), Janice Davis, and Stefanie Davis; Ten great-grandchildren: Aiden Guthrie, Jack, Ian and Paige Johnson, Maverick Tucker, Alexis Dixon, Savannah, Sebastian and Sophia Duran and Lulu Alverado.  He is also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins on both sides of the family.

Always the loyal military wife, Louise did not want to have a service alone without Len; therefore, there will be a joint memorial service honoring both Len and Louise on Saturday, March 23rd at 1:00 at the Kerrville Funeral Home in Kerrville, Texas.

Anyone wishing to honor their memories with a donation, please consider either the Tierra Linda Volunteer Fire Department, Wounded Warriors, the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice. Please keep their memories alive in your thoughts and prayers.

    Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of the professionals at Kerrville Funeral Home. (830) 895-5111

 

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Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Reception will follow

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