SYRENA MORRIS TUCKER Syrena Morris Tucker was born in St. Louis in 1918 and spent her early years on the Audrain Farm near Centralia, MO before moving to Kansas City. She was the only child of Ben and Lucy Morris. Her father was a farmer and Baptist Minister. Her mother was a vibrant part of the community and active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Syrena's early school years were in Centralia and then she moved to Liberty, MO to attend high school and William Jewell college, graduating with a Biology Degree in 1940. During a blind date in her junior year in college she met and later married John Tucker, who was also a junior at the college. Unknown to them until the blind date, they had previously met as students in a German language class in the fall of 1938. Their marriage in the spring of 1939 lasted for over 75 years until Syrena's passing in July 2014. After graduating from William Jewell, she attended Louisiana State University (LSU) to pursue her Master's in Social Work. Syrena graduated with her Master's Degree in 1942, one of very few women to achieve this goal in the early 1940's. After her first year at LSU, she had a summer fellowship for advanced work in her field in New York City. With the start of WWII, she moved with John several times, as he became part of the war effort. They ultimately settled in Los Alamos where they lived until 1982. Syrena was an active member of the Los Alamos community. She worked at the Los Alamos Laboratory for 13 years for Dr. Louis Rosen, a renowned particle physicist. She also worked in the Los Alamos schools as a teacher for home bound students. In addition, she was a 40-year volunteer with the American Red Cross. Her Red Cross involvement, mainly providing assistance to military members from Los Alamos and northern NM, was so extensive that the Red Cross installed a dedicated "red" phone for her use at home. Syrena was also an entrepreneur, opening a weaving shop in White Rock -- The Sinking Shed. After 35 years in Los Alamos, Syrena and John moved to Denver and then to Lee's Summit MO, before moving back to Santa Fe in 2010. They had returned to within a few blocks of the hotel where they stayed on their first night in New Mexico in 1947. With all of her activities, she still found the time to raise three children, Larry, Sue and Ben. Her later years saw her enjoying her three children, two grand children and four great grand children. Syrena was a stranger to no one and a friend to everyone-a true preacher's daughter. She will be missed by her many friends, both residents and staff at El Castillo and very much missed by her family. The Tucker family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the wonderful staff at El Castillo. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Syrena's name to the First Baptist Church of Santa Fe, 1605 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe NM, 87505 or to the American Red Cross in New Mexico 7445 Pan American West Fwy. NE Albuquerque, NM 87109, or to El Castillo Retirement Community, 250 East Alameda SF NM 87501. A memorial service will be at 3pm on Monday 4 August 2014 at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM. Family and Friends are asked to meet at the Berardinelli Funeral Home, 1399 Luisa St, Santa Fe, NM at 2:00 PM to proceed to the National Cemetery. Berardinelli Family Funeral Service 1399 Luisa Street Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505) 984-8600 Please sign our guestbook for the family at: www.berardinellifuneralhome.com
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Berardinelli Family Funeral Service
1399 Luisa Street
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Aug. 1, 2014