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TUCKER LTC GARY LYNN TUCKER US Army, (Ret.) Died of leukemia September 20, 2013 in San Antonio, TX. He was born November 7, 1944 in Long Beach, California and was a proud third generation Californian. A life-long student, Gary received a BA from Oklahoma State University, an MA from Georgia State University, and pursued doctoral studies at the University of Oklahoma. A valiant warrior and patriot, LTC Tucker was a distinguished and highly decorated Infantry Officer. While serving with the 1st Infantry Division (ID) in Viet Nam he was presented the Distinguished Service Cross by President Richard Nixon. Other awards included the Combat Infantry Badge, three Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars including one with Valor device, and four purple hearts. He particularly enjoyed tours at West Point where he took up running and skiing, and Germany where he became an avid Volksmarcher. An assignment in Iceland confirmed his fascination with and love for bird watching. After retirement he continued to work with military veterans groups including the 1st Infantry Division Association, the Second Infantry Regiment Association Viet Nam, and the Society of the First Infantry Division. A highlight of his year was working with the scholarship award program for the Society of the 1st Infantry division. A noted raconteur, the size of the tales he told was directly related to the credibility of the audience. He loved puns, word games, crossword puzzles and books on the origin and use of language. One summer shortly after graduating from High School, he read the dictionary cover to cover fascinated with the arcane origin of words. He was an avid reader of history with an amazing memory for details, names and places. Notably grumpy when dealing with noisy children, waiting in line, and differing political view he was also charming and made friends easily. Never able to get the pet squirrel he wanted, Gary pampered his cats and was convinced they could learn tricks if they would just put their minds to it. A one-time runner and skier he decided a life of leisure was more for him and in later life focused on gardening, cooking shows, animal shows and constructing military models. While sitting on the deck grilling with friends and family while he would debate the virtues of propane vs. charcoal and extol the virtues of one type of wood over another. That was when he would say that life didn't get any better. Preceded in death by his parents, Etta Lee Tucker and Edward Leroy Tucker, he is survived by his wife of 40 years, Patricia (nee Tullis); his son Gary of San Antonio; his brother, Timothy Tucker and his sisters, Brenda Lee Gesinger and Anna Marie Taylor. Interment and memorial service will be at Arlington National Cemetery, January 22, 2014 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Society of the 1st Infantry Division scholarship program. You are invited to sign the Guestbook at www.porterloring.com Arrangements with PORTER LORING MORTUARY NORTH 2102 NORTH LOOP 1604 EAST SAN ANTONIO, TX 78232 - (210) 495-8221
Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 3, 2013