Christopher Rucker June 7, 1956 - April 20, 2014 SOUTH BEND - Christopher Rucker was born on June 7, 1956, in Benton Harbor, MI, to Eddie and Louise (Forest) Rucker. The youngest of 5 children, Chris was born with sickle cell anemia and worked his entire life to ensure that his condition never defined him. He graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1975 and briefly attended Lake Michigan College while working multiple jobs to establish his independence. In 1986, Chris met Jacquelyn Burns at Faith Christian Center in South Bend, Indiana, and later that year they wed. They made their home in South Bend and gave birth to two children: Christopher Benjamin Rucker and Jillian Burns Rucker. Chris was a man of strong faith and student of the Word of God. One of the verses he lived by was Mark 11:24: "Therefore I say unto you, what things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them." After working in the Environmental Services Department of Memorial Hospital for almost 10 years, he decided to start his own venture. In 1999, Chris started Integrity Commercial Cleaning Services, with the assistance of Jackie, fulfilling a lifelong dream of being self-employed. Though the business grew from one account to dozens over the years, he always placed God and his family first. Chris was young at heart and always shared his youthful spirit with his children, from coaching Jillian's sports teams to playing video games with Christopher (or without him). He sought to raise awareness of sickle cell in the Michiana area and remind people, particularly children, that sickle cell does not have to keep you from achieving your dreams. Chris peacefully went home be with the Lord on April 20, 2014, after a bedside Resurrection Day message presented for him and his family by his pastor and friend Rev. Rickardo Taylor. In addition to his wife and children, Chris is remembered by his father, Eddie Rucker Jr., brother, Arthur Rucker, sisters, Linda Rucker Wooden, Patricia (Lawrence) Eddie, and Elaine Rucker Herrion, and a host of nieces, nephews, and beloved friends. Services for Christopher Rucker will be held on Friday, April 25, 2014, in Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, 1620 St. Joseph Street, South Bend. Visitation will begin at 11:00 a.m. and funeral service at 12:00 p.m. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery. Sign his guestbook at www.clarkoneal.com. Arrangements entrusted to the Clark-O'Neal Funeral Home.
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Published in South Bend Tribune on Apr. 23, 2014