Saturday, 20 October 2012

Eulogy for David Harry Tucker

Following is the text of the eulogy that my sister Nancy wrote and read at my father's funeral.

David HarryTucker  Sept 10, 1943 - Sept 20, 2012
March 2008 with his grand daughter Zoe

·        Born in St. Catharine’s to Anthony and Sophia

·        Older siblings Joan and Jerry

·        Built and Raced in soap box derby

·        Played accordion with Walter Ostenek

·        Played the trumpet in a school band

·        Played on the school floor hockey team

·        Worked at Coy brother’s department store as a delivery boy.

·        Worked at the White Rose gas station where he met his lifelong friend Jim Ellis

·        Went to Toronto to obtain his auto mechanics license and was  in the  top the  percentile for all of Ontario, my dad was a very smart man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brilliant really.

·        He wanted to be an RCMP officer but at that time they didn’t allow men to join if they wore glasses.
  1. David, daughter Nancy, wife Elaine, at Toronto Airport 2002, Nancy's return from Japan.

·         Met his sweetheart at the AYPA the Anglican Young People Association

·        Married the love of his life Elaine and made 4 marvelous loving children

·        With his father, Tony, he established Linwell Texaco, gas station and auto repair.

·        Dave Tucker Auto Repair.  His father joined him during his retirement.

·        My parents were both Sunday school teachers at the Good Shepherd church

·        Dave took his children on an adventure of their life in the late 70’s to live in St. Vincent, West Indies, where he ran a scuba diving business. His business didn’t thrive financially but he said that it was the best time of his life and was worth every penny spent. He got to spend quality time with his children and scuba dive and boat almost every day.  The volcano erupted when we lived there and my dad had a boat and being the great guy he was must have told at least 50 people that he would take them off the island if the eruptions continued. The boat would only hold about 10 people and there were already 4 of us. He took National Geographic to take pictures of the eruption.  Dad took us diving on a ship wreck  in the Caribbean.

·        He was of service to the government of St. Vincent  when they asked him to go on a recovery mission offshore of one of the small islands for a   plane crash  that had been carrying a number of government officials.

·        He loved boating and sailing and successfully completed all the Canadian Power Squadron classes. Him and his son David bought a sailboat and was proud to be a member of the Fanshawe Yacht Club where he kept his boat and sailed.  He also volunteered at several open houses at the club and encouraged others in safe boating practices.
David(seated on the ground), daughter Heather, wife Elaine, grandson Alex , Febrary 2002
·        Tri-Lift Equipment Rentals.  Working with his wife Elaine and his son-in-law Marcus and for a few years with his son David.  After 18 years, Elaine and Dave retired.

·        His children and grandchildren meant more to him than anything. His plan was to make sure every grandchild made it to Walt Disney World. To him is was the most magical place on earth and when he was there he would walk around singing the Song “ Zip a Dee  Do da Zip A Dee Day, my oh my what a wonderful day”.
March 2007 - Shannon's birthday

·        He always thought that any adventure was better  when one of the grand kids was with him. He would call up his daughters and say something like “ get the kids ready I am taking them”, even if he had to borrow their car with the car seat.

·        He took his grandchild Alex to every  Dam in Southwestern Ontario, took the kids to  the beach, ice rinks, skating shows, soccer games, dance recitals, air shows, trips to Michigan, ride trains, flea markets amusements parks, shopping, McDonalds, for haircuts, graduations,  deep dark woods as the kids called it, walks in bogs, toy shows, story brook gardens, sundaes at McDonalds, the western fair, car shows,  figurine shopping, African Lion Safari. the  Zoo, the CN Tower, Niagara Falls,

·        He told me once when Ben was young and I was taking Ben to the Mall that I had to buy the kids a toy each time we went out. Every time the kids went out with him they got something, sometimes when money was tight it was a visit to the dollar store but they got something. He wanted to give them special moments.  He was a very giving man.
2002 at his father's 93 birthday, father Tony, Aunt Olga, Elaine, David

·        His 4 children meant the world to him. You could always count on him to be there for you. It didn’t matter if you had just ‘ticked’ him off, he still was there for you. You could call him collect in the middle of the night from Taiwan, you could ask him to move you back and forth to university every 4 months.  He gave his children jobs when they needed them, or called his friends who owned businesses,  took them on trips to Disney, trips to amusement parks like Hershey Park, in Pennsylvania, he even took Heather’s penpal from New York with us ( I think he wanted to go as much as we did) bought us all cross country skis and ice skates so we could do winter sports together, bought a canoe so we could spend time on the rivers, we went fishing but wouldn’t have known what to do with a fish if we had managed to catch one,  as kids, he used to take us to Avondale Dairy in Niagara-on-the-Lake,  for ice cream every Sunday. He  showed us that the world was bigger than our own back yard.

·        His Favourite holiday was  Halloween, he would decorate the yard , hang up up giant spiders. Loved giving out candy, loved seeing  the little kids in their costumes.
Oct 2007 at Andrew's 14th birthday

·        He loved the colour orange. You could never have too much orange in your house or on your clothing.

·        He had a passion for  chocolate cake. I remember  one time we went to HoJos (Howard Johnsons ) for dessert and Linda Devoe, a friend of the family, arrived there before dad, she described dad to the waitress  and said whatever you do don’t give him chocolate cake because he goes crazy. Of course, when he tried to order  chocolate cake he was so disappointed when she said they had none because he had seen some on the shelf when he walked in.

·        He had an appreciation for Tim Horton’s.  Whenever he picked us girls up at school we could count on a trip to Timmy’s.  Whenever he drove from London to St. Catharines to visit his mom he would stop at up to 3 Tim Hortons just to find a gingerbread man for Mom and me., and he didn’t mind doing it, because he knew it made us happy so he was happy.  No matter where we were driving, he always seemed to know exactly where the next Tims would be.
At his mother's 90th birthday. David, sister Joan , mother Sophia, brother Jerry. 2006

·         At Christmas He believed that if If you don’t believe in Santa you didn’t receive.  He walked around singing Christmas carols all year. I think part of that was because he knew the words.

·        Always had a youthful childlike persona. Would play jokes on his kids, like put a snake under their pillow to scare them in the night.  He put a rubber rat in the front garden and scared the neighbor. He loved his toys.  he had a stuffed Eeyore that he used to talk to and ask him questions.  He believed no one was ever too old to have fun.

·        President of Lakers car club during high school.

·        He was a drag strip racer and one time was the Canadian champion.  the trophy was taller than all of his children.  As a family, we spent many Sundays at the races.
David trying his hand at machine quilting, 2002

·        He loved to travel and made many trips to Alberta to visit his baby girl. He loved going up into the  mountains and enjoyed all the falls and icefields and the beef. He also traveled to Alaska, Vancouver, Moosinee , Chicago, Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal, Detroit Motor City after being invited by Ford Motor Company, train trips, an day trip with his lovely wife and grandchildren. He loved bus trips.
Daughter Nancy, wife Elaine, David, Niagara Falls July 2011

·        He was the best read man I knew and if you needed to know what was going on in the world he would know since he watched the news religiously. You could have the greatest conversations with him. Even the last week of his life. He told me Nancy there was a tsunami  in Japan. His thirst for knowledge never ended.  He was never without a novel.  Often he would have several on the go at the same.  Even those 6 and 7 hundred page books, were read in two or three days.

·        Dad loved coming to visit us girls at the university of Waterloo Residence. He loved all the kids, he would eat in the cafeteria, chat with the other students, tell them stories about Heather and I. He was impressed how studious we were. One time I had my arms around my dad and hugging him and later someone asked me who my new boyfriend was.  they thought I had picked him up at the semi-formal the night before. I said what that’s my dad, he just looks young.
With grandsons Ben and Andrew

·        So one time when we lived in St. Vincent, Heather wanted to invite the Prime Minister of  the country’s wife to our school’s fashion show. so he said Ok sure whatever and on the way to school stopped at the gate of the prime ministers house while heather trotted up to the gate and asked the guard to deliver the invite to her. Dad always backed up whatever we wanted to do.

·        That’s my dad the lovely man David Tucker that you are all here to celebrate his wonderful life.

Trying out the wheel on a pirate ship

Following is the song we played at end of David's funeral.  It was the perfect ending to the service.


Nancy said...

Hearher this is great i loved that you added some pictures and the Zip -A-Dee Doo DAh song at the end.
love your sister

Paulina said...

I had never met your father, but it seems that he was a wonderful, accomplished man. I suspect you got your great love of reading from him. It's very cool that he played with Walter Ostenek!

Chinoiseries said...

I may not have had the honour to meet your father, but he seems like a wonderful man who loved life, was a great father, grandfather and husband, a spark of inspiration and joy till the very end.

His eulogy is beautiful. My thoughts go out to you in these difficult times.

Anonymous said...

wonderful tribute ,he sounds like a wonderful man ,all the best stu