Harry “Tuck” Alva Tucker, Jr.
Aug. 2, 1915~Feb. 11, 2009
Ninty-three-year-old Harry “Tuck” Alva Tucker, Jr., from Meeker, Colo., passed away Feb. 11, 2009, surrounded by family and the angels of the Hospice Center at the Veteran’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo.
Harry was born to Harry Alva Sr. and Hazel Tebeau Tucker, Aug. 2, 1915, in Denver, Colo., spending his childhood there with his father’s and mother’s extended families. The Tebeau family was a part of the founding fathers of Denver. Harry often spoke with pride and dignity of his family and his North Denver High School days. He was an all state athlete three years in a row in football and hockey.
From North High he graduated with a football scholarship. Traveling on to Colorado State College of Education, Greeley, Colo., he participated in basketball, football, baseball, wrestling and hockey. He was graduated with a degree in special studies. It was Harry’s honor to participate in the National Guard during his school years.
Harry took his first job in Sterling, Colo., teaching elementary education and coaching. There he met a beautiful athletic teacher Ethel “T” Shoemaker with whom he celebrated 50-plus years of marriage. From that union were born two sons, Harry (Chips) Alva, III of Grand Junction and Thomas T. of Fort Collins, Colo. The pride he expressed many a time as the boys followed in their parents’ footsteps, Harry III, attending West Point, now practicing law, and Thomas a degree in education, later becoming a real estate broker.
Harry was drafted into the United States Army Air Force in World War II, becoming a physical fitness trainer and later a pilot. After serving his time he returned to teaching in Denver, Colo. He was recalled to serve in the Korean War. He flew in and out of Goose Bay, Alaska, and served as postmaster in Goose Bay. Captain Harry A. Tucker, Jr. retired from the Air Force as athletic director of the Fort Logan Hospital, in Denver, with dignity and pride after 20 years of service to his country.
Tuck and “T” moved to Meeker, Colo., purchasing the historic Buford Store and Lodge. Both Tuckers continued to teach until the property was paid for and then Harry remained working at Buford full time while “T” continued teaching until her retirement. Harry operated Buford for more than 50 years becoming one of the oldest business owners in the area, Harry was the oldest license agent for the Division of Wildlife and along with Glen Frazier’s Ute Lodge, and Bob Hilkey’s Adams Lodge, instigated and helped in the formation of the Colorado Guide and Outfitters Association.
During Harry’s years at Buford, he served his community through the school board, ran for county commissioner, was very active in the Democratic Committee and served many positions at the Buford Community Club.
Harry had the happiest moments of his life at the Buford Store retaining the nostalgic memories of the past, creating new memories and just enjoying life in general, with the people who stopped to visit about history, yesterday, today and tomorrow, fishing, hunting, weather and directions and just a mite of gossip.
Harry was preceded in death by his wife, Ethel, and his sister, Charlotte.
Harry is survived by his wife Betty, his two sons, Harry (Chips), Tom, six grandchildren, Christy, Steve, Mark, Andrea, Jodi, Jamie and four great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by five step-children, Debbie, Lynn, Wayne, Bruce and Amber.
A memorial service will be held Satruday, Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m. from Cochran Memorial Chapel. A reception will follow in the Mountain Valley Bank Community Room. A celebration of Harry’s life will be held April 25, 2009, in Buford. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Buford Community Club through Cochran Memorial Chapel. A time of farewell was held Monday at the funeral home.
Cochran Memorial Chapel was entrusted with the funeral arrangements.
Harry “Tuck” Alva Tucker, Jr.