Obituary: Gary L. Tucker

Gary Tucker

Gary L. Tucker

Sept. 25, 1954 ~ July 6, 2018

Gary Lee Tucker passed away on July 6, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif., from cardiopulmonary arrest brought on by atherosclerosis disease from which he’d suffered from for two decades.

Gary was born on Sept. 25, 1954, in Grand Junction, Colo., to Vern Ivan and Elizabeth Lorraine (neé Foster) Tucker. His father worked in road construction. During his childhood, Gary, along with his family, followed his father’s work living in small towns in western Colorado, including Meeker. Gary also lived in Rossville, Kansas and, for a time, Price, Utah. The family returned to Meeker in 1969.

He was a precocious child. At the age of three, he could identify different cars on the road and understood the difference between a Cadillac and a Ford.  After his parents bought a set of Encyclopedia Britannica, Gary’s mother finally had to insist that Gary go outside and play for 20 minutes a day. Otherwise, Gary would stay inside and read all day. Gary read all 20 volumes during his elementary and junior high school years. He was an avid reader throughout his life. When his heart finally gave out, Gary was at his laptop reading.

He graduated from Meeker High School in 1972, with honors, and attended the University of Colorado, and the University of Colorado Denver. He also attended college in New York.

Gary’s career choices were diverse. He worked as a stockbroker, construction worker, including foreman, short order cook, and hotel manager. Through the Cornell School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, Gary taught interns while employed at the Statler Hotel. He was also banquets manager for the Statler. He worked for a catering company in Chicago whose most notable client was Harpo (Oprah Winfrey) Productions.  In Los Angeles in 2015, Gary made one of his dreams come true, co-founding Seven Realms Group, an investment company projected to have four areas of focus in primarily frontier and emerging nations and territories: water and transportation infrastructure projects, reforestation and renewal and protection of wetlands worldwide, and funding for disaster relief.

No matter his means of a livelihood, his family always felt Gary missed his calling. Since his high school years in Meeker where Gary worked as a student aide at the elementary school, and then became involved in the summer school program, Gary thrived in the presence of small children. And the children thrived back. He loved to educate them, play with them, and entertain them. It was a mutual admiration society. Children adored Gary. Gary adored them right back.

Gary moved seamlessly throughout society. Whether he was standing in perfect attendance to Princess Diana at an event dinner being held at Cornell, having coffee and conversing with peers from the financial industry or sitting on a park bench visiting with a homeless woman, Gary had no sense of social class or distinction.  All who knew him respected him. Many loved him.

Gary was committed to helping the homeless. During his lifetime he mentored people who found themselves on the streets without a home or job. He had success helping those less fortunate regain their footing, get a job and eventually find a home becoming, once again, productive members of society.

In his later years, living in apartment buildings that did not allow pets, Gary always fed and took care of the neighborhood stray cats.

His parents preceded Gary in death. His brothers survive him: Norman Tucker (Tracy) of Bloomfield, N.M., Paul and Keith Tucker of Grand Junction; and his sister, Verleen Tucker of Steamboat Springs; his two nephews, Roy Brumback of Longmont, and James Neil Brumback of Firestone; three grand-nephews and nieces, Dylan and Makenna Brumback of Longmont and Skylar Brumback of Firestone. He also leaves behind a host of friends from around the world too numerous to name here.

His family and friends will hold him in their hearts and memories all the days of their lives.

Gary’s memorial service will be held on Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Meeker.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Gary’s name to homeless shelters, a mental health organization or your local humane society.