Robert Tucker enjoyed life. He was a gentleman, a faithful husband of 53 years, a loyal father of four and grandfather of a dozen. He had even moved into the ranks of great-grandfather with four great-grandchildren. Robert and Lil Tucker were a delightful couple who had been part of the MJ congregation for 15 years.
He was a preacher and friend of preachers. He had preached at several congregations throughout this area in past years, as they had need. Perhaps it was due to his heart and love for preaching which made him a great supporter of ministers. John Brown, long-time minister who baptized the Tuckers years ago, spoke of their continual friendship. Each birthday John received a phone call serenading him in song by the Tucker duo! As ministers at MJ, he offered the kindest words of praise each time we visited. The last visit, not long before he passed away, Mrs. Lil told me as we approached the bed that he might not recognize me, but he opened his eyes and called me by name; finishing the sentence with how much he appreciated my ministry. He was a Barnabas; an encourager! Looking across the crowd at the funeral it was obvious he had encouraged many. A young couple attended who had been welcomed by Robert and Lil from the first time they visited MJ.
He was a dependable employee. He retired from American Airlines with thirty-nine and a half years of service.
He was a faithful family member. He didn’t leave his responsibilities undone, but carefully fulfilled his love to his family. He loved, honored, cherished, and nourished Mrs. Lil! He brought up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord! He was well loved by his grandchildren, and will leave a mark for generations.
As he departed on May 26, the loss is ours, not his. He was prepared. His casket had previously been picked out by him. The suit he was wearing had been laid out by Mrs. Lil on a Sunday morning to wear to church. Instead of wearing it, he asked her to put it back and save it for his death. She did. But most importantly he had made preparations for his soul. He knew the time of his death was near. But he also knew he had made preparations long before! He knew he had faithfully fought in the Lord’s battle against Satan. He knew he had stayed the course until the end. Even in later days when they were unable to come to worship they would sing, pray, listen to a sermon on tape, and take the Lord Supper because of their desire to worship God! He knew he had kept the faith. While his physical strength had slipped, his spiritual strength was “kept!” When a child of God fights the good fight, finishes the course and keeps the faith, the end is better than the beginning!
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Robert Tucker was deceased on May 26, 2004 at his home after a period of compassionate care by Mrs. Lil. He will be greatly missed, but his works will follow him.