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Gerold H. Tucker

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Memories & Candles

“Love and prayers to you, Jodie (and your family). When I happened upon this, what immediately came to mind was a joyful ride around the ranch with...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Mary Cunningham Lehman - MI

“We remember Gerold coming to the Houtchens Ranch to visit Johnie and family and to do a little hunting. He was such a nice guy and good friend to the...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Frances Houtchens Scheffelmaier - AZ

“Dear Tucker family, My prayers and thoughts are with all of you and Gerold at this time. I had the privilege of living at the bottom of Jean and...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Nancy Condit - Frenchtown, MT

“Of the mentors I had while growing up in Lolo, Tucker was the best...and my favorite. ”
4 of 8 | Posted by: Dick Larson - Phoenix, AZ

“Dear Gary and family....... It has been a long hard road for all of you.I remember going up and seeing your Dad at the top of the hill.....We fed...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: Tim & Marla Smith - Pine City, MN

“Our family is so sorry for your loss. Gerold was a very special family friend. My dad(Red Williams) and him had many great times together.He will...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Pam Williams Winstone - Missoula, MT

“Praying that the Lord will surround you with His love, and that His presence will fill you with peace. Love you ”
7 of 8 | Posted by: Brian and Jody Newlon - MT

“Gary, Becky, Jess and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. It is difficult to lose parents and grandparents. May the Lord comfort you during...Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: Evalina Heiberger - Florence, MT

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Gerold H. Tucker, 93, died peacefully with family by his side on Jan. 17, 2013 at Village Healthcare Center, Missoula. Gerold was born March 14, 1919 in Missoula, MT. to James P. and Edna Frances Henrietta (Hollensteiner) Tucker. In 1921 his parents moved to Lolo and bought the family ranch on Mormon Creek where he lived, worked and enjoyed so much. He attended Lolo Grade School 1st thru 5th grade, Woodman School 6th grade, and back to Lolo for 7th and 8th grades. He graduated from Missoula County High School in 1936. Growing up in the 20's and 30's was never easy. His father raised and sold teams of Percheron draft horses and raised cattle and potatoes. It was his job to break these teams to the harness. He often said that as soon as a team was just getting ready to pull well together they were sold and a new team had to be started. He broke his first riding horse at age 8 and was able to run every piece of horse drawn equipment by the time he was 12 which was a feat that he was proud of. After graduation he continued to run the ranch until 1939. He then went to work for Rossignol Logging hooking logs and later driving logging trucks until 1941 when duty called. Gerold entered the 91st bomb group 322nd squadron of the U.S. Air Corp. He was assigned to a B17 bomber as a waist gunner and radio operator. In August of 1943 his plane was shot down over Belgium while returning from a bomb raid. After being severely injured he was able to hide in the Belgium underground for a few months before being double crossed and turned over to the Germans. He became a POW of WWII at Stalag 17 POW camp until September of 1944. He then returned to the states after participating in a prisoner of war exchange and spent a year in Walla Walla, WA. at a military rehab center. He received two purple hearts and a silver star for his war effort that he was very proud of but spoke very little about. In 1945 he returned to Lolo to work on the ranch. He left the ranch and went to work for Zadra Logging skidding logs from 1947-1950. His skills as a caterpillar operator lead him into road construction. He worked for Miller and Strong, Bud King Construction and Rossignol Logging running road jobs in Hungry Horse, McCall ID., Libby, Perma, Trout Creek, Lochsa, and Mormon Peak Lookout. In 1955 he met and married Myrtle Spencer while in the construction business. In 1957 they returned to the ranch in Lolo to raise cattle until selling it in 1979. In 1980 he married Jean Rock and they spent the following years on numerous fishing trips with friends to Holter, Houser, Canyon Ferry, and Clark Canyon in search of the biggest fish. They were also able to take an extended trip to Australia with friends which they enjoyed. In 1993, 50 years after being in WWII, he was able to return to Belgium with his son to visit the families that cared and protected him after his B17 was shot down. It was a very memorable and emotional trip. He loved tending to his garden throughout his retirement years and spent countless hours fighting weeds. He so enjoyed giving away raspberries, tomatoes and corn to all his family and friends. He also enjoyed his two daily trips to Lolo to visit his coffee club friends and Saturday morning breakfasts. He had a gruff exterior but a heart of gold once you found your way inside. He is survived by his wife Jean; son Gary (Becky) of Lolo; daughter Jodie(John) Mackey of Hamilton; brother Wallace (Wally) of Missoula; grandchildren Jessica (Brian) Overbaugh, Garrett Tucker, Marissa Tucker, Michael Martin, Mariah Martin; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Aurel and James Tucker; sisters Helen Rigg and Jean Stephens. A special thanks to all of his coffee club friends who he will dearly miss; to Auntie Jean, Greg, Willis, Sandi and Jim for their time spent helping with Dad; and a special thanks to all the nurses , CNA's, and staff at the Village Health Care Center. Thoughts to remember him by: driving off his mountain early every morn, looking at an empty coffee cup so forlorn, a shining star on the hill at Christmas time, a fresh bag of veggies delivered off the vine, a weed that needs plucked, a windrow of hay neatly tucked, a grandchild waiting to play a game, a family man wanting no fame, a shrug of a shoulder, a rock garden needing a boulder, a man of few words but very wise, a kind, gentle man in disguise, a man always willing to help those in need, a freshly plowed field needing new seed, a "good afternoon" to those late to arrive, a favorite saying "I'm still alive", a serious game of pool to those who dared, a man whose friends knew he cared, a faithful cat never far from his lap, a pesky skunk caught in his trap, a Sunday morning sourdough hot off the grill, a horse packing trip was a very rare thrill, a hardworking man whose memory won't fade, a man who seldom took a moment to sit in the shade, a sports fan who faithfully tracked his teams, a life path was set changing his dreams, a nickname was given to all that were dear, a bounty of friends both far and near, a man that held fishing as a passion, a dirty old felt hat way out of fashion, a man of eighty-five still cutting wood, a man who would be riding "Big Red" if he could, a papa giving the wagon a push or a tug, a grandchild that needs a big hug, a man we are thankful to God to have had, a man we are proud to

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