(Written by guest blogger Nona)
Thomas Sutherland Tucker
8/24/1926 – 1/18/2003
Today is my daddy’s birthday – he would be 95 today! He died at the age of 76 due to Alzheimer’s Disease. That’s actually ironic because daddy was a brilliant man (one of only 10 freshman inducted into the honor society in college) He was also a very quiet man – but your Pop Pop knew how to ask the right questions and get him talking. That’s a great memory for me. (He was called Tommie – but he didn’t like having a nickname. My sisters and I are all named so that there wouldn’t be any nicknames.)
Daddy was born in West Jefferson, NC and maybe the mountains just were always a part of him. His family moved to Winston-Salem when he was young but he spent every summer from the day school was out until the day before school started with his Grandmother Sutherland in Ashe County on the family farm. He helped his uncles and had great relationships with them. He loved to take us to the mountains and show us all the things he loved. We could all see the change in daddy the closer he got to the mountains. (His grandmother was very sweet – we all loved her!)
Daddy graduated from NC STATE in 1949 with a mechanical engineering degree. He was drafted into the army after his freshman year and was able to finish college on the GI bill. He always said he may never have been able to finish without that. (He went to Germany as WWII was ending and was an MP -military police). This began our love for NCSU – (Jeanne, Anne, John, Allison, Tucker, Danielle, and I all have NCSU degrees!)
Daddy worked for one company his entire life! He was hired just out of college by H.E.Crawford Co. in Kernersville, NC (where I grew up) and retired from there in 1990. He began as a mechanical engineer – drawing parts for the machines they made which made men’s socks and ended as vice-president in charge of production. He loved the company and the people who worked there. Jeanne, Anne and I all worked with him during the summers when we were in high school and loved getting to go eat lunch with him! He knew everything about that company and everyone just came to ask him questions – it was easier than trying to figure it out!
Daddy planted a huge garden in the summer – much more than we could eat or Mother could can. He loved to give away his vegetables – and took lots of them to the people he worked with. Daddy’s thinking was always if one of something was good, then 25 would be even better! He loved corn on the cob – he would do 4 plantings each summer so he could enjoy it for longer. We would put one ear in the water to cook for each of us and then 4-5 for daddy!
Daddy had several interests – he researched his family tree (in a day without computers). Pop Pop thought it was really funny when he would show him his tombstone etchings! He started a huge pipe collection when he was in Germany even though he never smoked. You probably have some of his pipes around your house. He loved photography and took lots of pictures over the years – we loved having family nights to look at old slides. He collected coins and he started a stamp collection with me – I loved to do it because it was something daddy and I did together. He loved sports too! I learned all about football from him watching pro football games together when I was in middle school. Of course we followed the Wolfpack too!
Daddy was quiet but we never doubted how much he loved us – and we knew he was proud of us. He would have loved you so much too. Scott carries his name (Thomas Scott) as does Haddon (Haddon Thomas), your parents’ cousin Ryan Thomas, and Tucker. We knew he was the last grandchild and we wanted the Tucker name to carry on. He came to faith in Christ in the summer of 1979 and quietly walked with God until he died. It’s been over 18 years since I’ve seen him but I know I will see him again!
Never forget that you are very loved,