On Aug. 16th, Gene William Rucker, beloved Husband, Father & Grandfather joined his family & friends in Heaven. What a glorious reunion !
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 48 years, Patty (Bratcher) Rucker, his son David Shawn Rucker, daughter Kaci Dawn Oldham & her husband Matlock, grandson William Riley Rucker, granddaughter Kathryn Elaine Oldham, all residing in Hobbs, NM. also step granddaughter Taelor Quinn Oldham from Odessa, Tx.
Gene was predeceased by both of his parents Claud & Ruby Rucker in 1968, his brother Stuart, and his sister Claudine, In laws D.O.”Coonie” and Kathryn Coyle. In addition to his immediate family, he is survived by his Sister In Law, Jane Rucker, of Grand Prairie, Tx and numerous special cousins, nieces & nephews.
Their family may be small in number, but they have so many close friends who have been considered family too. Saint Christopher Episcopal church members, retired Hobbs Fire Department members who served with Gene throughout the years. Because of their love for music, The Texas Tenor’s & Tenorettes are their “extended family” members, from all over the USA, Australia & Scotland . During the past eight years, both Gene & Patty (Katy too) have enjoyed going to their concerts and meeting their ever-growing fan base, who follow them.
Gene was born in Portales, NM on September 4, 1947. Later , his parents moved to Santa Fe, NM and then to Lovington where he attended Lovington Public Schools from the 5th grade, until he graduated from LHS in 1965. He then went Eastern New Mexico University, where he studied music & met “the love of his life”. He came back to Lovington & attended NMJC for a year, & also The College of the Southwest for a semester. He joined the Army National Guard in 1967, taking his basic training in Ft. Bragg, NC, then he served in the guard for the next 6 years.
In 1969 Gene purchased Johnnie’s Floral in Lovington, NM and when he & Patty married in 1970, they continued to operate the flower shop with the help of Wanda Williams, Nita Irwin and other faithful employees for almost 20 years. Their customers became lifelong friends.
In 1974 Gene went to work for the Hobbs Fire Department, where he served continuously for the next 23 years. He worked his way up from Rookie, to Driver Engineer, IV Tech, Lieutenant at Station #2 & #3, to his final position of Shift Captain at “Main” Station where he remained, until his retirement. After spending all of these years together, he continued to this day having a special bond with his firefighters, and smiled when they called him Captain Rucker. He retired in 1996 to become a full time “Poppy” and care giver to his new grandson, William Riley. He often said this was his favorite job, to be a Dad and Grandfather.
The Hobbs Fire Department Honor Guard will serve as Gene’s pallbearers, with his special 4 legged companion & best friend Bandit, Tommy Jay, Matlock Oldham, William Riley Rucker, Kathryn (Katy) Oldham , Shawn Necaise, and Ray Du Plesis serving as Honorary Pallbearers.
It was Gene’s wish for all of those attending his funeral to wear RED if possible, to honor the Fire Department, that he loved so much.
Patti and family I wish I could have been there it looked like a beautiful service. Gene will be sorely missed, his smile and positive attitude always made it nice to be around him! You are all in my thoughts and prayers, love to all
Judy DempseyShalllowater, TX
My deepest sympathy to Patty and family at this sad time. Gene was a great guy and I always enjoyed being in his company. Heaven has gained an angel, but he will be missed here on earth. Rest in peace, Gene.
Roseanne SchroegerKansas City, KS
I can only say that I wish I had the opportunity to spend more time with him. Still... I remember his beautiful smile, his graciousness and kindness toward me, what a good person he was. He comes from a wonderful, loving family and I wish that he Rest In Peace, an ending to his life well lived but a beginning in heaven.
Amber BRichmond, TX
So sorry to hear my 1st Boss has pasted. He & you Pattie are very dear to me! I learned so much at Johnnies Floral, from learning to make a bow, being the best delivery person, to loving flowers & people. Thank you. Mark & I send our condolence & prayers for you Pattie & family. If I sent this twice. Sorry
Kem MillerEunIce, NM
As I begun to write one memory of Gene that crosses my mind is the conversation we had one day about heaven and how I felt about our love ones that leave this earth. He made me feel so much better after our conversation. He had such a strong faith and so much knowledge about eternal life. He was a good friend to many and I witnessed the love so many times that he had with his family and his savior. He gave so much to his community and his family. David & I send our love to his precious family and pray that God wraps his arms around them for comfort. Love & Hugs David & Deborah Frederick
David & Deborah FrederickMay, TX
Jackie BantaKemp, TX
Every time I worked with him or saw him he had a smile on his face. He was a very pleasant man and will be missed by many. Our family is sending prayers and all of our love for you all.
Travis CollinsHobbs, NM
Heaven gained an incredible angel when Gene went in peace & harmony, to be with our Lord. Happy thoughts, memories & prayers of peace & strength go up for his family.
Sandie WomackBranson, MO
I met Gene and Patty through The Texas Tenors and Tenorettes in Branson. My heart breaks for the family and friends of Gene. Wish I could be there for his services, but my prayers are with all of the family.
Suzanne WeckmanFlint, TX
I met Gene & Patty through The Texas Tenors in 2016. What a blessing they have been in my life. Praying for Patty, & family. for strength & to feel the love of their extended family thru the days, weeks & months ahead.
Pam BanksLubbock, TX
Glenn R ConnollyHobbs, NM