Dr. Kelly Rush Tucker, 63, died Friday, June 7, 2019, from Stage 4 renal cell carcinoma. Kelly was born December 16, 1955, to the Rev. Lewis Edwin Tucker and Ethel “Rosie” Kring Godbey Tucker in Orange, Texas. The family lived in several different East Texas towns during Kelly’s childhood as the Rev. Tucker, a United Methodist preacher, served churches in Dickenson, Center, and elsewhere.
Kelly played the trumpet in the marching band at Pearland High School, graduated in 1974, and went to the University of Houston, where he also was a member of the marching band. He graduated from UH with a Bachelor of Science in biology.
After working in a research laboratory at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Houston for awhile, Kelly applied to and was accepted into the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. During the summer between first and second years in medical school, Kelly continued to work in the lab of physiologist Dr. Frank Booth. It was in 1981 that he met his life’s love, Jenny Lynn Cravey, a research technologist in another lab. They married June 17, 1983, in Houston and honeymooned in Grande Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
Shortly before his graduation from medical school in 1985, their first child, Kristopher, was born.
Kelly and Jenny stayed in Houston while Kelly completed a Family Medicine Residency Program through Southwest Memorial Hospital.
In February 1988, their second child, Heather, was born. That summer, Kelly’s residency was complete and the family packed up to move to Llano, Texas.
Kelly, and close friends Dr. John Frederick and Dr. Janice Pruessner, joined the Hoerster Clinic partnership of family medicine doctors. In December 1991, Jenny gave birth to their third child, Clare.
Immediately upon moving to Llano, the Tuckers joined Lutie Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church. The kids (and Jenny) were active in the Logos program, and Kelly began his lifetime participation in the church choir. He loved music and enjoyed singing, especially in the Christmas Cantatas and Concerts for Epiphany.
Kelly and Jenny both enjoyed the outdoors and took the family camping and hiking as often as they could, often with their longtime friends Mark and Sheryl Millsap and kids or Janice Pruessner and John Frederick and their kids.
Kelly was also a rocketry and NASA space program enthusiast, collecting and building model rockets in his spare time. In addition, he loved fireworks and started making his own several years ago. He looked forward to indulging his hobbies further in retirement.
Kelly practiced medicine for over 30 years as the Hoerster Clinic became the Scott & White Hoerster Clinic and, eventually, the Baylor Scott & White Hoerster Clinic.
Kelly was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Rosie, and his older brother, Lewis Edwin Tucker Jr., known to family as Bo.
Kelly is survived by his wife of 36 years, Jenny, and his children: son Kristopher Tucker of Austin, daughter Heather Tucker and daughter-in-law Ruby Tucker of Portland, Oregon, and daughter Clare Tucker Bretton and son-in-law Will Bretton of Austin. He is also survived by his sister, Claudia Mansbridge of Llano. Between Kelly and Jenny, there are many nieces and nephews and family members on both sides whom they love and treasure.
A memorial service for Dr. Kelly Rush Tucker will be held Monday, June 17, at 2 PM at Lutie Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church, 800 Wright St., Llano, TX 78643, presided over by the Rev. Leslie Tomlinson.
Funeral arrangements made under the direction of Waldrope-Hatfield-Hawthorne Funeral Homes Inc. of Llano. Condolences may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.