Clarence "Leroy" Tucker was born in Greensburg, Kansas on November 24th, 1931 to parents Viola and Clarence Tucker, the middle child of five, two sisters and two brothers.
He went to his heavenly home at 88 years, just a week short of his 89th birthday, on November 18th, 2020 under hospice care at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Clara Louise and Helen Ruth, and one brother, Robert A. He is survived by his wife Phyllis J. of 67 1/2 years, daughter Diana L., son Dennis A. (Nancy) and one brother Harold E. (Mary Louise).
His early years were spent in Russell County, Kansas attending three different country schools while his parents worked on different farms and ranches in the area. His high school years were spent in Greensburg, graduating from Greensburg High School in 1949. While in high school he spent every summer working on his Uncle Jim's farm at Sublette, Kansas, bringing home his earnings to his mother to help out. After graduation he left home to work first on a pipeline crew in western Kansas migrating to the Oklahoma panhandle to work, then landing a job in Greensburg, Pennsylvania as a steel worker. He stayed there until he was drafted into the Army in November 1952. He served most of his service time at Fort Riley, Kansas with the 10th Recon 10th InfDiv, and Camp Carson and Camp Hale, in Colorado with the 10th Mountain Division. He completed basic training at Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri. At Fort Riley, he was an instructor in heavy weapons and missed out on going overseas to Korea with only eight months left to serve. He was then sent to Camp Carson, with six weeks training at Camp Hale in the Colorado Rockies on the Continental Divide. During this time, he met Phyllis Westphal and starting seeing her while she attended Ft. Hays College as a freshman. After a whirlwind romance, they were married on June 19th, 1953 while on a three-day pass in Clayton, New Mexico… a marriage that lasted 67 1/2 wonderful years.
His career with the United States Post Office started in January 1955, spending over 40 years walking a mail route. After he retired, he calculated that he had walked around the world 2 1/2 times during his career. He won many achievement awards with the Post Office and was asked numerous times by his supervisor to take the supervisory test, but he always declined saying he liked to be outside and see the people he delivered mail to. He always made friends with dogs on his mail route and was only bitten once in his entire career. At one point, they moved his route and a large number of the people on his old route called and complained, because they wanted him back. That was how well liked he was and did such a good job delivering mail and keeping track of people.
During this time, he also had several part-time jobs to add to the family’s income, one of which was transporting cars for Hertz Rental. This job lasted for almost 50 years, with Phyllis joining him in this endeavor for the last 30 plus years. He dearly loved cars and really enjoyed driving those new cars to places near and far from Wichita.
At the time of his retirement from the Post Office, he bought a motor home, after having traveled in a fold down trailer for about 20 years. Leroy and Phyllis both loved camping and were able to travel to all 50 states, enjoying all the sights America has to offer, seeing lots of parks that are not as open to the public now as they were then. Two most memorable trips were a cruise to Alaska with Dennis and Nancy's family, and a flight to Honolulu with a square dance group. Another thing he really loved was snow skiing in Colorado, starting out as a sponsor-bus driver with the Dawson United Methodist youth group and other young people. He turned out to be a better skier than Phyllis, winning several amateur medals in timed events and always enjoyed taking a week’s vacation in the winter to ski with just the family.
He also loved anything outdoors and worked in his yard and garden many years as well as other outdoor activities. For several years he helped his father-in-law harvest using his summer vacation. He loved working with wood, making a lot of projects still in use in our house. He added a patio in the back yard using discarded bricks from Wichita city streets which he collected with Phyllis and the kids. He then figured out how to make a porch out of it and then later screening it in where he relaxed after working in the yard and is still in use now.
He attended Dawson United Methodist Church and was the church treasurer for many years. He and Phyllis also spent many years square dancing with a local group.
He had many stories to tell of events and activities that happened during his lifetime. Leroy was rather shy, but well-loved by all his friends and family. He will be missed by all who knew him, especially his family.