Cover photo for Lattimer  C. Rucker, Jr.'s Obituary
Lattimer  C. Rucker, Jr. Profile Photo
1930 Lattimer 2008

Lattimer C. Rucker, Jr.

March 5, 1930 — September 23, 2008

Lattimer Charles "Doc" Rucker, 78, of Port Charlotte formerly of Jefferson City, MO went from his home on earth to his eternal home to be with the Lord surrounded by loved ones on Tuesday, September 23, 2008. He was born March 5, 1930 to Dr. Lattimer C and Inez (Johnson) Rucker in Moberly, MO. Doc graduated from Moberly High School in 1948 and furthered his studies at Drury University in Springfield, MO and the University of Missouri, Columbia, in Business and Computer Science. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, a retired Computer Systems Analyst, a former Missouri State Highway Trooper; his avocation was music. Doc was a proud veteran of the US Navy serving during the Korean Conflict on the USS Helena, a heavy cruiser and as a Warrant Officer in the Missouri Army Reserve. He was a member of First Baptist Church and Deacon Emeritus. For many years he was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Port Charlotte, having served as an Elder and Clerk of Session. He accepted Jesus Christ at the age of 10 as his Savior and was baptized in the First Baptist Church in Moberly, MO. Doc married his high school sweetheart, Theresa Hammett in 1950 and they have two children. Doc was one of the organizers of Charlotte County Jazz Society. A lifelong Christian, he was a member of the Masons in Jefferson City, MO, 32nd Degree in Columbia, MO, Araba Shrine in Fort Myers, FL. He inspired the family through his resolve to overcome serious health issues. With the constant devotion and attention of his wife and caregiver, along with his family, Doc battled for 17 years against Parkinson's Disease. During all that time, his resolve to be there for his family never waned and up until the last two years he lived the fullest possible life in spite of his health challenges. He wrote of his love of music as follows:" At the age of six my grandfather gave me a clarinet for Christmas and a book on how to finger it. My mother took me through the learning process of reading music and playing the instrument. By my 10th birthday my father had given me a tenor saxophone. For those not aware, the fingering on a sax and a clarinet are similar. The sax won out as my instrument of choice. My father was born with a natural ear for music and my mother was the technician - I was fortunate to have acquired both. I feel like Red Nichols when asked if he read music - his reply was 'Yes, but it don't hurt my playing none.' My first job was playing with Henry Daly's Swingland Serenaders every Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday evenings at the Wayside Inn in Moberly, MO. I was twelve years old. Time out for the US Navy and ten years with the Missouri State Highway Patrol as a trooper. Music has never been my vocation but my avocation. I know of no other activities where 'birds of a feather flock together' is such a true statement as it is with musicians. I am now retired from my vocation as computer communications specialist with BAMI. I enjoy playing. A sample list of musicians I have worked with in the past are: Stan Kenton, Tommy Dorsey, Shaughnessy, Tom Jones, Clark Terry, Porter Wagner, Woody Herman, Forrest Wasson, Pat Coil, Fred Simmons and locally with PeeWee Matuse, Bud Waggoner, Chris Farnum, Chuck Opela, Andy Wright, Jay George, Herb Bradley, Tony Schmidt, Seth Bell, Les Gowan and many others. Groups I have played with locally are Versatones, Just Friends, Jazz on Wednesday at Maple Leaf Estates and the Bud Waggoner Trio. I backed up the Bob Hope Show and the Ice Capades." He will be greatly missed by wife of 58 years, Theresa; son, Russell (Deborah) Rucker; daughter, Laura Briggs; grandchildren, Ashlee Rucker, Adrienne Briggs and Jeremy Briggs; great-grandchildren, Cole and Bailey ; sister, Sara (Al) Evans all of Port Charlotte; brother, Richard L (Carolyn) Rucker of Jefferson City, MO; sister in laws, Ann (Harold) March of Gladstone, MO, Laura Van Houten of Moberly, MO and Sue Nilges of O'Fallon, MO; nieces and nephews, Chris (Ron) Marcoguiseppe of Port Charlotte, Alison (Jeff) Green of Punta Gorda, David (Elllen) Rucker of Kansas City, MO, Mark (Stephanie) Rucker of Orlando, Dan (Gayle) March of Atlantic, IA, Aubrey (Joyce) VanHouten of Moberly, MO, Jim (Pat) VanHouten of Maricopa, AZ, Larry (Norma) VanHouten of O'Fallon, MO, Vivian (Gary) Becker of Glasgow, MO, Theresa (Jim) Risch of Defiance, MO; Michael (Vicki) Nilges of Warrenton, MO and thirty-one great nieces and nephews. A celebration of Doc's life will be at 3:00 pm, Saturday, September 27, 2008 at First Baptist Church in Punta Gorda. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First Baptist Church, 459 Gill Street, Punta Gorda, Florida 33950 or Tidewell Hospice Palliative, 1144 Veronica Street, Port Charlotte, FL 33952. To express condolences to the family, please sign the online guest book. "Thanks be to God for loving care he received from Elliot Pragen and Annette Phillip during the last few months of his life"

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Baptist Church of Punta Gorda

459 Gill Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

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