Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Memories of a Grand Lady


Today I post concerning a grand lady who passed away just this past Saturday at the age of 89. She is survived by 7 children: Chris, Robby, Nani, Kyle, Brett, Liz and Janice. She had 33 grandchildren and 56 great-grandchildren.

Her name is Emmanell Nani Viera Tucker. She was born in Hawaii.and attended college at Brigham Young University where she met Luther Christopher Tucker, Jr (Kit). They married and moved home to his native Wakulla county Florida. Kit passed away in February of 2019. 

Kit's father was a state senator from Wakulla, county serving in the state legislature into the early sixties. Nell's brother-in-law was Donald L. Tucker who was an elected representative of the Florida house of representatives for several terms. He served as speaker of the house for two consecutive terms. He was instrumental in building the Leon county civic center which was later changed to bear his name, the Donald L. Tucker civic center. Don passed in September of  2019.

The notoriety of Nell's family does not end there. Nell's grandson is Brendon Yuri, American singer and song writer and musician best known as the lead vocalist of the band Panic! at the Disco. 

All of Nell's children and grandchildren are precious to her. She was the matriarch of a group of people who are multitalented and proud and loyal to their family name.

Nell, in her lifetime, saw the bombs that fell on Pearl Harbor that marked the United States entry into WW 2. She was a young girl at the time rushing home to seek the shelter of her home there in Hawaii. She experienced life along the way leaving a legacy of service and love to others. She was a gifted vocalist, dancer, teacher. mother, wife, friend, grandmother and happy hearted person who rarely complained of her lot in life. 

She was a personal friend to my family and many others. We have shared many stories and laughs along the way and shall now miss her being nearby. Our commonality was the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter day Saints. She was true and faithful to the covenants she made in her church all along the way and now into the eternities. 

Following are a couple of comments made by my daughters concerning Nell Tucker.

Emily Vass Raines comments as follows:

Music can be such an integral part to testimony building and I had the best primary music teacher ever in Sister Tucker! I remember singing “Saturday is the day we get ready for Sunday” and learning about preparing for the Sabbath Day. Sister Tucker had shoes for us to polish and clothes for us to iron and made learning about the gospel through music so much fun! When I was 16 I participated in the Stake youth choir and sister tucker was our leader. This is really when I remember my testimony growing so much as we sang “From Cumorah’s Hill.” Sister Tucker didn’t just teach us to sing the words, she taught us the meaning behind the words. I remember she also taught how sacred these words were and how blessed we were to have this knowledge and when we sing the words, think about them and share your testimony through song. She told us that we had angels with us helping us share this important message of the restoration. I always knew how much Sister Tucker loved me. She may have needed to give us a stern talk about what our purpose was and why we needed to straighten up during our performance, but we listened and we wanted to do our best because we loved Sister Tucker and we knew how much she loved us as well!


I was lucky to grow up in Eastgate here in Tallahassee just a few streets over from the Tuckers and loved to go over and hang out with Amber and Kristen and Heather and Shelly when they were visiting their grandparents. One day I was walking over to their house and a huge dog started barking and jumping on me. I was terrified of dogs and froze on the spot! Before I knew what was happening I saw Sister Tucker running toward me yelling at the dog and shooing him away and wrapping her arm around me to make sure I was ok. I immediately felt safe, that dog couldn’t get through Sister Tucker!  I loved playing at their house and watching Shirley Temple and Esther Williams movies. I just remember feeling like part of the family and feeling loved by Sister Tucker. She and her family were such a big part of my childhood and growing up years.  I will miss her so much!

                                                              Beth Vass Sundstrom comments as follows:

I have so many fond memories of Sister Tucker - as a church music director for our children’s organization, as a leader for our youth organization, and as the grandmother of my friends.  One trait is consistent with all of these roles that she played: love.  Sister Tucker always made me feel loved.  She would go out of her way to speak with me or give me a hug.  She always had good advise to give and funny anecdotes to tell.  She had a wonderful way of making you feel important.  What a blessing she has been to my life and such an example of the love that Christ represents.

I conclude with my personal comments regarding Nell. She was a hard working, faithful latter day saint. She was immensely proud of her faith, her nation and her family. The world is a little bit less in its existence because of her passing. However, heaven has gained a super star. She will wait and watch there in heaven by the door as her posterity come, one by one to join her. She will embrace and rejoice with each one of them. She will pray for them from her vantage point in the palace of eternity. She will hope and try to influence each one to reach a little higher and to try and remember the meaing of OHANA.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Lee, you and your family have captured the true essence of our mother. She is, and always will be, a shining super star among stars. Thank you for such a heartfelt tribute to our mother. The world is a bit dimmer since her passing, but her shine will live in on the lives she has touched.