William Lee Tucker Jr. - Brookings, SD
Jan. 18, 1930 – Nov. 23, 2013
William Lee Tucker Jr., 83, died Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at his home in Brookings under hospice care. Funeral services are at 1 p.m. Saturday at Morningside Community Church in Brookings. Burial is in Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation is from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Eidsness Funeral Home.
W. Lee Tucker Jr. was born Jan. 18, 1930, to William Lee Tucker and Elizabeth Ruth (Scearce) Tucker at his grandparent’s farm in Finchville, Ky. He graduated from Finchville High School in May 1948 and from the University of Kentucky in May 1952, with a Bachelor of Science degree in dairy science. In 1950, while active in the 4H Club at the University of Kentucky, Lee was the first 4-H Project State Champion from Shelby County, Ky., with a championship in dairy science.
As a project champion, Lee won a trip to Chicago in November 1950. While there, he met Doris Smith. She was the State Food Preparation Champion from South Carolina. On May 17, 1952, they were married.
The couple farmed for three years in Kentucky until Lee began his studies at North Carolina State University. He graduated in 1957 with a Masters of Science in genetics and a minor in statistics. Lee received his Ph.D. in genetics and minor in statistics in 1963 also from North Carolina State University.
After graduation, Lee and Doris moved to Brookings, where Lee accepted a position as the Agricultural Experiment Station statistician at South Dakota State University. He retired from SDSU in 1995.
Lee was a faithful member of Morningside Community Church. He was also a lifelong member and supporter of the Farmhouse Fraternity and in 1976 he received the "Master Builder of Men” award at the national Biannual Conclave in Raleigh, N.C.
Lee’s children and grandchildren were his greatest joy. He was an extremely generous man and will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife, Doris; children, Elizabeth (Mark) VanHorn, Lucinda (Ira) DeBough and William (Sarah) Tucker; six grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his cousin, Ruth Mae Connor.