Donald Forest Tucker

January 18, 1937 ~ September 12, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old


Donald “Don” Forrest Tucker, of Panama City Beach, Florida, passed away on September 12, 2023. Don is survived by his three children, Kelly Tucker, Kevin Tucker (Lisa), and Kristy Tucker Sheidy (Matt); his four grandchildren, Brandon Tucker (Lizzy), Shelby Tucker Nave, Beau Sheidy, and Cameron Tucker Nave; his two great-grandchildren, Harvey Tucker and Remington “Remy” Tucker; his two stepchildren, Michael (Missy) and Brian Hudgins, Michael and Missy's children, Colin and Cate; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is predeceased by his wife, Nancy Card Tucker; his parents, Stella and Cecil Tucker; his two brothers, Leroy and Laverne Tucker; and a host of other family members and close friends.

Don was born in New Albany, Indiana on January 18, 1937, to Stella Belcher and Cecil Tucker. Don was a gifted athlete who excelled in many sports, lettering in baseball, basketball, and football at New Albany High School in Indiana where he graduated in 1956. Although he was gifted in basketball, it was baseball that gave him the opportunity to pursue his dream of playing professionally for the Washington Senators farm club. Although he gave up a professional career to have a family in 1960, he never forgot his passion for sports, playing competitive softball, tennis, and golf throughout most of his life. Don served in the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1964. In 1965, Don moved his then wife, Janice, and their three children, Kelly, Kevin, and Kristy to Tallahassee, Florida, after accepting a job with the United States Geological Survey as a cartographer, where he worked for thirty-seven years up until his retirement. 

He met his second wife, Nancy Card Tucker, in the early 1980s, marrying her in 1994. They were happily married until Nancy passed away earlier this year. One of Don and Nancy’s favorite pastimes was to follow horse racing. They often traveled to Saratoga in New York, near Nancy's hometown, to watch the races and frequently visited Churchill Downs, when they moved back to Don's hometown of New Albany, Indiana in 2010. In 2018, they decided to move to Panama City Beach, Florida, where they could be closer to Don's children. 

Don never met a stranger and always got along with everyone he met, having very close friendships with childhood friends, most lasting up until his death. Don was an avid collector of many things, including coins, Derby glasses, bobble heads, and signed prints. “If he had one of something, he had a hundred”.  Don will be remembered by many for his ability to always welcome a stranger into his life and never complaining about anything, including his health toward the end of his life. Everyone who met him immediately felt his love for life and the love he had for his family, especially his three children, who adored and looked up to him, as well as his four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. This world was a better place with Don in it. 

A special thanks to the many caretakers who took great care of Don in the last nine months. 

A celebration of Don’s life will be held in New Albany, Indiana at a later date. The family asks that any donations go to St. Jude Children's Hospital or Gentiva Hospice. 

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