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Shirley's Story

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Jan. 28, 1924—April 3, 2016 Shirley Ellis Tucker, 92, passed away on Sunday, April 3, 2016. Born in Chicago, IL, on Jan. 28, 1924, she was the daughter of Richard W. and Bertha Soderberg Ellis. Her father, what she called “a true Railroad Man,” moved his small family up and down the Illinois Central Railroad line so she grew up in many different places from Chicago to New Orleans. She attended college at North Central College. After two years there she transferred to the University of Iowa graduating in 1945 with a degree in social work. Upon graduation she went to work to support the country during World War II as a social worker with the Red Cross and was stationed at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver, CO, as a counselor. She met her husband, Samuel Philip Tucker, a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps there and they were married in December 1945. They raised four children starting in Denver, CO, and after a few moves ended up in Crossville, TN, where her husband was a chemist for the Crossville Rubber Company. She began her teaching career in 1961 with the Cumberland County school system at Pine View Elementary School. While teaching she earned a masters degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Alabama which she worked during the summers to complete. She retired in 1991 from her position as the guidance counselor at Martin Elementary School. She also taught at Cumberland Elementary and the Cumberland County High School. She loved her job as a teacher and developed many lasting relationships with fellow teachers, staff members and students during her 30-year career. An avid reader, she started a Wednesday afternoon book club with several of her friends in 1978 that lasted until her passing. Shirley loved life! She loved to travel, dig in the dirt, family, friends, music and flowers. Shirley was preceded in death by her father and mother; husband, Philip; and her only son, Philip Ellis Tucker. She is survived by her daughters, Nancy Darrell (Jon Krauss), Peggy Singleton and Rissa Hale (Orville); eight grandchildren, Amy, Phaedra, Shelby, Addison, Leslie, Leah, Philip (Alexandra) and Lee; two great grandchildren; and one great great grandchild. Crossville Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. was in charge of the arrangements.
Crossville Chronicle
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