Mary Margaret (Carter) Tucker was born in a humble 2-room Sharecropper’s House on August 16, 1936, outside Coweta OK, a few miles up Lone Star Rd. Margaret was the 8th child and 6th daughter of the 12 children born and reared by James Riot Carter and Josie Mae (Barnett) Carter.
Growing up there, Margaret and her siblings joined the other neighborhood children in attending Lone Star School, a 1-room/1-teacher, grades 1st thru 8th rural school. One of the stories she shared was about how much she enjoyed school and learning. At that time, children were only required to complete 8th grade. Her final year, her and the teacher agreed to have the teacher “officially” flunk Margaret, requiring her to repeat 8th grade, in spite of her good schoolwork. So, Margaret repeated 8th grade only this time the teacher helped her get as much “high school education” as possible. She told that story with great admiration for that teacher, and tried to use it to teach others of the importance of school. That last year of school had other challenges for Margaret. Everybody in the family had to pitch in with chores and farm work. Margaret learned homemaking skills from her mother and farming from her father. He used to say that by the time she was 12 she could do a grown man’s work, by the time she was 16 she could outwork them all!
Margaret left home and Oklahoma in 1953. With relatives, Margaret worked her way across the Southwest, finding temporary jobs as migrant farm workers. She eventually made her way to California where she continued working on farms, in vineyards and orchards. One day, while working in a cotton patch for Gilbert Tucker she met the gaze of a tall, good-looking, young man, Horace Ned Tucker. It was Love at First Sight! Margaret married Ned Tucker on August 2, 1955. Gilbert would comment for years how he gained a good daughter-in-law, but he lost a “great” farm hand.
Margaret and Ned started their family in California with the birth of their first son, Douglas. Shortly afterwards, they moved to the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. Within a few years they had celebrated the arrival of their second son Rick and daughters Rebecca and Mary Jo. Margaret embraced her life as a wife, mother and homemaker for the next several years. During that time, with the support of Ned, Margaret was helpful to her parents and other family elders as they made their way into their golden years.
As her children finished high school and started leaving home, Margaret went back to work. Her first job was as a “cooks’ helper” in a nursing home. Soon she had become Head Cook and completed courses to become a Food Service Supervisor. She went on to be elected president of the Oklahoma State Chapter of Food Service Supervisors, being re-elected time and again until she left that industry. At her work as cook, and at family gatherings in Oregon, Margaret used the skills she had learned from her mother to gain a reputation for preparing large quantity meals of really delicious food. She would use those talents again later in life, after her retirement.
Eventually Margaret had to leave the food service industry because of physical injury. Not yet ready to retire, she worked for a while at Continental Industries in Broken Arrow and S & V clothing store in Coweta.
Margaret liked to stay busy as well as help others when she could. Shortly after retiring, she and others, including Ned, saw a need in the community. With help, Margaret organized and started up the Coweta Ladies Firefighters Auxiliary to care for the local fire department. This organization is still operating today. The first few years of its existence the main fundraising event for the group was a Chili Dinner, served at the fire station shortly before the Christmas parade. Margaret, with friends and family helping, would spend all day cooking gallons and gallons of delicious chili. The event was always a huge hit, selling all they had many times.
Margaret finally gave up her civic duties, except for working the polling booth during elections. For a good while her and Ned traveled, visiting relatives and attending bluegrass festivals.
Margaret enjoyed her friends and family, old time Gospel and Bluegrass music, and bringing joy to others. She thrilled at the sight of the many deer and various types of birds that found their way into her back yard. Quilting, another skill she learned from her mother, became a hobby and favorite pastime for her the last several years. With her husband Ned and others, they have made and given out dozens of quilts to Charities, Fundraising Events, Veterans, First-Responders, people in need and as personal gifts. Several of those quilts are destined to become family heirlooms.
Margaret is survived today by her husband of 65 years, Horace Ned Tucker of Coweta, OK; sons Doug Tucker of Wagoner, OK and Rick Tucker of Williams, OR; daughter Rebecca (Tucker) Pope and husband Rick of Coweta, OK; daughter Mary Jo (Tucker) Fain and husband Jack of Wagoner, OK; sister Wilma Holmes of Coweta, OK; sister Louise Denton and husband Dwain of Coweta, OK; brother Phillip Carter and wife Carol of Coweta, OK.
Margaret and Ned have five granddaughters: Crystal (Tucker) Flaherty of Sands Springs, OK; Amanda (Pope) Patterson of Coweta, OK; Andrea Pope of Broken Arrow, OK; Amber (Tucker) Fransisco of Bettendorf, IA and Rachel (Tucker) Cuellar of Medford, OR. Additionally, Margaret was blessed with eight great-grandchildren: Lariet, Sara, Christopher, Jayde, Bethany, Gabrielle, Ainsley and Leirus; and numerous other relatives and friends.
Margaret is preceded in death by her parents, James and Josie Carter; three brothers, James Carol Carter, Frank Carter, Howe King Carter; and 5 sisters, Ella Mae Young, Janie Bentley, Helen Johnson, Claudine Delay, and Opal Carter.
Margaret was greatly loved, her kind and compassionate heart will be deeply missed by many people, for years to come.
Viewing will be from 2:00 – 8:00 PM on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at Brown Funeral Home with the family present to receive friends from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Services celebrating Margaret’s life will be at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at Brown Funeral Home Chapel in Coweta, OK with Pastor Bob Green officiating. Margaret will be laid to rest at Vernon Cemetery in Coweta, OK.
Family and friends may share memories online at www.brownfamilycares.com. The family of Margaret Tucker entrusted her care and services to Brown Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 210 S. Broadway, Coweta, OK 74429, 918-486-5515.
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