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73 years of legacy and love for James and Doris Tucker

In 1951, James and Doris Tucker married and began their wonderful life together. The parents of six daughters, they shared their advice for a long and happy marriage with us. Commitment, resilience, and devotion are just a few of the qualities that have made their marriage into a legacy worth leaving.
James and Doris Tucker on their swing 2022. Photo courtesy of Julie Tucker Williams.

As Doris Tucker tells it, a little less than 3/4 of a century ago, a "very friendly, outgoing, and very handsome young man" set his eyes on Florida, desiring to start a different life. One of eight children born to Troy R. (Kid) and Pauline Tucker, he was raised as a sharecropper’s son and worked on the farm from age 7 until he graduated from Brooklet High School in 1947. He played basketball and drove the school bus his senior year.

Upon his arrival in Florida, like most young people, he wanted to find and meet friends. One evening he attended a Square Dance where a girl who, in his words, was "very sweet, had a beautiful smile and was very attractive," caught his eye. Of course he asked her to dance, got her telephone number, and said, “I'd like to call you.” She took one look at his beautiful blue eyes and agreed.

This was the official introduction of Doris Jean Treadway to James Tucker. Doris had moved to Florida at age 5, was a high school graduate, a member of the school chorus, ran on the Track team, and was a Spelling Bee Champion.

Yes, it was “Love at First Sight,” they both said... “But James never called for 3 months," Doris said. "Hmmm, but I waited."

Tucker Wedding. Family photo 1951.

Then the phone finally rang, and within a short time, wedding bells did too! Once James called, they were engaged and married within the year. Doris said she planned her wedding and married February 2, 1951. James wanted to marry before he had to report to Fort Bragg, N.C., on February 19,1951.

James said, “I borrowed $20 to get married. Went on our honeymoon, and we stayed in a cabin for 2 nights ($10/night). That’s all I could afford, so we left.” Doris asked, smiling, “Did you pay the $20 back?" “Yes,” he replied grinning.

Mr. and Mrs. James Tucker

James and Doris built a home, had a family of 6 daughters, and now enjoy 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

James served in Korea, starting as Private and ending as Sergeant. Discharged 1953, the Tuckers bought their first home in Florida, where he formed his own company, James Tucker General Painting and Maintenance Contractor, which continued for 20 years.

In 1974, James 'returned to his Roots' in Bulloch County, purchasing a farm, where he farmed for 18 years, retiring in 1992. James enjoyed sharing his many crops: vegetables along with his peaches and grapes. He is an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed sharing this time with his family and friends.

James and Doris Tucker and the entire Tucker family. 90th Birthday--6 daughters ,their husbands grands and great grands in 2019. Photo courtesy of Julie Tucker Williams. 

Doris claimed her role as a homemaker and farmer's wife, par excellence. She was very involved in their daughters’ many activities: Girl Scouts, room mother,
softball coach, taught Sunday School, and VBS. Doris was a Beta Sigma Phi serving as secretary and named ‘Sweetheart of the Year (1963).

The Tuckers' 73 years of marriage is an amazing LOVE story. They are “still as much in love now as they were then,” said daughter Julie Tucker Williams.

Growing Up and Loving It!

The daughters: Janis, Lynn, Susan, Debbie, Julie, and Tracey, and several grandchildren shared bountiful compliments about Dad and Mom being in
complete harmony and GREAT role models. The girls agreed, they had a GREAT childhood!

They shared so many special memories, traveling every summer in a camper to many different places including Niagara Falls, the Great Smoky Mountains, Amish Country, and the East Coast (NYC). James collected a notable nickname along the way, too.

James Tucker 80th Birthday celebration. (Left to right) Lynn,Janis, Julie, Mom, Dad, Debbie, Susan, Tracey. Photo courtesy of Julie Tucker Williams. 

“When we were teenagers, we started dating," Julie remembers. "The boys that came to the house were a little scared of Daddy. Daddy was very protective of his girls and was kind of rough towards the boys. So actually, the boys started calling Daddy ‘BullDog,’ and it just stuck with him.”

There may have been a few mishaps during those years of adventure, like leaving Debbie at a gas station in North Carolina and hanging Tracey over the Fall at Niagara. No one was hurt, of course. It was just FUN!

Legacy & Love: The Tuckers' Formula for a Long Marriage

When asked for their secret to a long and happy marriage, James said jokingly, “Eat right!” Continuing in a more serious tone, he said, “It’s simple principles!” Marriage is a commitment; love and care for each other, stay through ‘thick n thin,’ and make up, he says. Nothing is ever easy; you must work at it continuously! Better or worse! Ups and downs! Don’t quit! Cash only!

Happy 89th Birthday Doris, 2023. Photo courtesy of Julie Tucker Williams. 

Yes, the ‘common thread' for James and Doris Tucker’s long standing marriage is ‘LOVE and COMMITMENT’ and never losing sight of what’s important.

The girls shared Dad and Mom’s Common Thread, from their perspective:

  • Dad and Mom loved each other and still have enough love left for all of us.
  • Dad's steadfast drive, determination to provide a better life for his wife and daughters, strong work ethic, and never ending energy! He may have had a hard outside, but he kept a tender inside.
  • Mom’s kindness and nurturing ways. She has a strong faith, innocence, and simpleness.
  • Dad and Mom never complained even when exhausted and physically ill.

What the Tuckers began in their nuclear family is now being passed down to new generations.

There are many wonderful memories of life on the farm, said Britney and Jamey (grandchildren). Summer break there meant home cooked meals, fresh greens,
cornbread, sliced tomatoes, shucking fresh corn, and pulling peanuts off the bush. When Grandma saw Papa pulling up in his blue Ford tractor, she put tea on the table.

Madelyn (granddaughter) summed it up best, "They built a legacy not just in the crops they harvested or the crazy 6 girls they raised, but in the enduring example of commitment, resilience and devotion they set for future generations.”

James and Doris Tucker, 2020. Photo courtesy of Julie Tucker Williams.