MOUNT VERNON — Linda Gail Tucker of Mount Vernon, Ohio, completed her life’s journey on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009.
She was born Linda Gail Reinke on April 19, 1960, in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, to imperfect but loving parents, Charles and Wilda Reinke.
She didn’t have a life measured by an extended period of years, but felt she was a centenarian using a gauge of love, happiness, and adventure, with very few regrets.
She believed that life and death don’t exist without each other. Death makes way for all life — all we have is the dance, the path, the journey. Love of life, not fear of death was her emphasis, and she allowed the dance between the two to lead her last few years.
She felt that the cancer that took her life couldn’t take away the daily beauty and joy that she encountered along her journey. Cancer changed everything, but she tried to make as many of those changes work for her as she possibly could as she took on a new awareness of things around her; like the intricacies of a single snowflake turned into a complete snowfall, or of a butterfly landing to feast on a flower. As a matter of fact, at times, living in the moment gave her more awareness of blessings of the day than she had prior to her diagnosis. Things were no longer taken for granted, and ultimately, one could say she found true peace, joy, and an appreciation for life that didn’t exist before the diagnosis. “When life gives you lemons ...” and all that.
Destined to be Donna Reed, she instead spent most of her life attempting various careers and vocations, none of which suited her well. Her heart was in her home, her garden, her menagerie of adopted animals over the years, the wild birds and animals in her yard, the night sky.
She is survived by the great love of her life, husband Larry Tucker; by her sister, Carol (Gary) Myers of Ooltewah, Tenn.; by her brother, Bill (Karen) Reinke of Willowbrook, Ill.; by her brother, Larry Reinke of Chardon, Ohio; by her cousins, Ken (Barbara) Studer of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., and Helen (Lynn) Sauls of Chattanooga, Tenn.; by her nephews, Jim (Christina) Myers of Ooltewah, Tenn., Kevin Reinke and Steven Reinke of Willowbrook, Ill.; and nieces, Lori (Russ) Bleck of Lexington, Ky., and Sheri (Randy) Revlock of Madison, Ohio.
Also survived by her stepson, Larry (Janera) Tucker of Fallon, Nev.; her stepdaughter, Leanne (Chico) Turrietta of Fallon, Nev.; and grandchildren, Adam, Allan, Devin, Harmony, Jordan and Ryan.
She is also survived by a cadre of beloved comrades: Kate and Eric Helt of Gambier; Kathy Tookmanian of Mesa, Ariz.; Nancy and Spence Badet of Gambier; Janine and Bruce Kiracofe of Gambier; and Dee and Bob Chrisman of Mount Vernon.
She was predeceased by her father, Charles F. Reinke, union steward for UAW Local 426 through Euclid, Incorporated. Also, by her mother, Wilda M. Reinke, a teacher’s aide and homemaker, who loved kids — hers and everyone else’s. Linda suspected her friends enjoyed hanging around her house so much as a kid to major extent because they simply adored her mom.
The Fischer Funeral Home of Danville assisted with arrangements. Cremation has taken place, and her ashes will serve as compost for a tree that will continue to live and be nourished in this amazing cycle of life.
A party to celebrate her life will take place for close friends and family, where the wine will flow, and shared stories of her antics and general goofball nature will abound.
Special thanks goes out to Dr. Amy Murnen and Dr. Michael Sullivan, who were spectacular with her and Larry during this journey. Also, to Hospice of Knox County who did a great job of improving her quality of life while she was in their care.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to our local Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.