UPDATE: Funeral services set for former GPS headmaster Randy Tuc - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Funeral services set for former GPS headmaster Randy Tucker

Posted: Updated:
Randy Tucker Randy Tucker
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - UPDATE: Funeral services and visitation have been set for Randy Tucker.  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, West 7th and Pine Street, where services will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24. Please use street parking and parking garages nearby. A visitation will  be at Girls Preparatory School on Wednesday, April 23, from 5-8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations made be made to the Randy Tucker Memorial Scholarship Fund, in care of Girls Preparatory School.

Burial will be in the Chattanooga National Cemetery at a later date with military honors.)

Tuesday marked a somber day on the campus of Girls Preparatory School where more than 600 students, faculty and staff mourn the loss of their former leader.

Randy Tucker recently retired after serving as headmaster at the school for more than 25 years. Tucker died Monday when his car flipped on I-75 in Bradley County.

GPS held an assembly Tuesday for their students grades 6-12 as the community comes to grips with the sudden loss.

"He was a people person," said History Instructor Glen Vey. "When he came into the room, he commanded the room and you just couldn't avoid him. He was just that type of powerful personality."

READ MORE | Former GPS headmaster Randy Tucker killed in auto accident

History Instructor Glen Vey was one of Randy Tucker's first hires 26 years ago. As headmaster for the city's only all-girls private school, Vey said Tucker leaves a legacy as a visionary pioneer in education.

"He had a vision of what education could be unlike anything I've ever seen before," Vey said.

Almost 600 students wore all white Tuesday to honor Mr. Tucker, or "RT" as some would affectionately call him. And on social media, thoughts from former students began pouring in from women across the country.

"Just scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, every single post is just about how Mr. Tucker impacted their life. I didn't realize how he was so close to literally every single student that passed through GPS," said Senior Taylor Walden.

GPS Senior Taylor Walden said everyone is upset over the sudden loss. For the past year, Tucker had served as interim head at Nashville's Battle Ground Academy. But Walden said he never really let go of GPS. He'd attend some of her soccer games and was planning on going to GPS graduation in May.

"I'll always remember him as more than a headmaster. He was just the sweetest man I think I'll ever meet and I'll always remember him by it," Walden said.

When he retired last summer, Randy Tucker promised to always be the school's servant. And more than 25 years, he was more than just the face of GPS, he was a second father to thousands of girls.

Tucker leaves behind a wife and two children. Tucker's son, Trey, is on the faculty of McCallie School.

McCallie Headmaster Kirk Walker said: "Randy Tucker was a great educator who had a remarkable tenure at GPS. I feel privileged to have worked with him as part of the coordinate program our two schools shared. He was a tremendous spokesperson for girls' education. I will miss his friendship and his insights."

Baylor Headmaster Scott Wilson said: "Baylor enjoyed a positive relationship with GPS during the past several years because Randy Tucker allowed it to happen. Baylor will find the right way to extend our sympathies to the Tucker and GPS families."

GPS said several local schools provided counselors Tuesday. No word on any funeral arrangements.

Here is the obituary for Randy Tucker:

Beloved educator, administrator and community leader Stanley Randolph Tucker, Jr., died on Monday, April 21, 2014 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

Randy Tucker was born on Dec. 3, 1944, in Jacksonville, Fl., to Adelaide Candler Tucker and Stanley Randolph Tucker, Sr.

Randy was a true lover of the sea. A fearless pusher of boundaries from an early age, the renowned educator often skipped his high school classes to surf, ever hopeful of catching the perfect wave. His passion for surfing garnered some of the earliest of his many laurels as he was inducted into the Jacksonville Surfers Hall of Fame and was the first East Coast surfer to be featured in Surfer Magazine

Randy was ordered to report for duty in the Vietnam War on Dec. 25, 1968, but familial love impacted his refusal to leave for war on Christmas Day. So sure it would be his last Christmas, Randy went AWOL, but shortly thereafter, sold every possession and gave the money to his mother. He went down to the sea and surfed the entire night before reporting for duty. This gave the peace and resolve that, though he was not in agreement with war’s principles, he would indeed serve the country he loved.

Personally selected as the bodyguard of Col. James Couch, Randy spent time in Vietnam traveling between battlefields and medical tents. Despite the horrors he witnessed, his life was positively influenced by the heroic posture of his superior, a man he came to regard as a model of character and leadership. Tucker left Vietnam a decorated veteran. The quintessential traits of the patriot informed the leader he came to be. Upon discharge, in fact, the day following Tucker’s return to American soil, he began the first assignment of a 45 year educational career at The Bolles School of Jacksonville. His vitality and imposing presence evoked great affection for the young teacher and coach. While there Randy rose to the distinction of Associate Headmaster.

Randy received a BA degree in History and Psychology from Jacksonville University. While pursuing a Masters of Education and Administration degree at the University of North Florida, Randy met his future wife, Terri Bachara. Since she was only 19 at the time, Randy Tucker, a true gentleman, waited until he felt it was appropriate to invite her for a proper date. This chivalry quickly earned him the respect and devotion of Terri’s family. An extraordinary love flourished that would find them nearly inseparable for the rest of their days together. 

In their 37 years of marriage, Randy and Terri enjoyed family travel, golf, and the Atlanta Braves, but Randy Tucker was best and happiest when he was with his children, those he mentored and his own precious family. He delighted in the family’s annual pilgrimages back to the ocean he loved. On these holidays, shared with close family friends, his tireless runs into the surf with children on his back earned him the title of “The Pack Horse”, the accolade he loved and valued more than any of the countless others he received throughout a long and distinguished career.

In 1987, Randy, Terri, and children Trey and Taylor, left Florida for Chattanooga, where Randy began a 26-year career as headmaster of Girls Preparatory School. Mr. Tucker’s career at GPS stoked vast growth and innovative changes to the campus, culture, and curriculum of the school. But it was the lives of his students that mattered most to him. And to a tucked and ribboned girl, each one knew how much he cared.

Throughout decades in education, the man who once pushed boundaries and entered battle with deep resolve became champion of the down-trodden and the tender man of the second chance to sometimes wayward youth. With conviction he raised up and fought for the child who truly desired an education. A hallmark of his leadership was the gift of gentle sternness. To those weakened by life’s circumstances, he tried to offer help. In the case of stronger students, he capitalized and pushed upon their good fortune bolstering them to their true refinement. 

His daughter Taylor said “he wanted to raise up good citizens who would make a positive difference in the world.” He prepared his students for the future, both inside the academic realm and in the world that awaited them. He modeled the belief that one’s character can best be seen in responses to difficult situations. The one, grieved now, showed those who looked to him, how to face the tragedies of life as it would come to them. When former students lost their own fathers, they often contacted Randy with expressions of gratitude for the way he embraced their loss and stepped in to provide the strength they desperately missed and needed. More paramount than his role as teacher, coach and headmaster, Randy Tucker hoped to be for his students a model of what it is to be a man of faith, a husband, a father. And he was exemplary in his fulfillment of that mission. So convicted and devoted, Randy was unable to truly leave education behind, so upon retirement at GPS, Mr. Tucker accepted an interim headmaster position at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tn., where he served until his death. As his son Trey said, “he truly loved every moment of what he did.”

Randy Tucker is survived by his wife of 37 years, Terri Bachara Tucker; son, Stanley Randolph “Trey” Tucke, III and daughter, Taylor Elaine Tucker (Scott Massey, fiance’); sisters, Nancy Blaney (Jack) Middleburg, Fl., and Barbara Kroeplin (Jim) Murphy, N.C.

He was a leader at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, West 7th and Pine Street, where services will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24. Please use street parking and parking garages nearby.

A visitation will  be at Girls Preparatory School on Wednesday, April 23, from 5-8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations made be made to the Randy Tucker Memorial Scholarship Fund, in care of Girls Preparatory School.

Burial will be in the Chattanooga National Cemetery at a later date with military honors.

Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family. 

Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, East Brainerd Road.




Powered by Frankly