Private first class Thomas Lowell Tucker died June 16, 2006, while on duty in Iraq. He was 25.
Thomas was born May 5, 1981 in Prineville to parents Wes and Meg Tucker. In 1983, the Tuckers moved to Madras, where Thomas attended all 12 years of school.
In grade school and junior high, he enjoyed playing baseball and basketball until an injury sidelined his sports activities.
Musically talented, he was an accomplished piano player and played trombone in the Madras High School pep band. In high school he took metals classes from teacher Jerome Mannenbach and was a member of the school's VICA vocational club, which built electric cars. He worked at Cliff's Auto Repair through the school-to-work program, and continued to work there and at Bright Wood Corporation after graduating from MHS in 1999.
Later, Thomas worked as a landscaper and framer throughout Central Oregon. In July 2005, he joined the U.S. Army and graduated from boot camp on Nov. 18. He was deployed to Iraq on Feb. 21, 2006.
Survivors include his parents, Wes and Meg Tucker of Madras; sister, Tayva Tucker of Prineville; nephews, Tanner Ebersole and Tyson Ebersole; grandparents, Esther Tucker of Arizona, Tom and Vivian Tucker of Mt. Vernon, Ore., and John and Carolyn Chandler of Prineville; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Lowell and Pearl Hansen, and two aunts.
The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 1, at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond. His father said that service will be for the nation and Central Oregon. A graveside service for family members and the Madras community will follow at Mt. Jefferson Memorial Park Cemetery. A reception will be held afterwards at Madras High School. Arrangements are under the direction of Bel-Air Colonial Funeral Home of Madras.
Memorial contributions have been suggested to the "Bring Tommy Home Fund," which has been set up at Columbia River Bank in Madras. The funds will be used to help Pfc. Thomas Tucker's classmates construct a permanent memorial in town, and the remainder will go to fund a local scholarship in his name, his parents said.
They noted the fund name was chosen when he was still missing in Iraq, before his death was confirmed. The Tuckers also said that funeral expenses have been taken care of by the military.