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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Edgar E. “Sonny” Tucker, 87, Coudersport, PA

Edgar E. Tucker

Edgar E. “Sonny” Tucker passed from this life on Monday, January 23rd, 2017. His was a life well-lived, centered on a loving family, enriched by lifelong friendships, good neighbors, and a very strong connection to the place he called home.

Born September 9th, 1929 in Coudersport, he was the youngest child of Edgar H.Tucker and Katherina Anna Mosch Tucker. He lived and worked all but four of his eighty-seven years in the village of Colesburg where he also attended the one-room school for eight years before going on to graduate from Coudersport High School in 1948.

US Air Force veteran
Fascinated with airplanes from an early age and inspired by his older cousins, WWII pilots Harry and Phil Palmatier, he learned to fly a Piper Cub while in high school. He enlisted in the US Air Force at the age of twenty, serving most of his four-year duty at air bases in England. In October 1951 his high school sweetheart, Dorla Kelligan, traveled by boat to England and they were joined in marriage on October 23rd of that year at Sculthorpe Air Force Base. During the 3 years that followed they explored England, France and Switzerland in their tiny 1951 Morris Minor, making many friends along the way.

Upon returning from England in 1954 with one son and another on the way, he joined his father in the family business (John Deere farm equipment, feed and farm supplies) and earned a reputation for being able to repair and fabricate all kinds of machines and a willingness to make on-farm repairs day or night. Sonny took over the family business in 1974. His brother Franklin “Bub” continued to run the general store while Sonny managed sales and service for an expanded line of small power equipment including Kubota tractors, Bridgestone motorcycles, Wheel Horse lawn and garden equipment, Ski Doo snowmobiles and McCulloch chain saws.

Sonny found great fulfillment in the relationships, everyday activities, and events that bring a community together. He founded and led a 4-H Tractor Club, teaching many young members how to maintain and safely operate farm equipment. He enjoyed mentoring the young mechanics who worked for him over the years, following with pride the progress of their careers and small businesses. He served many years on the school board for Coudersport Area School District. He was also a long-time member of the advisory board for the Coudersport High School agriculture program and Spud Growers FFA Chapter. Sonny’s efforts to bring people together for fun and conversation took many forms including giant pumpkin contests, garden tractor races and pulling contests, snowmobile races, and various types of “reunions”.

Sonny was predeceased by his wife of 60+ years and love of his life, Dorla, in 2012. He was also predeceased by a brother, Franklin “Bub” Tucker, sister, Marjory “Sis” Butz and a grandson, Luke T. Russell. 

He is survived by sisters Ruth Thompson and Beatrice “Tootie” (Milford) Clark, both of Colesburg, and five children: Terry (Karen) Tucker of Ithaca, NY, Steven E. (Judy) Tucker of Johnstown, PA, Patricia R. (Tom) Russell of Coudersport, Anne L. (Alan) Acker of Coudersport, and Edgar K. (Pam) Tucker of Tullahoma, TN. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Evelyn Allen of Oswayo, 15 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, and by his and Dorla’s large extended families.

He departed this world still full of curiosity, love for those remaining behind, and his characteristic sense of humor. In keeping with his wishes that we celebrate and not mourn his passing, friends, neighbors and family are invited to come together for conversation and celebration of community and Sonny’s life on Saturday from noon to 2:00 pm at the Park United Methodist Church in Coudersport. A service will follow at 2:00 pm. Memorials may be made to the Potter County Historical Society or the Coudersport Volunteer Ambulance Association.

Arrangements held by Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home, 210 North East St., Coudersport, PA 16915.

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