Alvin E. Tucker, 67, Navy officer, manager

March 24, 1995|By DeWitt Bliss | DeWitt Bliss,Sun Staff Writer

Alvin E. Tucker, who retired as a Navy officer and a Westinghouse Electric Corp. manager, died Monday of a respiratory illness at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. The Joppatowne resident was 67.

He retired in 1983 as a purchasing and materials manager at the Westinghouse plant at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. In 1973, he retired as a lieutenant commander in the Navy, ending a career that began in 1951 and included duty in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

The native of Greensboro, Ala., moved to Welch, W.Va., after the deaths of his parents. In Welch, his oldest brothers mined coal to support the family of 10 brothers and sisters.

After Mr. Tucker graduated from Kimball High School, he entered Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, graduating with honors and a bachelor's degree in business and industrial science in 1951. At Tuskegee, he joined the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

After college, he enlisted in the Navy and, according to his family, became one of the first African-Americans to graduate from the service's Officer Candidate School.

His youngest daughter, Lt. Elizabeth Tucker, was a 1989 graduate of the Naval Academy and now teaches there.

A son, Michael Tucker, described his father as a person of "inner and outer strength."

"He always said, 'If you need help, come to me first,' " the son said. "Even as an adult, I feel there is nothing he couldn't handle."

After retiring from Westinghouse, Mr. Tucker and his wife traveled extensively, most recently going to Rome in November for the installation of Archbishop William H. Keeler as a Cardinal.

Mr. Tucker was on the board of the Archdiocese of Baltimore's Office of African-American Ministries and a member of the Corpus Christi Council and the Archbishop Francis P. Keough Assembly of the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit in Joppatowne.

Other survivors include his wife of 43 years, the former Bettye E. hTC Butler; two sons, Alvin E. Tucker Jr. of Owings Mills and Ralph Tucker of Baltimore; another daughter, Elizabeth Hall of Los Angeles; two sisters, Cornelia L. Palmer of New York City and Willie Mae Murphy of Washington; a brother, Clifton Tucker of Pepper Pike, Ohio; and two grandchildren.

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