William E. Tucker

[ Age 79 ] Physical therapist also coached and played fast-pitch softball and established an amateur team.

Mr. Tucker never turned away patients because they couldn't pay. Some of them just brought him cakes.

December 18, 2007|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,Sun reporter

William Earl Tucker, a retired physical therapist who formed a medical practice with his father, died of brain cancer Wednesday at his Frankford, Del., home. He was 79.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Edmondson Avenue, he was a 1946 Forest Park High School graduate who was named to All-Maryland baseball and football teams.

As a 10-year-old, he attended the race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral at Pimlico on Nov. 1, 1938.

"He stood in the infield and put his head between the railings," said his wife of nearly 27 years, the former Deborah Sue Parsons. "He was so close he could have touched Seabiscuit."

While attending Loyola College, he married Jean Frances Costanza, who died in 1960. He later studied at the College of William and Mary and graduated from the Medical College of Virginia School of Physical Therapy. He served in the Air Force as a lieutenant.

Mr. Tucker joined his father, Earl Tucker, a physical therapy pioneer at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in private practice. Tucker & Tucker operated from the old Medical Arts Building in Baltimore.

"He had a policy that he never turned anyone away because they couldn't pay," his wife said. "Some patients just brought him cakes."

He also founded physical therapy departments at the old South Baltimore General Hospital, Church Home and Hospital, and North Charles General Hospital. From the early 1960s until his retirement this year, Mr. Tucker operated a series of satellite offices.

Among his other activities, Mr. Tucker coached and played on amateur fast-pitch softball teams and established a team in the early 1990s, Bill Tucker's Physical Therapy Associates. He was a charter member of the Baltimore Professional Duckpin Bowling League and at his death was a league bowler at the Parkville Bowling Lanes. He had been a longtime Baltimore Colts season ticket holder.

He exercised and was able to do one-handed chin-ups for many years. He also enjoyed saltwater and freshwater fishing, crabbing and boating. Family members said he had a love for jazz music and played the saxophone.

He owned prize-winning miniature pinschers named Ashley, Kasey, Dokota and Binky. He showed one at the Westminster Kennel Club in New York.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, William Earl Tucker III of Dunedin, Fla.; a daughter, Ann Tracey Tucker Kozar of Annandale, Va.; and a brother, Phillip Wayne Tucker of Catonsville. His marriage to the former Claudia Heim ended in divorce.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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