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Sophie Rucker
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Birth: Jun. 16, 1921
Shanghai Municipality, China
Death: Nov. 5, 2011
Little Rock
Pulaski County
Arkansas, USA

Sophie Rucker, 90, died in Little Rock on Saturday, November 5, 2011. With unusual grace and dignity, Sophie fought a two-year battle against cancer.

Sophie lived a fascinating life. She was born in Shanghai, China.

During World War II, Sophie attempted to apply for a job at the U.S. Army base. Without the proper papers, she was prevented from entering the base by a young GI named Nelson Rucker. True to her way, she struck up a conversation with the GI that developed into a life-long relationship.

In 1948, after the war and just prior to the closing of China by the communist revolution, Sophie left China alone to meet Nelson in Los Angeles. Alone in a strange country, speaking little English, Sophie waited at the airport two hours in the summer heat not knowing that Nelson's Model A had broken down on the freeway.

As an immigrant, Sophie needed to be married within 72 hours or face deportation. Nelson was fond of telling the comic story of their 72-hour race to marry.

With Sophie's Chinese value of hard work, Nelson and Sophie built a family. They adopted their only daughter at six weeks of age and were foster parents to several children over the years, including their special child, Michael Cromey. Sophie's one regret in her life was not being able to adopt Michael. Sophie had an unusual gift of kindness. Wherever she went, she would strike up conversations with strangers. Many of her chance encounters with people developed into life-long friendships. Sophie and Nelson spent most of their lives in Southern California. Sophie raised her family and worked in a variety of jobs. In 1981, Sophie worked for the new Apple Computer Company, where she nearly died from severe burns to her hands and upper body in a work-related accident. They moved to Arkansas in 1996 so they could be close to their daughter and grandchildren. They lived out their Christian faith through hospitality, serving, and loving others. Even in their old age, they spent their time volunteering and visiting the sick and elderly. Age and illness did not dampen Sophie's character. As her hearing, eyesight, and health failed her, she remained cheerful and loving to the end. Her last words to her family were: "You are all here. I love you."

Sophie now rejoins Nelson, her husband of 63 years, who told her just before his death in 2010, "I will wait for you." Sophie will be dearly missed by her daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Mark Edwards, her three grandchildren, Derek, Malia, and Jack, her forever foster child, Michael Cromey, and her extended family and many friends.

Visitation will be held 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Monday, November 7, 2011, at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, (501)224-8300 .

Funeral services will be held 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 8, 2011, at the funeral home, with Reverend Rodney Shanner officiating. Burial will follow at Pinecrest Memorial Park.

Memorials may be made to Arkansas Hospice, 14 Parkstone Circle, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116.
Family links: 
  Nelson Edwin Rucker (1927 - 2010)
Pinecrest Memorial Park and Garden Mausoleum
Saline County
Arkansas, USA
Created by: Kinfolk
Record added: Nov 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79969242
Sophie Rucker
Added by: Kinfolk
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- Kinfolk
 Added: Nov. 6, 2011

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