Dr. Tucker quite literally spent a lifetime in service to his family, his community and his country. He served the country during World War II. As a physician he cared for the community of East Point, Georgia, and a national community of airline pilots for more than 50 years.
Dr. Tucker was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1913. Despite the adversity of the Great Depression and the early loss of his father, he won scholarships to attend Columbia University in New York at the age of 16. After three years, he graduated with honors in organic chemistry. He attended Harvard Medical School, again receiving several scholarships, and in 1938 graduated cum laude as the class Salutatorian.
Following surgical residencies at Massachusetts General and other noted Boston hospitals, Dr. Tucker was called to service. The U.S. Army was in need of his specialty in tropical diseases. He went to work as a flight surgeon for Pan America Africa Ltd., which had been tasked with creating an air supply route in support of allied campaigns in Africa and Europe. Dr. Tucker helped establish hospitals in equatorial Africa, and later saw service in North Africa, Italy, and the Pacific.
In 1945 he was attached to the Marine Corps as the US prepared for the possible invasion of Japan. He was among the first team of American doctors to visit Japan and view the effects of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Like many in the Greatest Generation, Dr. Tucker readily moved from the world-changing events in Asia to the more modest pursuits of home.
In 1947 Dr. Tucker, desiring to provide care to hard-working families, established a medical practice in downtown East Point. Word of Dr. Tucker's skill, boundless energy and indomitable spirit quickly spread, and he was soon treating workers from local mills and factories. "Dr. Tucker's office" would become a mainstay of downtown East Point. For many years, the office remained open 24 hours a day so that all who were in need of care could be seen.
Perhaps his most noted medical success came in the care and treatment of airline pilots. Dr. Tucker became known nationally as a true pilot advocate and friend, offering help and advice that kept many pilots, who were required to meet the government's rigid physical standards, healthy and in the air.
A staunch advocate of education, Dr. Tucker served as a member of the Governing Board of Woodward Academy for more than 25 years. He was also a member of the Society of the Cincinnati and the Atlanta Athletic Club.
In 1998 he retired from medicine at the age of 85.
Thank you to Find A Grave contributor "G_Law" for traveling to the cemetery, confirming burial, finding plot, providing a report and for taking photos.
(Note: Stone and SSDI indicate a birth year of 1913 while the obituary states 1914 as the year of birth.)
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