Marco’s Glenn Tucker leaves legacy of honesty

Funeral arrangements announced for city’s former, longest-serving councilman, who suffered aneurysm

On Monday, Glenn Tucker will serve as a City Council member in his last regular meeting after 10 years. Tucker is the council's longest-serving councilor, though he admits that he would not have run for his final term if he could rewrite history.

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On Monday, Glenn Tucker will serve as a City Council member in his last regular meeting after 10 years. Tucker is the council's longest-serving councilor, though he admits that he would not have run for his final term if he could rewrite history.

Glenn Tucker

Eagle staff

Glenn Tucker

— He was the lawyer and former city council member with a crusty exterior and a heart of pure gold.

Glenn Tucker, one of Marco Island’s first and the longest serving city council members died Sunday after suffering a brain aneurysm. He was 65.

Friends and colleagues were still coming to terms with the news Sunday afternoon, which spread quickly through the town of 14,000 after Tucker’s wife, Bonnie, took him to the hospital that morning. He was taken off a respirator after doctors determined he had no brain activity, and he passed away before 5 p.m.

Though Tucker’s death was a shock, friends were at no loss for words to sum up what he meant to the community.

“He was generous to a fault,” said Dusty Rhodes, Tucker’s law partner. “He gave away money, he gave away time that people will never know about. It was typical and not unusual for a client to come into the office and be down and out and for Glenn to support them and not to charge them, and people never knew about it. I think he thought it was something he needed to do for people.”

Tucker and Rhodes started a law firm together in the ‘70s, soon after they met while representing opposing sides on a case. In 1997, Tucker was elected to serve on the then-new city council.

He had opposed incorporation, but ran to represent the 49 percent of island residents who felt the same way as him.

“I kind of tend to hope they’ll just forget about me,” Tucker said in a February 2008 interview before leaving office. “I didn’t run for council to have a legacy. When I ran for council it was because, cityhood having passed, I wanted to participate to see that it was running correctly.”

He was often a controversial figure, known for his no-nonsense style of decision making and his willingness to speak his mind, no matter the consequences.

It was something that cost the firm of Rhodes, Tucker and Garretson a lot of clients, said Rhodes, but when Tucker cast a vote, it was for what he believed to be the best interest of the young city.

“I think his legacy should be his honesty,” said Rhodes. “He always voted for what he thought was right for the people of Marco, despite what the vocal minority brought out.”

Marco City Council Chair Rob Popoff, who called Tucker a mentor, said Tucker’s candor was at the same time a blessing to those who knew him privately.

“He was extremely, extremely honest and frank with people,” said Popoff. “I think that’s the reason he had so many friends, because you never questioned where you stood with him.”

Former Marco Island City Manager Bill Moss saw the city grow up through the same period as Tucker. Tucker ran into 10-year term limits just a few months after Moss left Marco Island for the city of Naples.

Tucker was on the committee that initiated the search for a city manager — and liked to point out that he actually voted against hiring Moss. But the two developed a fondness for each other that became evident as both prepared to leave their respective positions at the end of 2007.

“Over the years, I’ve come to think Mr. Moss is the best you can find,” Tucker said in a November 2007 interview after Moss was hired as the Naples city manager.

Moss said Tucker’s fingerprint is all over the city, from the creation of the Marco Island YMCA to his work as legal counsel for the Marco Island Association of Realtors.

“So much of what we see today is part of the leadership and intellectual capabilities he was able to share with his colleagues on city council,” said Moss.

One of Tucker’s closest friends and a fellow attorney, Craig Woodward, said Tucker leaves behind a trail of kindnesses, some small, some monumental and some that may never be known by the wider world. He took people to the doctor when they needed it, even supported some people by putting them up in a condo rent-free while they got back on their feet.

“He never took any praise for it or publicly mentioned it,” said Woodward. “He was the kind of guy who had a hard time saying ‘no’ to anybody.”

Those people know who they are, though, said Rhodes. Though Tucker did not have any children of his own, there are scores of children on Marco Island who Tucker supported with guidance, money and love when they needed it.

“He’s always bent over backwards for children,” said Rhodes. “There are some pretty prominent people on Marco Island that Glenn Tucker stayed up many nights with helping them through situations.”

Wife Bonnie Tucker announced visitations scheduled 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday at Hodges-Josberger Funeral Home, 577 Elkcam Circle, Marco Island.

Services are to be held 4:30 p.m. Friday at Marco Presbyterian Church, 875 West Elkcam Circle.

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Comments » 7

fairandbalanced writes:

Rest in Peace, Glenn. Your passing over Memorial Day weekend will memorialize your outstanding service to our country and our community. You stood tall and true to your convictions when it was not always the popular thing to do.
It was an honor to be your friend.
My deepest sympathies to Bonnie and the rest of your family.

Bob Dictor

lauralbi1 writes:

What a loss of a great man. For the first time in a long time, I am at a loss for words. He put up with so much and yet always found the time to make this Island a better place for all of us. My best wishes go out to his family.

What a shame to think that his enjoyment of life may have been affected by what he felt so passionately about and what he took so personally. It really puts into perspective what we all should consider important, and that is enjoying this Paradise and leave pettiness at the bridge.

Again, our hearts and best wishes go out to his family.

Ed Issler

PaigeRhodesSchmidt writes:

The family at Rhodes, Tucker & Garretson is in total disbelief and shock that this has happened to someone who was larger than life and guided us on so many issues in life and law. We are deeply saddened and will miss him more than anyone can ever imagine.
He was more than a managing partner in my father's firm. He was a mentor, listener and "second father" since I can remember. This has been the worst day I can ever remember. It doesn't seem real. He was a gentle giant with a heart of gold and a comforting and fun attitude that went a long way for too many years for me to count.
I'm going to miss him more than is imaginable. He was someone I could always count on, someone who was always there and would always listen.
Rest in Peace Uncle Glenn. I'm going to miss you.
Paige Rhodes-Schmidt

happy6 writes:

what a terrible, terrible thing to happen to such a man and family. my prayers will go out for the family and glenn.

Anastasis writes:

This is a sad day. Marco Island has lost a great man, and we have lost a great friend. Glenn always described himself as "just a country lawyer trying to eek out a living in the Everglades," but there are no words that adequately describe his great intellect, his quick wit, or his kind heart. It was my great privilege to work for him, to know him, to call him a friend.
Daryl McCulley

marcoroadie writes:

As someone who was fortunate enough to call Glenn a friend, I am saddened by his passing beyond measure. He was a great leader, a good, gentle and generous man and an inspiration to all who knew him.
We will keep his place at lunch and the bottle of bourbon ready (Woodford Reserve, the good stuff). May he rest in peace. My deepest sympathy to Bonnie and all his friends and family
Pat Neale

MMINOZZI writes:

AS I'M SURE YOU UNDERSTAND, I AM IN COMPLETE SHOCK AT THE PASSING OF GLENN. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF KNOWING GLENN BEFORE WE BOTH BECAME INVOLVED IN CITY BUSINESS AND OF COURSE WORKING WITH GLENN ON THE CITY COUNCIL.

GLENN TUCKER IS ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT, HONEST AND COMPASSIONATE PEOPLE I HAVE EVER BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH. HE DID NOT LOOK FOR SELF-GLORY OR FOR ANYTHING ELSE IN RETURN FOR ALL OF THE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE HE PROVIDED TO SO MANY PEOPLE.

GLENN HAD A DEEP LOVE FOR MARCO ISLAND AND A TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS FOR OUR CITY. HE UNDERSTOOD THE ISSUES AND DEALT WITH THEM FAIRLY. HE WAS ABLE TO COMMUNICATE HIS POSITION IN SUCH A WAY THAT YOU KNEW EXACTLY WHERE HE WAS COMING FROM.

ON ISSUES WHERE THERE WAS DISAGREEMENT, GLENN ALWAYS RESPECTED OTHERS POINTS OF VIEW, HE WOULD NOT PERSONALIZE OR DEMEAN SOMEONE ELSES OPINION. WHEN GLENN SPOKE, PEOPLE LISTENED, BECAUSE PEOPLE KNEW THAT GLENN KNEW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT.

I HAVE ALWAYS HAD THE UTMOST RESPECT FOR GLENN AND HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM HIM.

LYNNE AND I CONSIDER GLENN TO BE A DEAR AND VALUED FRIEND. WE WILL MISS HIM TERRIBLY. HE IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.

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