He was Mr. Marco, the man with a large stature, who led boldly and held a gift for arguing effectively, while remaining gentle
The life of Marco’s longest-serving city councilman, E. Glenn Tucker, was celebrated Friday evening, just days after many were shocked to learn the news of his passing.
Tucker died about 5 p.m., Sunday of a brain aneurysm. He was 65.
Wife Bonnie Tucker chose to hold the funeral service at the largest Island church, Marco Presbyterian Church, and attendees included government officials, family and friends from all corners of Collier County.
Rev. Thomas McCulley expressed what made the loss of Tucker particularly difficult.
“Aneurysms are like meteors falling from the sky,” McCulley said. “You have no chance to prepare. We had no chance to say goodbye.”
Tucker was a permanent resident of Marco Island since 1978, becoming among the first two partners in the law firm Rhodes, Tucker & Garretson. He began serving on Marco’s first city council in 1998 and stepping down after reaching term limits in 2008.
“He was unfailingly fair, honest and direct in his approach,” McCulley said.
Tucker, however, described himself to many as a “simple country lawyer trying to eek out a living in the Everglades.”
He’s been described as honest and gruff, gentle and generous.
“My comments will really never do justice to my best friend,” said law partner Dusty Rhodes.
Rhodes described Tucker as the kind of gentleman from the old days when a handshake meant more than a signed document.
Island attorney and close friend Craig Woodward found himself on opposite sides of Tucker on several occasions. Yet the day Tucker died, the two planned to meet, as they often did, to relax together at an Everglades City camp.
Naples City Manager Bill Moss, a former city manager in Marco, had his differences with Tucker too. Moss said Tucker would often remind Moss that he wasn’t Tucker’s choice for city manager, even after the two became friends.
“He was a rough and tumble kind of guy, but he was really a pussy cat. We called him a teddy bear at city hall, but we didn’t tell him that. He was intensely, fiercely loyal to his friends,” Moss said.
Tucker was a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserves.
Bill Underwood, who attended Northwestern University with Tucker, said it was symbolic for Tucker to die on Memorial Day weekend.
Tucker served as a volunteer for several organizations, including President and Director of the Rotary, President of the YMCA, President of Residents’ Beach, Director of the Mental Health Association and as a member of the Coastal Advisory Committee and Tourist Development Council.
“He wasn’t just a resident of the State of Florida or of Marco Island, he was a citizen,” said Judge Hugh Hayes.
Moss said it took a couple days before Glenn’s death struck him.
“I could see Glenn’s face, that beard, that crooked smile and him saying ‘just get over me,’” Moss said.
Glenn had a fun side and played the trumpet “enough to enjoy making noise,” McCulley said with a smile.
He was a leader, not just in government, but in his personal life, serving as mentor to his nephew Tom Tucker, Jr., and adults throughout the community, although he had no children of his own.
Rhodes said he asked himself “what would Glenn do?” when he was in a challenging situation.
“He will be missed,” Hayes said, “but he is still leading the way.”