Lotta Bess Baldwin Tucker stepped into eternity on January 14, 2019, at the age of 92. Named after two favorite aunts and her maternal grandmother, she was born in O’Donnell, Texas, on July 22, 1926 to Caryl and Neva (Bourland) Baldwin. One of four girls, she grew up in Lamesa, graduating from Lamesa High School in 1943, and moved to Lubbock to join her older sister, Jimmie Jean, at Texas Tech. She was a member of the KoShari social club at Tech and later was a founding member of the Texas Tech chapter of Pi Beta Phi fraternity. It was in a registration line at Tech where she met Bill Tucker, who gave her the nickname of “L.B.” The handsome pilot had returned to Texas Tech after serving in WWII and swept L.B. off her feet. L.B. graduated from Texas Tech in 1947 with a degree in journalism. She was twice named the college “Class Favorite” and remained a favorite of everyone she encountered throughout her life.
L.B. married Bill Tucker on August 29, 1947, which began a 63-year union, only ending with Bill’s death in 2010. They moved to Austin where she supported him through law school with her job at the Texas Highway Department. She is the mother of four children: William “Bill” Tucker (Ilene Ross); Gerald Tucker (Debbie); Nancy Sharp (Scott) and Kathy Carroll (Don). She built a happy home for her children, teaching them the tenderness of a mother’s love and introducing them to the importance of words and education. For more than 25 years, she taught Sunday School to elementary school children at First Baptist Church, and she held a membership in the Lubbock ISD PTA for 30 years. She was a remarkable seamstress, sewing everything from prom dresses and school play costumes to doll clothes and quilts for her grandchildren. Friendships and learning remained important to L.B. throughout her life. She was a member of the Heritage Study Club for more than 40 years and played bridge with a group of women for 50 years. She was not afraid of learning new things and was equally at home in Rabbi Kline’s art lecture and in classes to obtain her certified pesticide operator’s license in her 70s.
Joyously referred to as the “baby whisperer,” “Nana” was a master of quieting a restless baby. She had a special gift for nurturing the creativity of her children and grandchildren, and taught them all to appreciate the outdoors. She is the grandmother of Travis Sharp (Cathy), Aaron Tucker (Emily), Rachel Tucker, Sara Sharp (Jason Harner), Michael Tucker, Jack Carroll, Elisa Carroll and Wil Carroll. She delighted in her four great-grandchildren: Tucker and Ella Sharp, and Sam and Lily Tucker.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Billy Dykes Tucker and sister Jimmie Jean Ryan Tidwell. She is also survived by two sisters, Carolyn Barrier and Katharine Earnest, both of Lubbock, Theo Tucker, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. The family also acknowledges her special friend and caregiver, Gloria Boyd; Dr. Brad Snodgrass, Estella Pedroza and the staffs of Raider Ranch and Hospice of Lubbock.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, January 15, from 6 – 7:30 p.m. at Lake Ridge Memorial Designers 6025-82nd Street. A graveside service will be at Resthaven Memorial Park at 10 a.m. on Thursday, January 17, followed by a celebration of life service at 11 a.m. at Second Baptist Church, 6109 Chicago.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the American Diabetes Association, 8008 Slide Road, Suite 12-A, Lubbock, Texas, 79424; the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 4550 Montgomery Ave., Suite 1100 N, Bethesda, MD 20814; Hospice of Lubbock, or a favorite charity.