Harold Kendall “Bill” Rucker

November 26, 1940 – July 30, 2017

Harold Kendall “Bill” Rucker, age 76, of Gatesville, passed away Sunday, July 30, 2017, in Temple, Texas. Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 2, 2017, at First Baptist Church in Gatesville with Dr. Levi Price officiating. Burial followed at Clifton Memorial Park in Clifton, Texas. Bill was born on November 26, 1940, in Lueders, Texas, to the late Harold Rucker and Gertrude Sharbutt Rucker. His family lived in several towns in Texas before settling in Nacogdoches, where Bill was an honor student, played trombone and was a standout baritone in the school and church choirs. He graduated from Nacogdoches High School in 1959, and went on to Baylor University, where he earned his bachelor of music education with a specialty in voice in 1963. He was the director of music and youth at First Baptist Church in Clifton, where he met his future wife, Gayle Tankersley. Gayle and Bill were married on August 24, 1963. They moved to Gatesville where he began teaching music, band and choir for Gatesville ISD. He became the music director for First Baptist Church in Gatesville in 1964. During his career, Bill served in many churches and schools throughout central Texas, including First United Methodist Church in Gatesville and First United Methodist Church in Hamilton, as well as Temple, Waco and Copperas Cove ISD. He retired from Copperas Cove in 2006, but he continued to substitute teach in Gatesville. He was a member of the Gatesville Masonic Lodge. Bill was a member of First Baptist Church where he was also a deacon, Sunday school teacher and member of the choir. He devoted his life fully to the service of our Lord, and led his family to follow in his footsteps. Bill is survived by his wife of 53 years, Gayle Rucker; daughters, Phyllis Gayle Alexander and husband, Mark of Robinson, and Carol Lee Plant and husband, Steve of Plano; sister, Sara Lou “Totsy” Cunningham and husband, Hunter of Nacogdoches; brother-in-law, Bobby Tankersley and wife, Peggy of Burleson; grandchildren, Katherine Gayle Alexander, Trevor Kendall Plant and Rachel Lee Plant; numerous nieces and nephews; many lifelong friends; and countless students whom he loved dearly. In lieu of fl owers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 912 E. Main Street, Gatesville, TX 76528 or to the worship center or charity of your choice. Pallbearers were Robert F. “Bob” Salter, Dr. Steven Norris, nephews, Randy Cunningham, Greg Tankersley, Brett Tankersley, and Darren Tankersley. Honorary pallbearers were the deacons of First Baptist Church.

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