Zula Mae Stone Patterson Tucker, 93 year old Checotah native, died following a brief illness Saturday morning, October 20, 2012 in Denton, Texas. Born Sunday, December 15, 1918 into a pioneer family, Zula was the daughter of William David and Bessie Leona (Hogan) Stone in Checotah, Oklahoma. She attended Checotah schools and graduated in the Class of 1936. On Friday, June 2, 1939, she married Charles Patterson who preceded her in death in 1970.
Zula’s first job in a retail store was with Palmer Mercantile. In 1954 she was one of the first 10 employees hired at Patterson Manufacturing which moved here from Miami. After 33 years, at the time of her retirement, Zula was head of the finishing department at the garment factory which had, by then, become White Stag and employed 200 local women. Whether she lived in the country or in the town, Zula skillfully meshed her role of homemaker with business. Never did her work ethic lessen nor her charitable consideration for her circle of co-workers, family and friends.
In February 1983, she became Mrs. George J. Tucker, joining the owner in operating the oldest family-owned business in Checotah, Tuck the Tailor. Zula accepted a new responsibility, “running the front” of the establishment. As a team, they worked together in what was a thriving 94-year old cleaning shop which they sold in 2003. During their 28-year marriage, the couple enjoyed traveling all across the United States and abroad to Great Britain, Germany, Hawaii and Nova Scotia and had cruises to the Bahamas and Alaska.
Civic involvement was important to the Tuckers. Zula was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star #25 and Rebekah Lodge #12. As a 50- year cancer survivor, she participated in Relay for Life. Together, George and Zula were charter members of Checotah Main Street, Friends of Honey Springs and Checotah Landmark Preservation Society, where as hosts on Sunday afternoons, they welcomed visitors to the 1890 M-K-T Depot. They were recognized as CLPS’s Significant Alumni in 1998. They were also loyal members of First United Methodist Church. Zula was active in United Methodist Women and both volunteered in Methodist Mission. One of the Tuckers’ recent joys was being part of Phase 1 of the church’s expansion project.
To be near the children, in 2005, they moved to Lake Forest Village in Denton, Texas. It was there that George died on Wednesday, February 23, 2011. Zula was preceded in death by her parents and husbands. She is lovingly survived by her daughter Joanne Patterson Moses and husband Robert of Denton, TX; two granddaughters and their husbands, Dawn Mitcham with husband Wyatt of Costa Mesa, CA and Shawn Oliver with husband John both of Denton, TX; brother Frank R. Stone; nephew Reed V. Stone both of De Funiak, FL; additional extended family members and many lifelong friends.
The family has requested that to honor the life of Zula Tucker, memorials be made to the Building Fund, First United Methodist Church P.O. Box 36 Checotah, OK 74426. Her family will greet friends 5-7 PM Thursday, October 25, 2012 at Garrett Family Funeral Home. Services celebrating the life Zula Tucker will be 1 PM Friday, October 26, 2012 at First United Methodist with Reverend Benny Waller officiating. The family has invited all to join them for a reception immediately following the service in the fellowship hall. Private committal prayers and Interment will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery under the personal direction of John Garrett. You may share online condolences with Zula’s family @www.garrettfamilyfuneralhome.com. The family of Zula Mae Tucker entrusted her care, services and burial to John & Kim Garrett of Garrett Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service 311 SW 2nd Checotah, OK 74426 (918) 473-2244.