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Joanne Tucker Passes Away
Joanne Tucker, widow of Utah Golf Hall of Famer Karl Tucker, and the home-away-from-home mother of dozens of BYU golfers, passed away September 4th due to complications from surgery. She was well known in Utah golf circles and an active golfer and member at Riverside Country Club. The complete obituary is as follows:
Joanne Eliason Tucker
Sept. 11, 1930~Sept. 4, 2011
Our dear mother, Joanne Eliason Tucker, aged 80, died on Sept. 4, 2011, due to complications following surgery. She was with her extended family, whom she had loved and nurtured as a sister, mother, aunt, in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.
Joanne had a tremendously full, active life. She was born in Manti, Utah, in the heart of the Sanpete Valley, to Perry Carlton and Ada Jensen Eliason, from Moroni and Manti. She always said that no one had a more fun childhood than she and her Manti crowd, going to the mountains for cookouts, planning adventures in and out of school, and playing softball on a patch of grass at the north end of Main Street. A favorite pastime was afternoon tea and Scrabble with her much-loved grandparents, Emily and Erastus Jensen, at their home in town.
In 1948, Joanne moved to Provo to attend Brigham Young University, where she earned a teaching degree in Elementary Education, graduating in 1952. She was involved in social clubs and had a throng of friends. In the fall of 1950, she went on a date with Karl Tucker, to a Provo dance at the Rainbow Room. She already knew he played baseball, which was like her dad, and when she saw what a good dancer he was, she knew they were destined.
They married on Sept. 1, 1951, and finished their senior year as newlyweds, then moved to Portland, Oregon, where Joanne taught kindergarten and they had their first baby, Jackie. Back in Salt Lake and then Orem, she continued teaching as her young family grew. In 1971, she became a travel agent at Tour West (later, Morris Travel) and began a career around domestic and international travel, which she loved. She treasured her professional friendships from that time, retiring in 1990.
While Joanne worked most of her married life, her primary focus was always her family. She shared with Karl a passion for sports and gave herself heart-and-soul to the success of his BYU golf teams. Competitiveness was in her blood, and she sometimes said she should’ve been a coach, herself. She also said her happiest times were when the kids were still at home. She loved being a mom and made it a goal to have her workday over before school got out. She was her kids’ best booster through their years of school performances, recitals, baseball and football games, and golf and tennis matches. Later, this support extended to her grandkids and great-grandkids.
Joanne had a rich network of wonderful friends, stemming from her Manti roots and tied to years of playing bridge in her Salt Lake and Provo clubs and competing in Ladies’ Day golf at Riverside Country Club. She had a gift for making lasting connections, maintaining life-long relationships not only with close friends but also their children.
Her deepest bonds were with her family-her cherished parents and siblings, Eliason sister-in-law and nieces, her children, and the whole larger-than-life Tucker clan. People were really the stuff of her life.
As Karl’s partner she became a golfer, skier, and horseback rider. She was an avid reader and movie-goer, loved the ballet, opera, symphony, and theatre-making the Utah Shakespearean Festival a summer highlight for decades with her friends. She never shied from a political discussion or lost her love for the mountains and a good old-fashioned picnic.
Starting in her 40s, Joanne confronted kidney disease, which she surmounted by having two kidney transplants. Her brother, John, and daughter Jackie served as donors. She felt these were the most profound gifts of her life, enabling her to live healthily and happily for 30 extra years.
Speaking as her kids: Mom touched every aspect of our lives. Her love encircled us, our spouses, our children. She was our enduring cheerleader and greatest friend. We can only try to hold fast her memory- her spirit and presence, which we wanted never to lose.
Joanne was preceded in death by her husband, Karl. She is survived by her four children, Jackie (Curt) Wankier of Highland, Shellie (Jeff Thomas) Tucker of Seattle, Larry (Becky) of Provo, and Philip (Jil Goorman) of Salt Lake; her sister, Joyce Eliason of Los Angeles, and brother, John P. Eliason (Barbara), of Manti; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many close nieces and nephews.
There will be a viewing for Joanne on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 6 until 8 p.m., at the Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 E. 800 N., in Orem. The funeral service will be Monday, Sept. 12, at 11 a.m., at Noah’s, 644 N. 2000 W., in Lindon. The service will be preceded by a viewing at Noah’s from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Interment will be in the Orem City Cemetery.
Online condolences may be offered to the family at
Charity donations can be made to the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho, 3707 North Canyon Road, Suite 1D, Provo, UT 84604-4585.