Wendell Ray Tucker, 81, of Lexington died Jan. 6, 2022, at Havenwood.

He was born in Delta, Ky., to Calvin Coolidge Tucker and Velda Benge Tucker on Oct. 18, 1940.

He grew up in Indianapolis, Ind., graduating from Thomas Carr Howe High School in 1958. He met and married Cynthia Arena McGahan in 1961 while they were students at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. He graduated from IU with an AB in chemistry in 1962 and got an MBA degree from IU in 1963.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army upon graduation and then went on active duty in 1963. He was stationed at the Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Ga., and graduated from the fixed wing flight school at Ft. Rucker, Ala., in 1964. He was assigned to the aviation company supporting the Southern European Task Force in Verona, Italy, in 1965 and 1966. He received his rotary wing training in Munich, Germany, in 1966.

From Italy he went to South Vietnam in 1967, where he initially commanded a platoon of helicopters, later became the brigade liaison officer and then became the battalion adjutant, completing his military career as a captain.

He got a JD cum laude degree from Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Fla., in 1970. He practiced law for 30 years, first with Williams, Parker, Harrison, Dietz and Getzen in Sarasota, Fla., in 1970 and 1971. In 1972 he joined the legal staff at General Motors Corporation in Detroit, Mich., becoming associate general counsel. While in Michigan, in 1981, he received a Master of Laws, LLM, from Wayne State University in Detroit.

He joined the law firm of Baker and Daniels in Indianapolis, Ind., as a partner in 1988 through 1998 and ended his law career with American Suzuki Motor Corporation in Brea, Calif., from 1998 to 2002.

He retired in Sedona, Ariz., using that as a base for his love of traveling. His favorite place was New Zealand where he went four times, spending months at a time there. He spent a year in Monkton, Md., and then moved to Lexington in April 2007.

He was very generous and helpful during his military service and law career, providing individuals and groups with pro bono help.

He is lovingly remembered by his wife of 60 years; three daughters and their spouses, Helen and Dan Payne, Seminole, Fla., Catherine and Bill Malo, Norwich, Vt., and Elizabeth and Jimmy Koniuto, Oakland, Calif.; two sons, Wendell Jr., Kennesaw, Ga., and Scott, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; nine grandchildren, Morgan Payne, Dylan Payne, Bella Malo, Hannah Koniuto, Sophia Tucker, Isaiah Tucker, Simon Tucker, Olivia Tucker and Violet Tucker; a brother, Jeff Tucker; an aunt, Virginia Trent; and many cousins and friends.

He loved to read, vegetable garden, hike, play tennis, basketball and squash, attend swim meets and concerts in which his children participated, attend concerts and plays and spend time with family and friends.

There will be no service. The family will have a private memorial later.

The News-Gazette

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