Harold “Howd” Melville Tucker passed away peacefully at home on June 29, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. He was 98 years old. Howd was born on August 16, 1921 in Bismarck, North Dakota to the late Martin “Frank” Tooker and Orrill Elsie Potter. The family moved to Yamhill, Oregon in 1932. Howd attended Yamhill Carlton High School during his junior and senior years, graduating in 1940.
In July of 1942, Howd was drafted into the United States Army and was sent to Camp Carson, Colorado in the 89th Division. The company broke up and he was sent to Camp Hale Ski Troop 10th Mount Division. Howd was a jeep driver and transportation corporal. He served in two oversee tours in France, Germany, and Austria. Howd’s first “taste” of combat included 110 days of battle without rest and being one of two survivors in his company. Howd was wounded in combat near Montsec American Monument in Montec (Thiaucourt), France in 1944 and was awarded the Purple Heart in 1950. Howd was immensely proud of his military service from 1942—1946 and regularly relived these memories through storytelling. In 2009, Howd was honored for his service by traveling to Washington, D.C. with the Honor Flight Network.
After returning from the war, Howd played minor league baseball for the Santa Barbara Dodgers and, ultimately, became a professional painter, owning and operating Jet Finishing in Santa Monica, California. Howd married Gertrude “Diane” Trued (1928—2019) in 1979, and they resided in Scappoose, Oregon for 33 years. Diane and Howd were members of Bethany Lutheran Church in Warren, Oregon. Upon retirement, Howd worked with his son-in-law at A to Z Rentals in Portland, Oregon.
Howd enjoyed gardening, making homemade tomato soup, and playing games. He played Solitaire and Yahtzee two times daily and invited all friends and family to join in the fun. Howd often dawned his pearl snap shirt, belt buckle, and cowboy boots to twirl Diane around the dance floor to his favorite country western tunes. He was a jack-of-all-trades and master carpenter, meticulously restoring an old farmhouse and building a two-story wrap around deck with 360-degree views. Howd, known to many as “Papa Howdy” in his later life, loved coffee, wine, and joking around. He regaled his family with entertaining stories, including tales of a UFO sighting and a visit from the Feds in search of his father’s elusive still, and peppered all conversations with old phrases and sayings like “you betcha,” “off like a dirty shirt,” and “up to the table if you are able, Mable.”
Howd was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 40 years Diane Tucker; son Daniel Keith Tucker; parents, Frank and Orrill Tucker; brothers, Ralph, Clinton, Spud, and Cecil; sisters, Eveaulette, Gladys, Edna, Violet, Carroll, Norma, June, and Rosalie.
Howd leaves behind his devoted daughter and caregiver Suzi Spaulding of Bend; granddaughter Raeann Voorhies (Luke); great-grandsons, Jeffery and Jakob Voorhies of Bend; sons, Melvin Jeffery Tucker of Hawaii and Duane “Phillip” Tucker of Rainier; stepchildren, Ainsley Collins of Arizona, Cathy Baedor of Tualatin, and Viki Sheldon of Roseburg; grandchildren, Stevie, Lisa, Leslie, Logan, James, Danny, Samantha, Jesika, Mat, Blair, Gabe, and Zach; nine great-grandchildren; and niece Lana of Wilsonville.
In lieu of a service, a private online memorial will be held. In Howd’s memory, please direct contributions to the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS) or the Honor Flight Network.