James Franklin Rucker
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James Franklin Rucker
Service is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Stephenville Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Scott Pace officiating. Interment will follow at the Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Bluff Dale. James will lie in state Tuesday and Wednesday before the service at the funeral home.
James was born Dec. 20, 1935, in Brazos, Texas, to Otis E. Rucker Sr. and Alyne Ford Rucker. He grew up in Rucker Station in Palo Pinto County and attended Santo Schools, graduating in 1954. James played basketball at Weatherford College then attended North Texas State University and TWU while working as a draftsman at General Dynamics briefly, then working at Mitchell Industries in Mineral Wells, where he loved being on an engineering team that designed autopilots for small aircraft.
In 1968, James became an independent contract agent for State Farm Insurance Companies. He owned and operated his agency in Stephenville for 40 years. On Feb. 1, 2008, he retired to his ranch at Bluff Dale. After a year of travel, he enjoyed clearing his land and building a herd of Texas longhorns.
James was a quiet man, a cheerful benefactor of his church, family and community. He was a deacon in the Baptist Church for many years, and at the time of death James was a member of the Bluff Dale Baptist Church. He was distinguished as a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, serving in the Stephenville chapter as president. He chaired many committees and was especially blessed to serve Meals on Wheels and distribute American flags. James was a sponsor of many community programs and charitable organizations.
He is survived by his wife, Bonnie; daughters, Cindy Harper and husband David, and Mary Sparks and husband Donald; step-daughter, Terri Mayfield-Cowan and husband Mark Cowan; granddaughter, Lexie Sparks; three grandsons, Jonathan Harper, Joshua Harper and Logan Cowan; sister, Sally Rucker; brother, Otis E Rucker Jr.; mother of his children, Ola Jean Rucker; several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
James was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters, Martha Louise Watson and Vera Beatrice Langford.
Memorials may be made in his name to the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, P.O. Box 1890, Amarillo, TX 79174; or to the American Red Cross.
Online condolences may be made at www.stephenvillefh.com.
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