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Robert ‘Bob’ Tucker (1929-2022): West End visionary and family man

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A “visionary” who helped to shape modern Dockyard from the helm of the West End Development Corporation was driven by a sense of service to Bermuda.

The family of Robert “Bob” Tucker said he was determined to forge his own path from growing up as son of Sir Henry James “Jack” Tucker, the businessman and first Government Leader of Bermuda.

Sir Henry, who died in 1986, was saluted in 2011 as one of the architects of modern Bermuda with his induction as a National Hero.

Mr Tucker attended the ceremony with his wife, Anne, to receive his father’s posthumous reward.

After 30 years in the US working for the global giant Shell Oil, Mr Tucker returned home in 1984 to an array of leadership roles — starting as executive director of Wedco, as the quango redrew Dockyard and the West End.

Mr Tucker was chairman of the board for Belco, and chaired the Bermuda Hospitals Board from 1992 to 1996.

His daughter Rebecca Holliman told The Royal Gazette: “He always had the consciousness of being Jack Tucker’s son, and it was one of the reasons he left to work in the States, to make his own way in life.

“By the time he came home in 1984, he was pretty assured he had done just that.”

Mr Tucker attended Saltus before boarding at Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts, followed by Haverford College, Pennsylvania, where he studied political science.

He met his future wife, Anne Tucker Howell, on a blind date for her 18th birthday.

Known as “Tuck”, she attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and the shared name piqued the interest of Mr Tucker’s friends.

They proved a swift match, and the two married in 1952 in her home town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

A dual citizen, Mr Tucker was engaged in two years’ national service in the US Army, and had to return to training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina after the wedding.

The couple lived there until his military service was complete.

Mr Tucker’s lengthy career at Shell Oil took the couple from New York to Connecticut, California and Texas.

Their daughter, Beth Morrow, said: “It was always his intent to come back to Bermuda, and he left Shell maybe a little earlier than he would have because of that.”

Robert Tucker and his wife, Anne, at the 2011 National Heroes induction ceremony for his father, Sir Henry “Jack” Tucker (File photograph)

Returning to the family home at Hungry Bay, Paget, Mr Tucker spent time with his father as he began work with Wedco, where family described him as a “visionary”.

Son-in-law Bobby Morrow said: “Bob felt it was his way to give to the island, and he was very excited about the redevelopment of Dockyard. The first time Beth and I came to Bermuda, he showed us what was happening there.

“Dockyard has a special place in our hearts because of Bob’s impact putting it back on the map.

“You could see the excitement and vision he and the people working with him had for it.”

Ms Morrow added: “It was very much a part of him to give back and be a leader in the island, like his father but in a different vein.”

Mr Tucker remained “an oilman”, Mr Morrow said, and met regularly with people in the industry.

But after his public roles he preferred time with family, playing tennis and golf, and travelling to each of his grandchildren’s high school graduations.

Son-in-law Mike Holliman said: “He and Anne were not social butterflies, and Bob was not looking for the limelight — they wanted their family and privacy.”

The couple, who were closely involved with the Peace Lutheran Church near their home, would have celebrated their 70th anniversary in July.

A third daughter, Katherine Leamy, predeceased Mr Hall, who is survived by his wife.

Mr Tucker was “quick-witted, extremely generous, compassionate and fun” with a fondness for singing from popular musicals, the family said.

He enjoyed his later years watching his grandchildren play from the porch of the family home, and looking out on Hungry Bay.

Ms Holliman said: “He was a rock — family was so important.

“He always said that home was the place where, when you go back, they have to take you in.”

Robert Newbold Tucker, a businessman with Shell Oil and former general manager of the West End Development Corporation, was born on December 14, 1929. He died on April 5, 2022, aged 92

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Published April 29, 2022 at 7:44 am (Updated April 29, 2022 at 7:44 am)

Robert ‘Bob’ Tucker (1929-2022): West End visionary and family man

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