Booker RuckerJanuary 8, 2016
Booker Hall "B.H." Rucker III, 76, of Taos, passed away Tuesday, January 5, 2016, at University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. He was born October 29, 1939, in Rolla, Missouri, the son of the late Ray S. and Jessie (Stark) Rucker. B.H. attended the Missouri School of Mines and later graduated from the University of Missouri Columbia. While working on his graduate degree at the University of Missouri he participated in excavations at the Osage Village State Historic Site, The Missouri Indian Village at Van Meter State Park, the George Caleb Bingham residence at Arrow Rock, and numerous other archaeological sites. In 1963, he conducted historical and archaeological studies at Watkins Woolen Mill, Washington State Park, and the first Missouri State Capitol Historic site. During these studies he also taught elementary school in Union, Missouri. In 1966, he returned to Watkins Mill as the Site Administrator to oversee the restoration and development of the facility as a state historic site. He worked full time for the Missouri State Parks for 36 years. This enabled him to devote his career to both the history and culture of Missouri. In 1971, he became the Chief of Historic Sites and in 1974, became Assistant Director of the State Parks Division. Throughout his career, B.H. served in various ways in the preservation, restoration, operation and interpretation to the public of historical and archaeological resources. He retired in 2003, as Director of the Cultural and Natural Resource Management Program. During retirement, B.H. worked with the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri in the preservation and restoration of the 1787 Memorial Cemetery and other projects in Ste. Genevieve, as part of a long term interest in French colonial architecture. Also in retirement, he co-authored a book on the State Parks of Missouri, which has just been released. He was a recipient of the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation's Rozier Award in 2006. He was also a talented amateur fine arts photographer. In addition to his wife, Elaine of 51 years, B.H. is survived by two children, John Rucker (Linda Moore), Jefferson City; Sarah Rucker Williams, Columbia; three grandchildren, Sam Luke Williams, Emily Elaine Williams, Marnie Jane Rucker Williams; two brothers, Ray Rucker, Rolla; Stark (Penne) Rucker, Australia; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; an aunt, Dorothy Stark; two uncles, Douglas Stark and Jack Stark; and a nephew, Luke Rucker. A remembrance service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, January 9, 2016, at Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home with visitation following till 5 p.m. Memorials are suggested to the Missouri State Parks Association, of which he was a long term board member. Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Those wishing to email tributes or condolences to the family may do so at the www.dulletrimble.com website.