Cover photo for Mary Jean Rucker's Obituary
Mary Jean Rucker Profile Photo
1921 Mary 2021

Mary Jean Rucker

July 28, 1921 — August 22, 2021

Mary Jean Rucker, 100 years old, of Sierra Madre, passed away on August 22, 2021, shortly after a stroke.

Mary was born on July 28, 1921, to Roy and Grace Haney in Rochester, Minnesota. Her parents owned a farm northeast of Rochester. After graduating from Rochester High School in 1939 she went on to study education at Winona State Teachers College in Winona, Minnesota.

After graduation, she landed her first job as a teacher in a rural one room country school near her farm home. One of the students Mary had at the one room rural school was her sister Audrey.

In approximately 1943, she was at a rural youth dance and met Merrill Edward Rucker from Oronoco, Minnesota and they wed on June 16, 1944.

When Mary had her first son Ed, she split her life into being a fantastic and wonderful mother and maintaining the duties of being a farm wife. Dan, Lorie and Jan were all born while living in Oronoco, Minnesota on a dairy farm. In the spring of 1955, they auctioned off the farm and moved to Fresno, California. Merrill made the decision to move to California due to the previous winter hitting temperatures of minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Merrill had ventured to California after high school with his brother and a couple of cousins and this trip had given him the desire to see what California had promised. In the Fresno area they bought a 20 acre ranch in the town of Clovis and sold after a year or so. Then a 40-acre vineyard was bought and later sold. A home was bought in the Sunnyside area of Fresno. During this time Merrill and Mary made the decision to buy Tower Variety in Fresno which they ran for several years.

In 1962, Merrill got a job at North American Aviation and the family moved to Palmdale. During this time Mary got a job with State of California Employment Development Department from which she retired.

Mary was a passionate loving person and filled her home with warmth and kindness. She enjoyed her retirement with Merrill in Palmdale. After Merrill died in 1995, she moved to Menifee and then Canyon Lake to be near her daughter, Jan.

The last five years or so have been in Sierra Madre at an assisted living facility.

We will miss her greatly.

Mary was predeceased by her husband Merrill, her son Dan, her father and Mother, Roy and Grace, step-mother Minnie, her brother Avert and sisters Doris, Floy, Nadine, and Helen. She is survived by her son Ed, daughters Lorie and Jan, and her sister Audrey.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the City of Hope: 1500 East Duarte Rd. Duarte, Ca 91010. There will be a celebration of life on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at 11:00 AM. This celebration will be held at East Whittier Presbyterian Church, located at 14061 2nd Street Whittier, CA 90605.
(562) 698-9948

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Jean Rucker, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 11, 2023

East Whittier Presbyterian Church

14061 2nd St, Whittier, CA 90605

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