- About Us
Virginia “Tucker” Gere Parke went to be with her recently deceased husband of 25 years on Christmas morning after a brief illness. She is survived by her 3 children, Ginia Jankovsky, Tom Grubb and Jodie Grubb; her sister, Julie Gere; extended family from all walks of life; and her beloved dog, Piper.
Tucker was born and raised in Little Silver, New Jersey, the daughter of Harry and Marjorie Gere. After college, she married William Grubb and relocated to Florida. She brought up her 3 adoring children in Bradenton and St. Petersburg.
Tucker moved to Philadelphia in 1989, where she met the man she would describe as her true love, Jerry Parke. They were married in 1993 and eventually moved to ‘The Windy City’ – Chicago. It was the city she called her “real home” and she made many wonderful friends there. Over the past several years, Tucker was the sole caregiver for Jerry, who passed away due to complications from diabetes in January 2018. Shortly after his passing, Tucker returned to Bradenton, to be near family, where she lived several months before finally joining him again in eternal life. She was loved by everyone that knew her – both at home and at work.
Tucker, AKA, “Mama T,” was an avid conversationalist and made friends every place she went. In fact, those who know her believe she may still be chatting up St. Peter at the pearly gates on her way to meet Jerry in Heaven. She loved music and was a skilled pianist with a beautiful singing voice. She had a delightful laugh and a funny sense of humor that made it a joy to be in her company. Her love of history made her especially interesting to talk to - it was her favorite subject and she was a voracious reader.
We were lucky enough to learn many valuable lessons from Tucker during her 78 years:
- A stranger becomes a friend as soon as you learn their name, so get it quickly and get it right.
- It does not matter what walk of life someone comes from – everyone has something to offer,
and the more diverse your circle – the richer your life becomes.
- Empathy is always the best policy. You never know who is hurting.
- There is never any sense in living in the past. It is always best to get on with things.
- Driving is not always as easy as it looks!
- When it is hard to understand someone from another country, just try to listen with an accent.
- Never hold a grudge – always talk (and talk) things out and move on – forgiveness is key to happiness!
- Being a caregiver is an honor, and it is the most important role one can have in life.
Tucker’s legacy certainly lies in her tender care giving, which she began as a young, doting mother in 1964 and continued her whole life. She was a ‘best friend’ to all of her children and was devoted to taking care of her husband Jerry until the very end, no matter how hard things got. She never complained and provided unconditional love as a mother and wife. She never failed to comfort someone in need, be they man or beast.
Through the course of her life, Tucker impacted the lives of many extended family, including Tom’s wife Paula, Ginia’s husband Jason Jankovsky, all of her beloved step children, Jason Parke, Kimberly Esposito, Jennifer Pountney, and her step-grandson, Patrick Hanson.
A small celebration of her life will be held in Bradenton on Sunday January 20th. Details to be announced through Shannon Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, Tucker has requested that donations can be made to the American Kidney Foundation or the Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton.