Robert Rucker, 84

July 26, 1930 — Aug. 26, 2014Robert H. Rucker, 84, formerly of rural Columbia City, died at 3:50 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, at Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne, where he was transported Sunday from Markle Health & Rehab.He was born July 26, 1930, in Champagne County, Ohio, a son of William E. and Josephine (Hart) Rucker. His formative years were spent in Ironton and Springfield, Ohio.He served in the U.S. Army from Aug. 12, 1951, until Aug. 1, 1953, serving during the Korean War.On April 5, 1968, he was united in marriage to Sharon L. Braddock. They made their home in Whitley County.He was employed at General Electric for 26 years. He was known as “Rocky Rucker,” a Lightweight Golden Glove Boxing Champion.His memberships included Tri Lakes Baptist Church, GE Boxing Club and American Legion Post #98.Surviving relatives include his wife, Sharon; eight children, Robin (Sharon) Rucker of South Whitley, Chris (Rob Menzie) Cornelius of Warsaw, Kelly Rucker of Ocala Fla., Laura (Ted) Wisniewski of Cherryville N.C., Bobbi Jo “BJ” Rucker of Columbia City, Gary (Lisa) Nierman of Columbia City, Linda Eloph of Fort Wayne and Duane (Laurie) Nierman of Columbia City; 15 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Mary Louise Verro of Auburn.A brother, William Rucker, preceded him in death.The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Tri Lakes Baptist Church, 5679 N. Center St., Columbia City, with visitation after noon Friday at the church. The burial will be in Blue River Cemetery with military honors presented.Preferred memorials are to Tri Lakes Baptist Church Food Pantry.Arrangements are by Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City.Condolences may be sent to