Beloved of her family and many friends, Norma Jean Fox Rucker of Kingman, passed away after a short illness on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, in Phoenix at the age of 86. Mrs. Rucker is predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Raymond Richard Rucker. She lovingly mothered her three children, Melinda (N. Robert) Haynes of Washington, D.C., Rhonda (Keith) Laulo of Phoenix, and Gary (Rhonda) Rucker of Kingman. Norma Jean was proud of her six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Evelyn Price of Kingman.
Norma Jean Fox was born in Joplin, Mo., on Oct. 27, 1925, and moved to Kingman with her family when she was nine years old. She first met her future husband, Raymond Rucker, when both were attending Kingman Grammar School. Norma Jean and Raymond were a popular couple at Mohave County Union High School where Norma Jean was a majorette and Raymond played sports. After graduation, Norma Jean worked at the Kingman Army Air Base while Raymond served in the South Pacific with the U.S. Navy submarine service until the end of the war when they married and made their home in Kingman.
In addition to raising their three children, the young couple and their lifelong friends, B.A. and Mildred Freiday and Stanley and Joanne Tipton, were active in the community, participating in many clubs and organizations. Among Norma Jean's favorite activities were volunteering as a Pink Lady in the Kingman Hospital Auxiliary, serving as President of the American Legion Auxiliary, fundraising for various civic and philanthropic projects, and serving as church secretary and singing in the choir at St. Johns United Methodist Church.
While Raymond worked in the automotive trade, Norma Jean developed a keen interest in business and real estate, which began when she was deputy treasurer of Mohave County. She later served as clerk of the Selective Service Board for 23 years and retired to open the Hualapai Shell Station, and several years later, in 1973, built City Center Auto with her husband. Raymond managed the shop and Norma Jean the business end until their retirement in 1990. Norma Jean loved to sing, dance and travel. She is remembered by her children for her best ever original bedtime stories and enthusiastic encouragement of their dreams, and by all for her sense of fun and adventure, her witty good humor and generosity, as well as her abiding creativity and intelligence.
Norma Jean Rucker was laid to rest beside her husband at a sunrise graveside service on Saturday, Sept. 1, at Mountain View Cemetery in Kingman attended by her family.