Lee Edward Tucker, Major USAF, Retired\n\nLee took his last flight into the wild blue yonder on December 22, 2023, at the age of 99 years old—one more of the Greatest Generation. He was born on October 18, 1924, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Glen Edward and Florence Ellen Kilburn Tucker. He grew up in East Millcreek on Lambourne Ave with his parents and sister Joyce in the house that his father had built. He was so excited to have a real bathroom when it was finished. During high school he worked as a pin boy at a bowling alley and at gas stations that his father built to earn gas money for his first car. He loved cars and always had one since he could drive—old ones, new ones--changing them often. He won the state wrestling championship for his weight class (122 lb) when he was a junior at Granite HIgh School. Pearl Harbor was attacked his senior year and after graduation in 1942, he attended the Univ of Utah and then enlisted in the Army Air Corps as soon as he was old enough. He found out he loved flying when he took a plane ride at a local event when he was a kid—after that, he always wanted to be a pilot and fly! He attended basic training in California and Arizona, P-47 flight training in Nebraska, and weapons training in Baton Rouge.\n\nHe married Ruth Aileen Shipley on June 19, 1944 in Fairbury, Nebraska—they were high school sweethearts at Granite High school. After the wedding, she returned to Utah, and he shipped out for Europe to flight in WWII. He supported Patton’s 9th Army as a fighter pilot, stationed in Belgium. He flew P-47 fighter bombers and conducted air support missions against German ground targets. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge which helped turn the tide of WWII, and he helped liberate Buchenwald, a German concentration camp as the War ended.\n\nLee and Ruth had 3 children--Terry Lee, Florence Annette, and Anita Aileen. Lee stayed in the military for 20 years and was stationed at various Air Force Bases throughout the continental US including Alaska, Oklahoma, Ohio, Arizona, and was sent to Germany in 1954 with the occupation forces after the War. During his military career he was a radar operator and he worked in all-weather flight test helping develop instrument flying in planes during bad weather at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He continued to fly whatever planes he was assigned, wherever he was stationed, and ended his career in military affairs. He flew over 17 different airplanes in the military--the first one being the Stearman single engine bi-plane that he first learned to fly in 1942 and the last one being the B-47 strategic bomber. Flying was his life—he even knew Chuck Yeager, who was his hero—they were stationed in Germany together after the War.\n\nLee retired from the Air Force after a 20-year career in 1962 at his last military assignment—Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. After his retirement he worked as a credit union manager for over 30 years managing and building up credit unions around Arizona. He served as an officer on many local and state credit union boards, and on the National Credit Union Association board. He earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree while in the miliary using their education program which was a great benefit to military personnel. He enjoyed fixing cars, loved to drive sports cars—he always had one or at least a convertible, and he was an avid reader. When he couldn’t see any more, he listened to books on tape every night before he went to bed—he loved every kind of book and novel. In younger days, he also enjoyed bowling with his grandkids, tennis, and golf, and won several trophies at credit union events. He loved all of his pets, the most recent being his cat, Miss Tiger, and his dog, Aile.\n\nLee is survived by his 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 21 Great-grand-children. His wife Ruth, his sister, Luella Joyce and his parents along with Miss Tiger and Aile, preceded him in death.