She was a Tulsa icon who spent more than 40 years helping the poor and homeless. Her family says Mother Grace Tucker has died.
She was a tireless advocate for Tulsa's poor and homeless. She wasn't always successful, but setbacks never diminished her spirit.
"I'm just concerned about helping people," said Grace Tucker in 1985.
Mother Grace Tucker was telling News On 6 reporter Randy Lewin about a new venture. She called it the Love Center located in the old club house of the Tulsa Country Club.
It was a residential halfway house for those on their way back to society that never really got going. A fire in 1986 destroyed the building, but not the dream.
"I believe there is hope for everyone through the Lord," Mother Tucker said.
That was always her message, she came to Tulsa in the 60s she started a church, opened shelters and fed the hungry. In an interview once with Clayton Vaughn she expressed an interesting idea to cure homelessness in Tulsa, a challenge to Tulsa's hundreds of churches.
"if every church could get one person a piece every week, I think we'd run out of people. I think this is a simple vision that would just clean it up," she said.
And she challenged Tulsa's many pastors to come visit.
"I think it ought to be a common thing for pastors to come and witness and even adopt a soul down here," she said.
For all her efforts she seemed to be followed by misfortune. The fire at the Love Center in 1986, Her thrift store burned in 1990 and in 1997, a warehouse burned as well.
She told reporter Laura Brewster, the Bible says if you faint in times of adversity your strength is weak.
"Much as I've been through, and long as I've been serving the Lord, I can't afford to faint," she said.
And she never did. Mother Grace Tucker died on Monday. She was 93.
Mother Tucker received an honorary doctorate from ORU in 2001 and other awards along the way.
The funeral will be held at Victory Christian Center, 7700 South Lewis, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4th.
Tucker's family released the following statement to News On 6:
"Mother Tucker was 93 years old and she went home to be with the Lord Monday evening around 10 p.m. She passed away at home surrounded by her children and grandchildren."
Mother Tucker started helping the homeless in 1975, making sandwiches and providing a change of clothes.
She later opened a homeless shelter, helping more than 100 people a day. Some estimate she's served more than a half-million meals to the homeless in the Tulsa area.