Loren Delmar Rucker
Loren was born in San Fernando June 20, 1947, and was an only child until age eight. His mother Lorraine read to him, and taught him about Greek Mythology, archaeology, how to sing, and play the piano. He was a little Lord Fauntleroy. His parents moved frequently, so Loren attended a different school every year, and one year, was in three schools. He nevertheless flourished because he had a high IQ and was a survivor. In high school he sang tenor in men’s glee club, and played football. He met the love of his life, Alice, while she and girlfriend Gay were watching the guys lift weights in Gay’s garage. They dated for two and one-half years in high school but each went on to marry others. After divorces, Loren and Alice met up again in 1977 and brought up all three children together as a single family, living in Sylmar in the home purchased in 1978.
Loren’s father, Harold, was in the tile business and Loren worked with him for a time. After more training with the tile union, he began his professional life in the tile business and took on a life-long partner, Frank Dupuis, with whom he formed Rucker Tile. They were well known and widely respected leaders in the commercial ceramic tile contracting business throughout the southland for over 35 years. They tiled many churches, colleges, hospitals, stores, amusement parks, and one of the most famous and often photographed places in LA, the fountain at Universal Studios. Depending on the project, Rucker Tile averaged 35-80 employees, and won many prestigious tile awards.
Loren was president of the Association of Tile Contractors and served on many committees. He had interest in the tile apprenticeship program and often sponsored participants. After retiring, he became
a ceramic tile consultant. He admired and was an authority on early California tile and had a small collection of artistic pieces.
Loren was a special husband, father and grandfather (Bapa!). He was wise, caring, protective, and loved to have a good time. He made sure growing up was special for the kids and their friends. They attended private schools and all the kids and grandkids loved body surfing, fishing, hunting, camping, or a new pet or some other animal that he adopted. The kids and grandkids always wanted to be around Bapa.
Anyone who knew Loren knew of his deep passion for fishing and hunting. He fished both ocean and fresh-water fish.
Having lived in La Paz, Baja, for some time when he was 15, he learned to speak Spanish. His friends called him “Lorenzo” and when he moved back to California his nickname became Lonzo. He often returned to Baja to fish for marlin, sailfish, dorado, etc., and shared that love with many friends and family.
Thoreau’s “On Man & Nature” was his favorite book. Loren loved Rock ‘n Roll, jazz, baroque, The Beatles, and Bob Dylan, to name a few. He could recall complete lyrics of songs, and always had something playing when he drove his giant, much beloved 4-wheel drive trucks. Loren and Alice did a lot of traveling, visiting Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Mexico (especially Yucatan), Ireland, Scotland, and England. He was interested in his Rucker heritage and they visited many ancestral places in the USA.
Given a choice, Loren said he would have loved to have become an archaeologist or run a fishing-hunting lodge in Montana. Over the years he always said that when it came time for him to return to God, he hoped it would be the result of fishing on a beautiful mountain stream and being pulled under by a great big fish. Sadly, pneumonia related to Covid-19 was the cause of his death on January 22, 2021.
Loren is predeceased by son Daniel and survived by wife of 42 years, Alice (Geist) Rucker, son Martti Mallinen, daughter Liisa (Mat) Duncan, grandchildren Tait, Jagger, and Ella Duncan, sister Kathy (Cecil) Bollinger and nephews Jason and Christopher.
Loren will remain in all our hearts forever.