Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: John W. Rucker and Mother

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers which asks bloggers to create a post including an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors; it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

My great-grand uncle John Wesley Rucker is buried in Elk Run Cemetery in Elkton, Rockingham County, Virginia.       

from Findagrave
photo by Jan Hensley

John W. Rucker
July 20, 1854
May 29, 1899

The open book on the headstone is representative of the Bible, an appropriate feature for a man who must have been deeply religious as suggested in his obituary.  

sent to me by
Linda Pruett Morgan

In loving memory of John W. Rucker, who died May 29, 1899.  The subject of this notice was a son of Frank and Sarah Rucker, born July 20, 1854, and at the time of his death was forty-four years, ten months and nine days old.

He left his home and family on May 1st for Newport News, VA, where he obtained work in the Navy yard.  He worked only a week when he was taken down on a sick bed from which he never rose, although brought home and everything that loving hands and kind friends could do was done to relieve his sufferings.  He died in three days after he arrived home.  Death had marked its victim and nature had to yield to a Power stronger than man’s.  While we are almost crushed with grief at the loss of our dear one, we know of the beautiful possibility of his soul’s salvation.  Just a few hours previous to his death he said, “The Lord is gathering in his sheaves,” and that he did not fear the dreadful hour of death.

His funeral was preached by Rev. Black, taking for his text Amos, fourth chapter and a part of the twelfth verse, “Prepare to meet thy God.”

We laid him to rest in the new cemetery at Elkton, close to father and mother, to await the resurrection day when we hope to meet and clasp the hand of our dear one in the New Jerusalem.

Dear husband, you have left us,
Here our loss we deeply feel,
‘Tis God who has bereft us,
He can all our sorrows heal.
                By His Wife  [Matilda Stockdell Rucker]

June 5, 1899

Just as the obituary indicates, nearby is John Wesley's mother Sarah A. Herndon Rucker.  However, there is no tombstone for his father Frank.

from Findagrave
photo by Jan Hensley

Sarah A. Rucker
Died Mar. 19, 1893
Aged 61 years


  1. What a shame he died so young.

  2. I love how detailed obituaries used to be.

    1. Me too -- our newspaper charges by the line, so you'd have to be wealthy to afford such an obituary today.

  3. So terrible! I wonder what the cause of his death was. And there was no mention of surviving children in the obituary. Do you know if he and his wife were parents? Also, I wonder why there is no tombstone for his father Frank.

    1. John and Mattie had two children: a daughter and son. Ironically, the daughter died at age 44 too.

      I am just guessing that Frank probably had a tombstone at one time that has since been destroyed. Or maybe it was just a rock, who knows. He died just 9 years before John Wesley.

  4. I always like how they state the years, months and days a person was alive in the obituary...when I created the program for my father-in-laws funeral I did the same.

    Rucker...that name could be a target these days!