West Texas Rehab Telethon Performance
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Eva Camunez Tucker was born in San Angelo, Texas, April 9, 1911 to Reynaldo and Josefa Lara Camuez. She spent a lifetime paving the way for others to succeed, whether through her trailblazing career of firsts or as a philanthropist.
She became the first Hispanic graduate of San Angelo High School in 1930. During the school year 1931-32, Eva attended San Angelo College and earned her teaching certificate. Mrs. W.W. Carson, her mentor, arranged for Eva to teach Hispanic children at Mertzon. Making $60 per month and touching the lives of countless children, Eva continued in Mertzon from 1932-1937.
In January 1937 Eva Camunez took a position as teacher in the Hispanic school in Ballinger. She also served as the first Hispanic principal in Ballinger until 1942. During her stay there she met Art Tucker, an independent oil man.
During World War II, Eva worked as a mail censor in Brownsville and Laredo, Texas and afterwards as a translator for the State Department in Washington DC. She continued her work there until 1948 when, on December 30th of that year, she married Art Tucker.
The Tuckers lived in Ballinger for 14 years before buying a refinery in Lueders, Texas, north of Abilene. They lived there until his death in 1975. The next year she lost her brother, Noe Camuez, who was also an educator his entire career. Eva Tucker had the heart of an educator and took more than a passing interest in her students. She was an inspiration to so many along the way.
Mrs. Tucker had a great influence on the education of countless young people, but none more important than the Up and Coming Scholars program, which she founded at Angelo State University. While her gifts have included numerous Catholic churches around the state and in other countries, her favorite has always been her church, St. Joseph's Catholic Church.
Many worthwhile community and educational projects have been helped by Mrs. Tucker. These include the West Texas Rehabilitation Center, San Angelo Symphony, San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, The Boys and Girls Clubs of San Angelo, Concho Valley Home for Girls, Hospice of San Angelo, Angelo State University, the West Texas Collection, Fort Concho National Historic Landmark, and Meals for the Elderly, just to name a few.
While she has received countless awards and recognitions, she will best be remembered because she has dared to care. She willingly shared herself and her wealth with others. Of her philanthropy, she once said: "I am just being a good steward. What I have belongs to the Lord I only want to do the most good for the most people."
Eva Tucker never lost sight of her humble beginnings. Her impact can best be summed up in the words of a former student, Dr. Geraldo Saenz: "Mrs. Tucker did not have any children of her own flesh. But from Texas to Maine, from New York to California, and many places in between, she has her Mexican children. We are the dark faces with uncombed hair from Mertzon and Ballinger. And to us she will always be Miss Camunez. And we say, muchas gracias, Mrs. Tucker. We love you."
We are all fortunate to have known a legend of our time. Thank you for your life.
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The Art and Eva Camunez Tucker Foundation