Nina Maxine Tucker was born in Pierce City, Mo., to Max and Daisy Tucker.

She lived there and joined the Congregational Church as a matter of faith and gratitude, she finished high school early and completed a year of college by the age 17.

During the summer of 1951, she met John “Jack” Aaron Davis Jr. and in what might be described as a whirlwind romance, they married in December of that year, during a short Christmas leave from Jack’s post with the U.S. Army. This was the beginning of a life of love, laughter, education and music. Jack and Nina remained faithfully wed for 70 years, until Nina’s death on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

No better or more accurate description can be said, other than Nina loved. She and Jack used every gift from God to make the lives around them better, where music, theology, learning and charity were always tempered by great senses of humor and marked their working and leisure hours. After the Army, she and Jack lived in Iowa, Pennsylvania, New York and finally settled in Pullman in 1966.

Earlier, Nina went to Schauffler College in Missouri, with ambitions to work in the music ministry. She had a full scholarship, based on becoming a music missionary, when she finished her education, but God, love and marriage had other plans. She finished her bachelor’s degree in education at Washington State University in 1972, while Jack was director of the Audio Visual Center (later known as Instructional Media Services). Loving man that he is, Jack often said getting that job was the best, because it allowed Nina to finish school and to touch the lives of scores of children. She began teaching at Gladish Middle School in 1972 and finished her teaching career at Lincoln Middle School. During that time, she completed her master’s degree in education.

Nina remained with the Pullman Public Schools until her retirement in 1993. She was an avid WSU Cougar fan and an absolute fixture of music and charity at Simpson United Methodist Church, always in the choir, often as a soloist. She sang at weddings and funerals, church functions and at school, her lovely soprano voice easily distinguishing her from the crowd. Jack and his beloved parents often accompanied her with instrumentals and in duets. All of the children also sang (and more), so that music became as palpable as a member of the family. Christmas services at the United Methodist Church with the Davis family, were always a musical treat.

After retiring, Nina and Jack became “snowbirds.” They traveled between Pullman and Desert Hot Springs, Calif., where they eventually took up permanent residence in the Vista Montana Community there. Nina was an active participant on numerous committees, continuing to act upon her faith and reach out to others, both in the United Methodist Church and Palm Springs Community. She and Jack found family and friends, challenges and musical happiness in the valley. In 2017, they relocated to The Palms of La Quinta, where Jack still resides.

Nina’s passing has left a huge void in the lives of those who loved her and those whom she loved.

The memories of her loving, strident, mirthful, musical, always giving and always faithful ways will sustain us. Still, her voice, her love, her laughter, her advice and her commitment to God and family will be sorely missed by all.

She is survived by her beloved husband, daughter Shelby June, son Michael Crit, daughter Jacquelyn (Jaci) Carroll and daughter-in-law Michele (Kenzy) Davis. She leaves behind a great legacy of love, thoughtfulness, caring and music shared with and by her six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. Family and faith, education and service, were the hallmarks of her life.

She was preceded in death by her brothers, Edward Tucker and John (Jack) Crit Tucker.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Simpson United Methodist Church memorials, Palm Springs United Methodist Church Outreach, or to World Vision.

There will be a memorial service at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at United Methodist Church, 1555 E. Alejo Road, Palm Springs.

Corbeill Funeral Home of Pullman and Wiefel’s Cremation and Funeral Service of Palm Springs, Calif., are in charge of arrangements.

Recommended for you