COMMERCE - Cornelius Rucker was born April 15, 1917 to the late Dallas and Florence Rucker in Banks County. Cornelius grew up in the rural areas of Banks County, where he lived until he parted this life. He grew up in church and was a lifelong member of Neal’s Grove Baptist Church, where he attended and served faithfully until his death. Cornelius was affectionately known to his family as “Big Daddy,” and has been a strong, God-fearing leader and patriarch of the Rucker Family. Just before he turned 20 years old, Cornelius met and married the love of his life, Ruby Nelle Martin. They celebrated 74 years of marriage before she preceded him in death earlier this year (July 11, 2011). The two worked hard and built a family farm where they raised their children and took care of their grandchildren.
Cornelius retired from Harmony Grove Mills after working there almost 30 years. He believed in hard work and the value of a dollar. The hard work ethic and the respect for yourself and others is what Cornelius leaves as a legacy to his children, grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren who he has had a chance to influence. Whether it was working on his farm, working in his community, helping his children and family or just taking care of home, “Big Daddy” was always dedicated to excellence in everything he did.
Cornelius is preceded in death by his loving wife of 74 years, Ruby Nelle Rucker; two children – Cornolius Rucker and Betty Rucker, both of Commerce; all five of his brothers – Sylvester (“Jack”) Rucker, Timothy Rucker, Claude Rucker, Fate Rucker and Curtis Rucker; and two sisters, Beatrice Rucker Bush and Myrtie Rucker Carruth. He leaves as a legacy his five remaining children, two sons, Columbus Rucker (Alice) and James Rucker (Rosia, deceased) both of Commerce; and three daughters, Ruby Williams (Billy) and Shirley Reed (Sam) both of Commerce, and Floncie Walker (Bonnie), Hoschton; four sisters, Geradine Tabor, Detroit, Mich., Sophie Carruth, Commerce, and Chester Fluellen and Zurlee Davis, both of Columbus, Ohio. In addition, he leaves behind 19 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, November 19, at Neal’s Grove Baptist Church, Sims Bridge Road, Commerce, with Pastor Johnny Smith officiating. Interment will follow in Neal’s Grove Baptist Church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Friday, November 18, from 6 to 7p.m.
Little-Ward Funeral Home, Commerce, is in charge of arrangements.