Mr. Tensley Raymond Rucker Jr., 79, was born in Iredell County, N.C., on March 22, 1943, and was the son of the late Tensley R. Rucker Sr. and Odessa Virginia Mayhew Rucker. He entered into eternal rest on Friday, September 30, 2022, at Gordon Hospice House in Statesville, N.C.

Tensley attended Morninside High School. He was a Carolina Panthers football fan, and he was an advid lover of drag racing, where he won several championships at the Mooresville and Farmington Dragway. Tensley taught his son, Terrance D. Rucker, how to race as well, and today he is still racing, and has won several championships at different dragways. He was co-founder and owner of TLC Trucking Co. He was a great mechanic, building and assembling motors. He also loved to do landscaping around his home. Tensley was an all-around person who was always helping people with solving and fixing their vehicles when needed and attending his children’s football games. He was a great father and family man to all his siblings, whom he loved dearly.

In addition to his late parents, Tensley R. Rucker Sr. and Odessa Virginia Mayhew Rucker, he was preceded in death by his grandparents, Reverend Tinsley Rucker and Minnie Holbrooks Rucker, and John Mayhew and Mammie Lowery Mayhew; nephews, Larry Edward Parsons and Marty Parsons; brothers, Jimmy Rodgers Rucker, and Larry Edward Rucker; brother-in-law, Dr. Fred J. Long Jr. (Peketa); sister-in-law, Shirley Long Gaither; father-in-law, Fred J. Long Sr. (Genvieve); grandmother- in-law, Viola Long Cooper and Beulah M. Turner; and mother-in-law, Margaret L. Turner.

Tensley leaves to cherish the memory of his life, a wife of 47 years, Shelia Faye Rucker of the home; daughter, Sahara (Gerald) Hamilton of Lincolnton, N.C.; three sons, Emanuel M. Faulks of Marietta, Ga., Terrance D. Rucker IV of Benson, N.C., and Tensley R. Rucker IV, of Statesville, N.C.; one godson, Kareen Jabbar Stevenson of Statesville; brothers, Warren Rucker of Durham, N.C., Freddie (Ludmila) Rucker, Duluth Rucker, Gary (Debbie) Rucker, Gregory (Kokeeta) Rucker, and David Ross, all of Statesville, Ricky (LeAndrea) Rucker of Greenwich, Calif., and Llyod Rucker of Lilburn, Ga.; brothers-in-law, Keith Jackson of Statesville, N.C., Robert (Ursula) Long of Hickory, N.C., Kevin Long of Knoxville, Tenn., and Stanly Long of Nashville, N.C.; sisters, Barbara (Bernard Johnson), Brenda Rucker Dean, Gloria Rucker, Debra (Spencer Sharpe), and Tuwanna Lawrence, all of Statesville, N.C., and Shelia (Nathan) Johnston of Mooresville, N.C.; grandchildren, CaVian Hamilton-Degree, Destinee Rucker, and Dajia Rucker, all of Fayetteville, N.C., Faith Hamilton of Hampton, Va., Zakia Hamilton, Mariah Hamilton, and JaRehyl Hamilton, all of Lincolton, N.C., Zanaa Flyod of Gastonia, N.C., Aniece Rucker, Justice Rucker, Taliyah Rucker, Tazigah Rucker, Tyzere Rucker, and Isaiah Rucker, all of Statesville; sisters-in-law, Gail White, Avis Turner, and Synetta Long (Ted) Raye, all of Statesville, N.C.; and a host of nephews, neices, cousins, other relatives, and friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2022, at Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home, Statesville. Visitation will be from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Funeral will start at 1 p.m. with Bishop Wilford Walls officiating and Pastor Carolyn Morrison doing the eulogy. Burial will follow in the Iredell Memorial Gardens.

Visit the book of memories for Tensley R. Rucker Jr. at

Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home is serving the Rucker family.

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