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William J. Rucker, a retired operator of heavy machinery and a past grand patriarch for the Odd Fellows of New York State, died Oct. 3, 2001, after a lengthy illness. He was 83.

Rucker was born in Trenton, N.J., and lived for many years in Barker before moving to Zephyrhills, Fla., in 1988.

He operated heavy machinery for 57 years as a member of Local 17, Operating Engineers.

Rucker was a 50-year member of the Odd Fellows and served as grand patriarch of the state's Grand Encampment.

His wife, Virginia Eschborn Rucker, died in 1986.

Surviving are a son, William E. of Barker; two daughters, Ellen Earp of Waterloo and Sandra Leonardis of Cattaraugus; a brother, Harry M. of Springville; two sisters, Lorna Marsh of Michigan and Elizabeth Foster of California; six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and his companion, Ann Graham of Zephyrhills.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Nov. 3 in Hartland United Methodist Church, 8019 Ridge Road, Gasport. Burial was in Hartland Central Cemetery.


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