Booker Hall "B.H." Rucker III, a longtime board member of the Missouri Parks Association and a stalwart champion of Missouri's state parks and historic sites, died on January 5. Donations in B.H.'s memory can be sent to the address and through the PayPal link below.
A former student of the Missouri School of Mines and a graduate of the University of Missouri Columbia, B. H. began his career by participating in excavations at the Osage Village State Historic Site, The Missouri Indian Village at Van Meter State Park, the George Caleb Bingham residence at Arrow Rock, and numerous other archaeological sites. In 1963, he conducted historical and archaeological studies at Watkins Woolen Mill, Washington State Park, and the first Missouri State Capitol Historic site. During these studies he also taught elementary school in Union, Missouri. In 1966, he returned to Watkins Mill as the Site Administrator to oversee the restoration and development of the facility as a state historic site. He worked full time for the Missouri State Parks for 36 years. This enabled him to devote his career to both the history and culture of Missouri. In 1971, he became the Chief of Historic Sites and in 1974, became Assistant Director of the State Parks Division. Throughout his career, B.H. served in various ways in the preservation, restoration, operation and interpretation to the public of historical and archaeological resources. He retired in 2003, as Director of the Cultural and Natural Resource Management Program. During retirement, B.H. worked with the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri in the preservation and restoration of the 1787 Memorial Cemetery and other projects in Ste. Genevieve, as part of a long term interest in French colonial architecture. Also in retirement, he co-authored a book on the State Parks of Missouri, which has just been released. He was a recipient of the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation's Rozier Award in 2006.
In addition to his wife, Elaine of 51 years, B.H. is survived by two children, John Rucker (Linda Moore), Jefferson City; Sarah Rucker Williams, Columbia; three grandchildren, Sam Luke Williams, Emily Elaine Williams, Marnie Jane Rucker Williams; two brothers, Ray Rucker, Rolla; Stark (Penne) Rucker, Australia; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; an aunt, Dorothy Stark; two uncles, Douglas Stark and Jack Stark; and a nephew, Luke Rucker.
The family has suggested that donations can be made to MPA. Donations, if made by a check, can be sent to the following address:
Missouri Parks Association
c/o Melissa Hope, Treasurer
7115 Route M
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Donations may also be made through the button below. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to change the "Donate to UPOP" language on the donation page, but we will credit all donations received in the next few months to the Rucker fund until UPOP season starts up again in the late spring.