FOSTORIA — Dorothy M. Tucker, 79, an educator and psychologist whose diverse activities included work with the Los Angeles police and service as a governor of the California State Bar and on the Bowling Green State University alumni board, died Dec. 28 at home in Los Angeles.
She had dementia and recently developed pneumonia, her brother Jesse Tucker said. Ms. Tucker grew up in Fostoria and returned there regularly, he said.
She was born Aug. 22, 1938, in Spartanburg County, S.C., to Cleo and James Tucker. She was in second grade when the family moved to Fostoria. She was 16 when she graduated from Fostoria High School. At BGSU, she was among the first African American cheerleaders. Her brother James had been the second black student on the BGSU basketball team.
She served three stints on the BGSU alumni board, most recently from 2009-13, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award. She led homecoming events for African American alumni and helped start the “Black Pioneer” scholarship fund.
In 2010, she and her brother James were named among the 100 most prominent BGSU alumni for the school’s centennial.
She received a bachelor of education degree in 1958 from BGSU. She taught in Fostoria, on Long Island, N.Y., and at an air base in West Germany, where she met her husband, who was in the U.S. military. She had a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Toledo and doctorates from Ohio State University and the California School of Clinical Psychology.
She was a university professor in Florida and California and helped start a neighborhood mental health clinic. She was a divisional president of the American Psychological Association and an officer with the United Negro College Fund. She marched for women’s rights.
“It was about helping people, the underserved, the underprivileged,” said her niece A. Lynn Tucker-Roberts. Ms. Tucker, who did not have children, forged close ties to her nieces and nephews and their children.
“She would do whatever she could to give us opportunities, so we would be elevated, so we would return that kind of care back to others,” Ms. Tucker-Roberts said. “It’s like a circle.”
Surviving are her husband of 49 years, Benjamin Blakely; brother, Jesse Tucker, and sister, Nancy Tucker.
Visitation will be from 2- 6 p.m. Monday at Hoening & Son Funeral Home, Fostoria, where services will be at noon Tuesday. Memorial services at Angelus Funeral Home, Los Angeles, are pending.
The family suggest tributes to Faith African Methodist Episcopal Church, Fostoria, where she was a longtime member.
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