Tucei Family










The Family of Biagio Antonio TUCCI (1854-1932)




F. Walker, Jr. and June Parker Tucei

708 Fairfield Ave.

Gretna, Louisiana


December 1, 1999


To my children, brothers and their children, first cousins and other interested descendants of Biagio Antonio Tucci,


In September of this year, June and I had the pleasure of visiting our motherland for a month.  We started in Venice and ended up in Sicily.  Along the way we visited many of the historic sites of Italy, including , Portofino, Lucca, Florence, San Gimmino, Pompeii, Rome, Amalfi coast, Trecchina (the birth place of my great grandfather), Reggio, Lipari Island (the birthplace of June’s grandmother), Taormina and many others.


Over the past several months I have attempted to document the genealogy of the Tucei family and record, for the benefit of ourselves and our descendants, information on our “roots”.  Enclosed for your information is the product of that effort along with a couple of pictures of Terchina and pictures of Biagio and Isabelle.  I apologize in advance for misspellings, incorrect dates and facts.  Any facts or antidotes about the family that you may have would be appreciated.  Please take a minute, drop me a note and I’ll make sure the correction/addition is included in the next update.


I hope each of you have a Happy Holiday Season. Remember if Biagio hadn’t come to this country in 1875, we would all be residents of Italy or maybe France (now you have to read my narrative of the history of the Tucei family).

Best Wishes,


June and Walker




Biagio Tucei

Biagio  Tucei (1854-1932), called Bless and Blaise Tucei, was born December 9, 1854 at Trecchina, Italy to Vincenzo Tucci and Serafina Grisi.



Biagio Tucei had several siblings also immigrate to the United States.  Among those who left records at Biloxi, Mississippi were: Joseph Salvador Tucei (1859-1938) m. Ellen Colbet and Catherine Tucei (1866- 1939) m. Joseph V. Lawrence (1867-1952).(Lepre, 1991, pp. 342-343)



Joseph S. Tucei

Joseph Salvador Tucei was born December 24, 1859 at Naples, Italy.  He married Ellen Colbet in Harrison County, Mississippi on October 28, 1886.  They were the parents of four children:  Joseph W. Tucei (1888); Maria Stella Tucei (1887-1938+); Maria Theresa Tucei (1893-1893); and Josephine Tucei (1890-1938+).



Shoe Repair



[from The Biloxi Herald, July 4, 1891, p. 4]

In October 1921, Joseph S. Tucei relocated his shoe repair shop from 120 East Howard Avenue to 127 East Howard Avenue.(The Daily Herald, October 21, 1921, p. 4)




Catherine Tucei

Catherine Tucei (18-1939) was born at Naples, Italy.  She married Joseph V. Lawrence (1867-1952).  Children: Mary Lawrence (1894-1953) m. James Oatis Coleman (1886-1961) and Joseph V. Lawrence Jr. (1902-1975) m. Margaret Mavar.  Joseph V. Lawrence was in the shoe repair business at Biloxi.




 Mary Lawrence (1894-1953) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on     1894.  She married James Oatis Coleman (1886-1961) in Harrison County, Mississippi on July 7, 1917.  J.O. Coleman was a Kentucky native and the agent for Gulf Refining Company at Biloxi.  Children: Nina Coleman (b. 1919) m. Mr. West and Wealthia Coleman (b. 1931) m. Weldon A. Lafferty (1930-2005).


J. O. Coleman had a successful military career attaining the rank of    and participating with the American Expeditionary Force in France during WW I.  Returning to his family at Biloxi, he worked with his father-in-law in the shoe business as Guarantee Shoes.  Circa 1935, J.O. Coleman acquired the business and sold it in September 1947 to David Rosenblum.  Mr. Rosenblum changed the name of the business to David’s.(The Daily Herald, September 29, 1947, p. 5)


In the 1940s, Mary and James O. Coleman divorced


Joseph V. Lawrence Jr. (1902-1975) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on    .  He married Margaret Mavar on October 19, 1929 in Harrison County, Mississippi.  They were the parents of two sons: Joseph J. Lawrence m.    and Gregory Mavar Lawrence m. Kathleen Kirsh.



History of the Tucei Family in the United States

(Prepared by F. Walker Tucei, Jr., November 22, 1999)


Biagio Antonio Tucci (1854-1932) immigrated to the United States in 1875 from Bordeaux, France.  He was born on December 9, 1854 in Trecchina, Italy to Vincenzo Tucce and Serafina Grisi.  He was their first born.  They had at least five other children besides Biagio.  At least three of them, including Biagio came to the U.S.  The other children were Joseph A. (came to the U.S. in 18??), Catherine (came to the U.S. in 18??), Pipino, Seraphino and Terichine (Trease).  This information was given to me in the mid 1960’s by my grandfather, Vincent Joseph Aloysious Tucci.  There may have been a seventh child, a daughter by the name of Maria Giovanna Tucci (see letter of John Peter Tucei dated August 10, 1986).  My grandfather did not mention Maria Giovanna during our visit.  If Maria Giovanna was not a daughter of Vincenzo and Serafina, she could have been an unmarried sister of Vincenzo who lived in Trecchina.  We may never know.


On September 23, 1999, June and I visited Trechina, Italy which is a small and very beautiful town nestled in the hills of southern Italy about 200 kilometer (125 miles) south of Naples.  To get to Trecchina you take autostrade A3 (interstate A3) south from Naples to the first exit to Maratea.  Travel west towards Maratea on highway SS 585 about 17 ½ kilometers to the exit sign for Trecchina, which is about half way between the autostrade and Maratea. Once you exit SS 585, Trecchina is another five kilometers.  Interestingly, I was never able to find a map that had the City of Trecchina on it, but it is there.  To give one an idea as to the size of Trecchina, the telephone book for the region (I think that may be the county) is about one-half inch thick, and each town has its separate section.  The City of Trecchina had two pages of phone listing in the book.


While in Trecchina, we went to the Municipla (City Hall) and although we spoke no Italian and they spoke almost no English, we were able to communicate our desire to see the “Official Birth Record” for Biagio.  It is recorded in handwriting and is in perfect condition.  The book is much like a ledger (maybe 12 inches wide and 18 inches long).  The manager of the office took the ledger off the top of a wooden book shelf and was able to locate the entry in a matter seconds. We also saw the official record of the marriage of Vincenzo and Serafina on December 27, 1851.  The record of their marriage is three pages long and includes the official notices of intent to marry and is signed by all the witnesses to the marriage.  Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take a copy of these records as they informed us it is illegal to copy “Official Records” in Italy.  We did take photos of the pages recording his birth and the marriage, but the pictures aren’t very good.  We did obtain a certified record of the birth of Biagio and his parents’ marriage.


While in Trecchina, we also visited San Michele Arcangelo Catholic Church (St. Michael the Archangel) in the town square.  Since it is the only church in the city of Trechina, I presume this is where Biagio was baptized and his parents were married.  There was no one at the church that we could talk with and we were told by the people in the City Hall that the pastor (Dom. Guido Barbella) wouldn’t be available until after 6 PM.  Unfortunately, we had to leave prior to getting the opportunity to inquire of the Pastor regarding the records the church may have on the Tucci family.  A plaque in the church has some reference to Biagio (we have a photo of it), but aren’t sure what it says.  I understand that the cathedral for the diocese is in Maratea and it is named St. Biaggio’s.  I was told by someone that Biagio was named after the patron Saint for the region and that may be true in light of these facts.


The phone book for Trecchina contained no Tucci’s or Grisi’s.  In John Peter’s letter, referred to above, he mentions meeting an old lady that remembered the Tucci’s and said they had moved a number of years ago.  She thought they may have gone to largo Negro, which is east of Trecchina and in the region.


As an aside, June and I had lunch at a little restaurant on the outskirts of Trecchina by the name of Ristorante VALLE DEL NOCE di GIOVANNA TORTORELLA and it was very good.


I was told by my grandfather that Biagio never returned to Italy because he “skipped” the country owing a debt and if he had returned he would have been jailed.  In a letter from Bless Rusk, dated August 3, 1991, he mentions that Biagio was "sold into bondage" by his father for five years to a man in Florence to satisfy a debt of his father's.  The letter also said that in the second year of his servitude he ran away to Bordeaux, France and stayed there two or three years.  This all ties together to what I was told by my grandfather.  It also explains a couple of other pieces of information.


Although it has long been believed that Vincenzo Tucci was not from Trecchina, this is apparently not true as the translation of the “official record” of is and Serafina’s marriage states that they were both born in Trecchina.  If only I could have read Italian, I would have had the clerks in the office attempt to locate their birth records and any other information on the Tucci surname that may be contained in the records in Trecchina.  The Tucci surname is rather common in the Tuscany area of Italy which includes Florence.  I had suspected that Vincenzo was originally from that area which would have explained why he had a debt to someone from Florence, but that theory no longer holds water.


The surname Tucci is pronounced – To Chee – in Italian.  It is my understanding that in French the “ci” is pronounced as an “e”.  Therefore the current pronunciation. Also, most Italians who immigrated to the U.S. came to this country through Ellis Island in New York.  As we know Biagio came in through New Orleans, which was the port of entry for most of the French that immigrated to the U.S.  Since he was coming from France rather than Italy, which seems like a logical explanation.  These two pieces of information were obtained from Domenico Salomon, the son-in-law of John Peter, during our visits with John Peter’s family in Rome on September 11 and 18, 1999.  Apparently Solomon had spent some time talking to John Peter, before he became ill, about the family history and genealogy.


As to why, how and when the spelling of the surname got changed from "TUCCI" to "TUCEI" there are two different stories.  I was told by my grandfather, and this has been confirmed by my father, that when Biagio entered the country the immigration authorities thought the second "c" as an "e" and that is how the immigration papers were prepared.  One day I hope to locate these records which should confirm if this theory is correct.  The other story, which is from my discussions with Bless Rusk on August 29, 1999 and Domenico Salomon in Rome on September 11, 1999, is that Biagio had a sign made for his shoe shop in Biloxi and the sign maker made a mistake in the spelling of the surname.  Biagio never had it corrected and thereafter used the current spelling. There are two things for sure; first, in the official records in Trecchina his surname is spelled TUCCI, and second, anytime you encounter the spelling “TUCEI” you know that person is a descendant of Biagio and is a blood relative.


The tombstone on Biagio’s grave in Biloxi, reads “Blaise Tucei; Born December 9, 1855; Died January 21, 1932.  Technically, this has three errors.  First, the name of Blaise, which was pronounced Bless, should be Biagio.  When and why his first name was changed from Biagio to Blaise is also subject to speculation.  It is probably that this occurred while he was in France, as Blaise is a French derivative of Biagio. Second, the birth year of 1855 should be 1854.  Finally, the surname of Tucei should be Tucci as this was never officially change to “Tucei” to the best of my knowledge, but so be it, we are all Tucei’s.


Biagio was never naturalized as a U.S. citizen so there is nothing that could be learned about the spelling from that source.  His brother, Joseph, who came to the U.S. after Biagio and also lived in Biloxi, did become a naturalized citizen (May 17, 1894) and for whatever reason Biagio never forgave him for doing so.  This is according to Bless Rusk


As mentioned before, Biagio came to this country through New Orleans.  Why, how, and when he sent to Biloxi to live is not known.  We do know that he had a successful shoe shop on Howard Ave. in Biloxi and that he wan his brother, Joseph, were among the 74 original investors, on April 2, 1896, in what is now Peoples Financial Corp. (The Peoples Bank).


I have been told several stories about him.  One in particular may be of interest.  Apparently, in order to get leather for his shoe shop, he would walk the railroad tracks from Biloxi to New Orleans to purchase his leather.  Then he would take the train back to Biloxi.


Biagio married Isabelle E. Lawrence in Biloxi on January 4, 1879.  Isabelle was born in Biloxi on October 27, 1857 but her family was originally from Meaone, Spain.  As mentioned before, Biagio’s sister Catherine also immigrated to the U.S. She married Isabelle’s brother, Joseph Lawrence, on September 20, 1890.  There for the descendants of Biagio and Catherine are double cousins.  The genealogy of the Lawrence family has been documented by Chris J. Lawrence, Jr. and I have a copy of it.


Biagio A. Tucci 

Biagio Antonio Tucci was born on 9 December 1854 in Trecchina, Italy.  Biagio immigrated to the United States in 1875 from Bordeaux France.  It was said that Biagio was "sold into bondage" by his father for five years to a man in Florence to satisfy a debt of his father's.  It was also said that in the second year of his servitude he ran away to Bordeaux, France and stayed there two or three years.  Biagio never returned to Italy because he "skipped “the country owing a debt and if he had returned he would have been jailed.  We do know that Biagio came into the U.S. through New Orleans. Biagio had a successful shoe shop on Howard Ave. in Biloxi and his brother, Joseph, were among the 74 original investors, on 2 April 1896, in what is now Peoples Financial Corp. (The Peoples Bank).


Biagio married Isabelle E. Lawrence in Biloxi on January 4, 1879.  Isabelle was born in Biloxi on October 27, 1857 but her family was originally from Meaone, Spain. 


Biagio died on 21 January 1932 at the age of 77 years in Biloxi, Mississippi.


BiagioTucei's Properties at Biloxi


West Howard Avenue

[from Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Land Deed Book 17, p. 546 on August 18, 1879]


Tucei Building

The Tucei Building was erected on Pass Christian Road, later called Howard Avenue, in downtown Biloxi, Mississippi sometime after August 1879, when Biagio Tucei acquired a lot measuring 37 feet by 100 feet from Franco Coyle and Madeline Pons Coyle of Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  The consideration was $250.[Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Land Deed Book 17, p. 546]


The two Sanborn insurance maps below depict the Tucei Building in 1909 and 1914 respectively.  In 1909, the Elks Club was housed on the second floor and the first floor was vacant.


Sanborn Map-1909                                                                                                  Saborn Map-1914



Children of Biagio and Isabelle Tucci

Vincent Joseph Aloysius Tucei was born on 28 December 1879 in Biloxi.  He died on 24 July 1970 in Biloxi.


Seraphine A. Tucei [Westbrook] was born on 25 November 1881 in Biloxi.  She passed at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on 8 September, 1977 married to Fred L. Westbrook (1889-1963).


Marainne Laurette Tucei was born on 23 October 1883 in Biloxi. She died on 9 December 1883 in Biloxi.


Theresa Lilia Tucei was born on 27 October 1885 in Biloxi. She died on 2 May 1923 in Biloxi.


Joseph Bless Tucei was born on 16 September 1886 in Biloxi.  He died on 7 February 1976 in Biloxi.


Fredrick Alois Tucei was born on 6 September 1880 in Biloxi.  He died on 20 March 1954 in Biloxi.


Mary Belle Tucei was born on 20 February 1892 in Biloxi.


Christopher Anthony Tucei was born on 13 August 1894 in Biloxi.  He died on2 September 1949 in Biloxi.


Augustine Rose Tucei was born on 1 August 1898 in Biloxi.  She died on 3 August 1928 in Biloxi.


John Peter Tucei was born on 10 July 1900 in Biloxi.  He died on 3 August 1982 in Biloxi. 



Children of Biagio Tucei and Isabella Lawrence




Vincent J. A. Tucei

Vincent Joseph Aloysius Tucei (1879-1970) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on December 28, 1879.  He married Alice Walker and they were the parents of four sons: Vincent Joseph Aloysius Tucei Jr. (1916-2007) m. Lorraine Nellums (1921-2001); Ferdinand Walker Tucei (1918-2000) m. Irene Collins (1918-2014); Blaise A. Tucei (1920-1978); and James G. Tucei (1922-1988) m. Alma E. Hall (1922-2008).




The home of Vincent J.A. Tucei and Alice Walker Tucei was situated at 517 Seal Avenue.  The following is an abstract of their property.


517 Seal Avenue-Biloxi, Mississippi

Lot 14-Seal’s Subdivision-100 feet on Seal Avenue and 142 feet deep.


The Seal’s Subdivision was platted March 13, 1897 by Roderick Seal.[see Harrison County, Mississippi 2nd JD Plat Bk. 1, p. 8]


Seal’s was created north of the Gulf View Subdivision and also north of the L&N Railroad.  It was composed of three blocks and 42 lots and was 27 ½ arpents north to south and 1 ¾ arpents east to west.  An extension of Seal Avenue fifty-feet wide was cut through Seal’s Subdivision to Division Street.[see Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 35, p. 2 of October 15, 1896 for transactions between Roderick Seal and Florian Seal and George W. Wilkes]



In May 1914, Roy Chinn and spouse convey for $400 Lot 14 to Theresa Lilly Tucei.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 110, p. 95)




In June 1915, Vincent J.A. Tucei permitted a 5-room residence on Seal Avenue estimated to cost $1500.(The Daily Herald, June 21, 1915, p. 2)




In March 1916, Theresa Lilly Tucei sold Lot 14 for $400 to Alice Walker Tucei.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 115, p. 377)




In April 1923, Alice Walker Tucei sold Lot 14 to Biaggio Tucei and Bella Lawrence Tucei for $7500.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 137, p. 558)




In April 1941, Bella Lawrence Tucei conveyed Lot 14 to Alice Walker Tucei for $1000.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 238, p.  121)




In January 1973, James G. Tucei, Vincent J. A. Tucei Jr. and F. Walker Tucei conveyed Lot 14 to William F. Hubbell and Helen Harvey Hubbell.(Harrison Co., Mississippi 2nd JD Land Deed Bk. 35, p. 9)







Vincent J.A. Tucei Jr. and Lorraine N. Tucei

Vincent Joseph Aloysius Tucei Jr. (1916-2007) was born March 1, 1916 at Biloxi, Mississippi.  On December 16, 1944, in Escambia County, Florida, he married Lorraine Nellums (1921-2001), a native of Muscogee, Florida, and the daughter of Louis E. Nellums (1886-1945) and Evadne M. Nellums (1897-1987).  At the time of their marriage, Lorraine was a graduate of Pensacola High School and employed as the secretary at the Penscacola Vocational while Vincent was with the Civil Service at Penscacola NAS where he had been since 1939.(The Daily Herald, November 22, 1944, p. 10)


Vincent J. A. Tucei Jr. (1916-2007), age 91 years, passed away on Thursday, March 8, 2007 in Pensacola. He was born in Biloxi, Mississippi on March 1, 1916. Vincent moved to Pensacola in 1939 where he was employed with Civil Service for 34 years at the Naval Air Station. He also served with the Army Air Corps in WWII.


After retiring, he enjoyed traveling, gardening, spending time with his grandchildren, and was very active with the Mystic Springs Airstream Trailer Club. Mr. Tucei was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church.


He was preceded in death by his wife, Lorraine Nellums Tucei; his parents, Vincent J. A. Tucei Sr. and Alice Walker Tucei; his brothers, F. Walker Tucei Sr.; Blaise A. Tucei; and James G. Tucei.


He is survived by his sons, Vincent L. Tucei (Elaine), Terry J. Tucei, a daughter, Jane Tucei Weaver (Randy) of Pensacola; 4 grandchildren, Christopher (Jennifer) Tucei of Pensacola, Nathan (Faith) Tucei, Jeffrey Tucei of Jacksonville, Amanda (Joshua) Warren of Helena, Al; and a great-grandson, Benjamin Warren of Helena, Al.


Funeral services will be Saturday, March 10th, 2007 at 11:00 a.m., at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel, with burial at Bayview Memorial Park.


Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the service at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel, with Father Doug Halsema officiating. Pallbearers will be Christopher Tucei, Nathan Tucei, Jeffrey Tucei, Joshua Warren, Walker Tucei, and Tom Osborne. Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.[The Sun Herald, March 10, 2007]




Vincent L. Tucei

Vincent L. Tucei (b. 1949) was born at Pensacola, Florida on June 14, 1949.  He married Elaine ?


Terry J. Tucei


Jane Tucei

Jane Tucei married Randy Weaver




Ferdinand W. Tucei

Ferdinand Walker Tucei (1918-2000) was born July 5, 1918.  He married Irene Collins (1918-2014), the daughter of George Collins and Irene Marion Collins.


F. Walker Tucei Sr. (1918-2000), age 82 years, died Wednesday, November 22, 2000, in Biloxi. Walker was a life long resident of Biloxi. He was a retired Director of The Peoples Financial Corporation, a director of The Peoples Bank, and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Professional Drug Company of Biloxi. Walker retired in December of 1994 as Executive Vice-President of The Peoples Bank where he had been employed for 53 years. He began his career at The Peoples Bank as an assistant bookkeeper in July 1941.


Prior to his employment with the bank, he worked for Margaret's Gulf Coast Candy, the Old Biloxi Hotel and as an agent for the F.A. Tucei Insurance Agency. He was a member of The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cathedral his entire life and had served as President of the Parish Council and on the Finance and Administration committee. He had previously been active as a fourth degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus, the East Harrison County Lions Club, Biloxi Rotary Club, Camp Wilkes, Inc., the Boy Scouts of America, the Order of Mithras Carnival organization and the Gulf Coast Carnival Association. Walker was a graduate of Biloxi High School and the LSU School of Banking.


Walker Tucei was a gentleman and a loving, devoted husband and father. He was blessed with three families: his church family, his natural family, and his work family. All were a source of much love and great joy. His family and friends are very grateful that his life will serve always as an exemplary role model in all phases of life.


Walker was preceded in death by his parents, Vincent J.A. Tucei, and Alice Walker Tucei; and two brothers, Blaise A. Tucei and James C. Tucei.


He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Irene Collins Tucei; four sons, F. Walker Tucei Jr. and his wife, June Parker Tuceiof Gretna, Louisiana; Robert M. Tucei and his wife, Joy of Biloxi; Thomas E. Tucei and his wife Rita of Picayune, Mississippi; Alan L. Tucei and his wife Renee of Danville, Calififornia; a brother, Vincent J.A. Tucei and his wife Loraine of Pensacola, Florida. Thirteen grandchildren and their spouses, Deneen Tucei O'Connor and her husband Kip; Marian Tucei Clark, and her husband Tim; Michelle Tucei Mannino and her husband Joey; Shannon Tucei Abraham and her husband, William; Renee Tucei Tremmel, and her husband, Burt; Thomas Tucei Jr.; Kristine Tucei Barnello and her husband, Joey; Karen Tucei, Kim Tucei Tresch and her husband Kenny; Brian Tucei, Linda Tucei, Megan Tucei, Laura Tucei; a step grandchild, Meredith Cash; six great-grandchildren, Bailey O'Connor, Paul Clarke, Joey Barnello, Brittany Barnello, Madeline Barnello, Kenny Tresch Jr.; and a step great-grandchild, Christopher O'Connor.


Visitation will be Saturday, November 25, 2000, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nativity B.V.M. Cathedral with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow. Burial will be in Southern Memorial Cemetery. The Howard Avenue Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Homes in Biloxi is in charge of arrangements. 


Irene C. Tucei


Irene Collins Tucei (1918-2014) of Biloxi passed away on Wednesday, January 8, 2014. She was 95 years of age.  Mrs. Tucei was born January 10, 1918. She was in numerous carnival organizations, including the Krewe of Billikins and Gulf Coast Carnival Association. Mrs. Tucei was a lifelong member of The Nativity BVM Cathedral and spent many years as a member of the Parent Teacher Association for Nativity School. She also was a member of the Biloxi Garden Club. At an early age she was assistant to her father and uncle at their contracting business, Collins Brothers Construction Co. Her full time career was raising four active sons who all became successful businessmen. She will be greatly missed by her sons and their wives, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents, George J. Collins Sr. and Irene Marion Collins; her husband, F. Walker Tucei Sr.; her son, F. Walker Tucei Jr.; her granddaughter, Karyn Tucei, her grandson, Paul Tucei and her brothers, George J. Collins Jr. and Harry J. Collins.

Survivors include her sons and daughters-in-law; June Tucei, wife of F. Walker Tucei, Jr.of New Orleans; Bob (Joy Barhanovich Cash) Tucei of Biloxi, Mississippi; Tommy (Rita Lee Fitzgerald) Tucei Sr. of Picayune, Mississippi; and Alan (Renee) Tucei of Westport, Connecticut; and her 12 grandchildren, Deneen (Kip) O'Connor, Marian (Tim) Clarke, Michelle (Joey) Mannino, Shannon (William) Abraham, Renee Tremmel, Tommy (Toni) Tucei Jr, Kristine (Joe) Barnello, Kim (Kenny) Tresch, Brian Tucei, Linda (Gregory) Robinson, Laura Tucei, and Megan Tucei.

A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the Life and Loving Memory of Irene Collins Tucei will be held at 12 noon on Friday, January 10, 2014 (her 96th birthday) at the Nativity B.V.M. Cathedral at 870 Howard Avenue in Biloxi. Graveside service will follow at Southern Memorial Park. The Howard Avenue Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.(The Sun Herald, January 9,  2014) 





F. Walker Tucei Jr. (1942-2009) was born June 28, 1944 at Biloxi, Mississippi.  On September 8, 1962, he married June E. Parker, the daughter of August H. Parker (1900-1983) and Irma Miller Parker (1907-2002).  In Harrison County, Mississippi.  They were the parents of a son, Paul Tucei, and three daughters: Marian Elizabeth Tucei m. Timothy Allen Clarke; Deneen Patricia Tucei m. Kip O’Conner and Michelle Marie Tucei m. Joseph Mannino.  F. Walker Tucei expired on July 14, 2009 at Gretna, Louisiana from brain cancer.  His corporal remains were interred at Southern Memorial Park in Biloxi, Mississippi.(The Sun Herald, July 16, 2009 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 122, p. 404)


Robert M. Tucei

Robert 'Bobby' Mark Tucei was born December 8, 1946 at Biloxi, Mississippi.  He married Sydney Mae Jones, the daughter of    .  The


2nd marriage

Robert Mark Tucei was born December 8, 1946 at Biloxi, Mississippi.  He married Billie Joy Barhonovich Cash (b.  October 5, 1947), the daughter of Steven W. Barhonovich (1914-1991) and Eula Seymour Weeks (1916-1988), on November 1, 1997 in Harrison County, Mississippi.(Harrison County, Mississippi 2nd JD Circuit Court MRB 49, p. 261)


Thomas E. Tucei

Thomas Eugene Tucei was born November 5, 1949 at Biloxi, Mississippi.  He married Rita Lee Fitzgerald on August 30, 1969 in Harrison County, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, November 9, 1949, p. 9 and Harrison County, Mississippi 2nd JD Circuit Court MRB 2, p. 77)



Alan L. Tucei

Alan L. Tucei was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on August 8, 1956.  He married Renee L. Nichols in Harris County Texas on August 17, 1979.




Blaise A. Tucei

Blaise Antoni Tucei (1920-1978) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on August 27, 1920.  He was a life-long invalid and expired at 111 Azalea Drive at Biloxi on February 26, 1978.  His internment was in the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, February   1978, p. 2)



James G. Tucei

James G. Tucei and Alma Hall Tucei

James 'Jimmie' G. Tucei (1922-1988) was born on May 27, 1922 at Biloxi, Mississippi.  He made his livelihood as a building contractor in Mobile and Pensacola.  Mr. Tucei was a veteran of WW II serving with the US Army.  He worshiped at the Christ United Methodist Church.


Jimmie married Alma E. Hall (1922-2008) and they were the parents of three children: James Charles Tucei of Snehomish, Washington; Alice Tucei Swartz of Woodenville, Washington; and Mary K. Tucei Farlon of Mobile, Alabama.

Jimmie Tucei died on March 8, 1988 and Alma Hall Tucei on June 20, 2008.  Their burials were in the Gonzales Methodist Church Cemetery at Catonment, Flordia.  Smith & Sons' Memorial Chapel of Pensacola. Florida served the family.







F.L. Westbrook and Seraphine Tucei Westbrook

[F.L. Westbrook Jr. Collection]


Seraphine A. Tucei (1881-1977) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on November 25, 1881. She married Fred L. Westbrook (1889-1963), the son of Edwin Martin Westbrook (1858-1913) and Harriet Amelia Clark (1857-1927) at Biloxi in Harrison County, Mississippi on June 7, 1916.  They had one son, Frederick L. Westbrook Jr. (1919-2001), and resided at 709 Church Street in Ocean Springs.[Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 29, p. 48]     




Frederick L. Westbrook Sr. (1889-1963) and Frederick L. Westbrook Jr. (1919-2001)

[F.L. Westbrook Jr. Collection]



 709 Church Street

[L-R: east elevation and west elevation]

[F.L. Westbrook Jr. Collection]


Frederick L. Westbrook Sr. (1889-1963) was the day operator for the L&N Railroad at the Biloxi station in 1913.  He later worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier.  In June 1915, Rural Route 2, a new rural postal route was announced by the Ocean Springs Post Office.  There were one hundred-fifty families on the circuit with the number soon expected by Postmaster McClure to increase to two hundred.  In July 1915, twenty-nine people applied for the Rural Route 2 position at testing sites in Biloxi and Pascagoula.  Locals from Vancleave and Ocean Springs who took this postal exam were Charles H. Mr. Bransford (1868-1947), the former Postmaster;  John B. Bransford; George T. Rehage (1878-1937); Ralph M. Spaulding (1876-1959); Fred Lewis (1862-1933); Fred L. Westbrook (1889-1963); Tim Regan; Billy Mitchell; John Wadlow; and Paul Bertuccini (b. 1893).( The Ocean Springs News, June 17, 1915, p. 1, July 1, 1915, p. 1, and July 29, 1915, p. 1)


Fred L. Westbrook Sr. won the position scoring 87.1 on the postal examination.  His appointment as a carrier on R.F.D. No. 2 was announced publicly in early February 1916.  Fred started the job in late January.  In the fall of 1917, The Jackson County Times announced that F.L. Westbrook, Route 2 carrier, increased his daily delivery schedule to six days each week.  Prior to this, he delivered only three days per week.(The Ocean Springs News, February 3, 1916, p. 1 and The Jackson County Times, October 20, 1917)


Fred L. Westbrook Sr. retired from the US Postal Service on in early December 1959 after 43 years and ten months of service as a rural mail carrier.  He related that he traveled over 30,000 miles each year.  His longest route was about 95 miles.  It began in Ocean Springs went to East Beach, Fontainebleau, Vancleave and thirty-five miles further.  This route was split in 1952, but still required seventy miles of driving because of the increased population in rural areas. (The Daily Herald, December 2, 1959, p. 2)    


Fred L. Westbrook, Sr. was very active at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church where he served as president of the Holy Name Society and on the building committee.  He was a member of the Order of the Alhambra, Knights of Columbus (third and fourth degree), and Sacred Heart League.  After Mr. Westbrook's demise, the local Knights of Columbus chapter, which was commenced by his son, Fred, was named the Fred L. Westbrook, Sr. Council No. 5654.  Their building is located at 621 Washington Avenue.


Seraphine Tucei Westbrook expired at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on 8 September 1977.  Fred preceded her in death passing on  25 December 1963.  They internment was in Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.






Mary Anna Tucei (1883-1883) was born October 23, 1883 and died December 9, 1883.(Lepre, 1991, p. 343)







Lilly Theresa Tucei (1885-1923) was born October 27, 1884* to Bless [Biaggio] Tucei (1850-1932) and Bella Lawrence (1858-1942). She was baptized 'Teresa Lilia Tucei' at Nativity B.V.M. Catholic Church on December 15, 1884.(Lepre, 1991, p. 344)


John A. Swanzy

Lilly Theresa Tucei and John A. Swanzy (1881-1968) were married by the Reverend Father Keenan on January 4, 1922 in the rectory of Nativity B.V.M Catholic Church. Their witnesses were Bernadette Lamm and Frederick Aloise Tucei (1889-1954), her brother. The wedding party went to the Splendid Cafe in Gulfport to celebrate the blessed occasion.   The newly weds were at home at 1712 West Howard Avenue in Biloxi, Mississippi. Mr. Swanzy was a contractor and the Biloxi Street Commissioner.(The Daily Herald, January 5, 1922, p. 4)


Lilly Tucei Swanzy died at Biloxi on February 5, 1923. She had been an illness of one week. She was a native and lifelong resident of Biloxi. Mrs. Swanzy was educated at the Sacred Heart School. Her affiliations included: the Children of Mary, Catholic Daughters of America and the Sacred Heart League.  Lilly was survived by her spouse; her parents; three sisters: Saraphine Tucei Westbrook of Ocean Springs; Mrs. E.A. Jones of Bayou LaBatre, Alabama; and Mrs. C.R. Rusk of Biloxi; five brothers: Vincent Tucei; J.A. Tucei; Joseph B. Tucei; Frederick A. Tucei (1889-1954); Christopher A. Tucei; and J. Peter Tucei, all of Biloxi.  Mrs. Swanzy's funeral was under the auspices of the Bradford Funeral Parlors with a Requiem Mass at Nativity B.V.M Catholic Church followed by internment in the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1923)


*Mrs. Swanzy's birth year does not agree with Nativity B.V.M. Catholic Church records.






Joseph B. Tucei

[Courtesy of Claire Tucei Breal-February 2016]

Joseph Bless Tucei (1887-1976) was born October 16, 1887.  He married Nancy Parillo (1890-1983).  Children:  Joseph B. Tucei Jr. (1913-1972); Lillie Catherine Tucei (1916-2004) m. Frederick Benjamin Dick Jr. (1915-1969); Fred A. Tucei (b. 1918) m. Hazel Myrtis Lopez (1920-2004); Alma Elizabeth Tucei (1921-2008) m. James Henry Cook (1920-1997); Valmae J. Tucei (1924-2013) m. James Eugene Howarth (1922-1980); Inez Rose Tucei (1926-2015) m. Lawrence C. Taylor (1928-1995); Harry Vernon Tucei (1928-2014) m. Alice Leona Culliton (1931-1993); and Claire Beatrice Tucei (b. 1932) m. Floyd L. Breal (19-1980).



Joseph B. Tucei Jr.




Lillie C. Tucei

Lillie Catherine Tucei (1916-2004), age 89 years of Ocean Springs, Mississippi died Sunday, May 23, 2004, in Ocean Springs.  Mrs. Dick was a native of Biloxi and lifelong resident of the Coast. She was a 1933 graduate of Sacred Heart High School where she was class valedictorian. She also played basketball and was an all-state guard. Mrs. Dick was employed with Balius Floor Covering for 45 years as office manager and bookkeeper.  She held this position until her death. She was a member of St. Johns Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus Council #1244 Ladies Auxiliary and Back Bay Fire Ladies.


Mrs. Dick was preceded in death by her husband, Frederick Benjamin Dick, Jr., her parents, Joseph and Nancy Tucei and a brother, Joseph B. Tucei, Jr.


Survivors include her daughter, Nancy Claire Dick Rosonet and her husband, Rick, of Ocean Springs; a grandson, David A. Holloway of Madison, Mississippi; a granddaughter, Erinn Catherine Holloway-Schauwecher and her husband, Timothy, of San Diego, California; two great granddaughters, Carney Catherine Holloway and Anna Claire Holloway of Madison, Mississippi; one great granddaughter due in June, Lily Claire Schauwecher; four sisters, Alma Cook, Valmae Howarth and Claire Breal of Biloxi and Inez Taylor of Bedford, Texas; two brothers, Fred Tucei of Gautier and Harry Tucei of Tulsa, OK. She was also survived by numerous nieces and nephews who she was very close to.


An 11 a.m. Funeral Mass will be Wednesday, May 26, 2004, at St. Johns Catholic Church in Biloxi where friends may visit from 9 a.m. till service time. Interment will follow in Southern Memorial Park. The Howard Avenue Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Homes in Biloxi is in charge of arrangements.(The Sun Herald, May 26, 2004)



Fred A. Tucei Jr.





Alma E. Tucei

Alma Elizabeth Tucei (1921-2008), age 87 years, of Biloxi, Mississippi, died Wednesday, November 26, 2008, at her home surrounded by her loving family. Living in Biloxi all her life, Alma was a long time member of Our Lady of Fatima Parish and a devout Catholic. She graduated from Biloxi High School; she was a past band mother, past president of the PTA and a member of the Neighborhood Club for over 50 years.
Mrs. Cook was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 54 years, James H. Cook Sr.; parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Tucei, Sr.; in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Cook, Sr.; brother, J. B. Tucei, Jr.; sister, Lillie Tucei Dick, and daughter in-law, Donna Nowak Cook.
Alma is survived by her children, James H. Cook, Jr., Cynthia Cook Cavanaugh, and Jo Lynn Cook (Robert) Reeder; grandchildren, Oreta Cook (Phillip) McMillan, Dr. Henry (Kelly) Cook, Angie Cook Swan, and Clifford (Shannon) Cook, Kerry Cavanaugh (Bryan) Stoddard, Patrick Cavanaugh, Lauren Reeder, Robert Reeder, III, and Garrett Reeder; great grandchildren, Blake, Craig and Brooke McMillan, Ryan, Joseph, Kara and Seth Cook, Edwin, Brycen and Alexis Witcher; brothers and sisters, Fred Tucei, Valmae Howarth, Inez Taylor, Harry Tucei, and Claire Breal; many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, December 2, 2008, at 12:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church where friends may visit one hour before service time. Interment will follow in Biloxi National Cemetery. Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, Howard Avenue, in Biloxi is in charge of arrangements. (The Sun Herald, November 29, 2008)



Valmae J. Tucei


Valmae T. Howarth (1924-2013), age 89 years, of Biloxi, Mississippi, died Friday, November 1, 2013, in Biloxi.  She was born at Biloxi on March 19, 1924.  Valmae J. Tucei married James Eugene Howarth in Harrison County, Mississippi on September 10, 1944.[Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 65, p. 631]


Mrs. Howarth was a native and lifelong resident of Biloxi and was a member of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. She retired from First Federal Savings and Loan and was formerly employed in civil service at Keesler Air Force Base. Mrs. Howarth enjoyed sports, was a member of the Golden Age Club and the Tripoli Club and was a volunteer at her church.


She was preceded in death by her husband, James E. "Slug" Howarth, parents, Joseph and Nancy Parillo Tucei, brother, J.B. Tucei and sisters, Lillie T. Dick and Alma T. Cook.


Survivors include sons, James E. "Jimmy" (Gloria) Howarth and Robert "Bobby" (Leslie) Howarth, four grandchildren, Christine Howarth (Ken) Henderson of Naperville, IL, Jennifer Howarth (Rhett) Taylor, of Biloxi, MS, Michael Howarth of Biloxi, MS and Shelby Howarth (Bucky) Lott of Purvis, MS, four great-grandchildren, Kenny and Ally Henderson and Riana and Makenzie Taylor, brothers, Fred Tucei, of Gautier, MS, Harry Tucei of Tulsa, OK and sisters, Inez Taylor of St. Charles, MO and Claire Breal of Biloxi, MS and numerous nieces and nephews.


Visitation will be on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 and a Mass of Christian Burial, all at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Southern Memorial Park.  The Howard Avenue Chapel of Bradford O'Keefe Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.[The Sun Herald, November 4, 2013]



Inez R. Tucei

Inez Rose Tucei (1926-2015), age 88 years of St. Charles, Missouri, passed away on Friday, January 16, 2015.  Mrs. Taylor is preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Lawrence C. Taylor; her parents, Joseph and Nancy Parillo Tucei; her brothers, JB Tucei, Jr. and Harry V. Tucei; her sisters, Lillie Dick, Alma Cook, and Valmae Howarth; and her grandson, Scott Thomas Douthit.


Inez was survived by her children, Deborah (Debi) Green and Terrance (Terry) and Amanda Taylor; her grandchildren, (Debi) Alicea Hermeyer and Ashley Douthit, (Terry) Janelle Taylor, Jeffrey Chase Gilley, Terrance (T-Jay) Taylor, Jr., Clayton Taylor, and Tanner Taylor; her great grandchildren, (Debi) Madelyn Hermeyer, Annabelle Rose Walsh, and Audrey Taylor Becker; her brother, Fred Tucei of Gautier, Mississippi; her sister, Claire Breal of Biloxi, MS; and many nieces and nephews.


Mrs. Taylor was a resident of St. Charles, Missouri but was a native of Biloxi, Mississippi. She graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1945 and later retired from the US Government - Civil Service where she was a payroll clerk. She loved dancing, bowling, sewing, playing bingo, crafts and she was also a devout Catholic.


A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday, January 26, 2105, at 11 AM at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. Riemann Family Funeral Home, Biloxi, is serving the family.(The Sun Herald, January 21, 2015)



Harry V. Tucei

Harry Vernon Tucei (1928-2014), age 86 years, passed away Thursday, September 18, 2014, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was born June 4, 1928 in Biloxi to Joseph Bless Tucei and Nancy Parrillo Tucei. Harry graduated from Notre Dame High School in Biloxi and attended Mississippi State University. He joined the Navy in 1946. After his honorable discharge, Harry attended the University of Tulsa and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in geology in 1955. After working on survey and seismic crews, he hired on at Home Stake Oil & Gas in Tulsa, OK. He retired from Home Stake as Vice President and Chief Geologist in 1993 after more than 35 years of service. On August 3, 1955, Harry married Alice Leona Culliton in Tulsa and they remained married until her death in 1993. He was a long time parishioner of the Church of the Madalene and a member of the Tumbleweeds Square Dancers and Tulsa Mountain Cloggers. Harry was a docent at Gilcrease Museum and he delivered Meals on Wheels. Harry enjoyed gardening and was an avid collector of World War II memorabilia with a special interest in aviation. Harry is survived by his loving companion of more than 20 years, Bunny Mason Tipton, daughter Diane and husband Don Armijo of Katy, TX, sons Joe of Virginia Beach, VA and Mark of Jacksonville, FL, grandchildren Ryan and Derek Armijo, Peyton and Ava Tucei, Brittany Tucei, great-grandson Gregory Christian, brother Fred Tucei of Gautier, MS, and sisters Inez Taylor of St. Charles, MO and Claire Breal of Biloxi, MS, and numerous nephews and nieces. Family and friends may honor Harry's memory with contributions to USO.org or WoundedWarriorProject.org. On September 23, 2014, funeral services were in Tulsa, OK, at the Church of the Madalene. Interment with military honors followed at Calvary Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, September 28, 2014)


Claire B. Tucei








Ed Tucei [center] with Adjutant General John A. O'Keefe and Mayor Edward Braun


Frederic “Ed” Aloise Tucei (1889-1954) was born September 9, 1889 at Biloxi, Mississippi.







Christopher A. Tucei

[Courtesy of Claire Tucei Breal-February 2016]


Christopher 'Chris' Anthony Tucei was born August 13, 1894.  Christopher A. Tucei (1894-1949) married Corrine Capuano (1904-1962) in Harrison Co., Mississippi on September 7, 1921.[Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 33, p. 356] 


Chris Tucei enlisted in the US Army on May 3, 1918 as a private in the 141 Aero Squadron and was honorably discharged on July 16, 1919. Mr. Tucei passed at the Biloxi VA Hospital on 


Corrine Capuano was born at New Orleans on February 1, 1904 to Jennie Coci Capuano (1863-1941).  She expired on July 25, 1962 at her Biloxi residence, 430 Bohn Street.  Corrine was survived by her brother, Philip Joseph Capuano (1907-1968), and two sisters, Mrs. Sidney Manuel of Billoxi and Mrs. Warren Betzer of NOLA.(The Daily Herald, July 26, 1962, p. 2)


The corporal remains of Chris and Corrine C. Tucei were entombed in the Capuano tomb in the 6th Addition [north side of the CSX Railroad tracks] of the Biloxi Cemetery.







Augustine R. Tucei


Augustine Rose Tucei (1897-1928) was born August 1, 1897.  She married Clement Roy Rusk (1894-1965) in Harrison County, Mississippi on June 25, 1916.  Augustine had graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1914 with high honors. 


Clement Roy Rusk

Augustine and Clement were the parents of six children:  Bless Roy Rusk (1917-2011) m. Bernita Norma Sorenson (1917-2013); Elizabeth Rusk m. Leo Anderson and Mr. Wells; Rita Clementine Rusk (1920-2014) m. Herbert Coleman Stevens (1915-1959); Agatha “Lean” Rusk (1922-2008) m. Jack Morris Minckler (1917-1992); Joseph W. Rusk (1923-2011) m. Delores J. Boynton (1929-2009); and Mary Theresa Rusk m. John “Jack” Edward Tardy.


Rusk Home at 725 West Howard Avenue

[image made February 2016 by Ray L. Bellande]





Bless R. Rusk


Bless Roy Rusk (1917-2011) died June 28, 2011, at the age of 94 years in The Sterling House of Peoria, Arizona.  He was born in Biloxi, Mississippi.  He graduated from Biloxi High School in 1935 and from Ole Miss with a BS in Pharmacy. He was in Glider Training in Spencer, Iowa, where he met Bernita and they married in Albuquerque, N.M., while he was in the service.


Bless was a decorated 2nd Lt and WWII Glider Pilot and served in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war he was a medical service representative for Eli Lilly and Company working out of Fort Dodge, Iowa. He operated drug stores in Marshalltown and Webster City, Iowa, prior to owning and operating Rusk Drug and Jewelry in Algona for 20 plus years, with Bernita by his side in the family business. They also owned a second store in Estherville, Iowa, for a period of time.


Bless and Bernita moved to the Gulf Coast where he was a hospital pharmacist at the Singing River Hospital in Ocean Springs for eight years. He retired and then studied art and voice and became a qualified boat captain and operated a deep sea fishing boat. He also served as an officer in several coast art associations. They moved to an acreage in rural Van Cleave, Miss., where he enjoyed gardening, fishing, and golfing as well as painting in his art studio.


In 1994 they relocated to Conroy, Iowa, to be closer to family. In 1996 they moved to Chanute, where they lived until 2007 when they moved to the Phoenix area.


He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Agatha (Lean) Minckler and brother, Joseph Rusk.


Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Bernita, of Peoria; son Gary Rusk, and daughter, Cheryl Orr, Surprise, Ariz.; sisters: Elizabeth Wells, Rita Stevens, and Mary and Jack Tardy; sister-in-law, Arlene Tyler; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and 21 nieces and nephews.


Funeral will be 8 a.m. today, July 1, at Sunland Memorial Park, Sun City, Ariz. Burial to take place at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix.

Memorials can be made to Highway Christian Hospice of Phoenix, Ariz., or the American Lutheran Church of Sun City, Ariz. [The Chanute Tribune, (Kansas) - Thursday, June 30, 2011]



Bernita Norma Sorensen Rusk

Bernita N. Sorensen Rusk (1917-2013) died January 1, 2013, at the age of 95 years at Amethyst Gardens Retirement Community in Peoria, Arizona.  She was born in rural Ruthven, Iowa.  She was baptized and attended Sunday School and church with her family at the South Walnut Lutheran Church, rural Graettinger, Iowa. She earned her high school diploma as an adult.  She went on to take several college classes.


She married her husband, Bless R. Rusk, when he was in the Air Force during WWII.  They were married 68 years, until his death at age 94 years in 2011.  They were members of the American Lutheran Church of Sun City, Ariz.


She was a homemaker for a number of years raising their two children. Then she was co-owner and bookkeeper with her spouse in the family business of Rusk Drug and Jewelry in Algona, Iowa for 20 plus years until their retirement to the Gulf Coast.  While living in Ocean Springs, Missississippi, she was head of a campaign to eliminate litter and received an award from the mayor for her efforts.


At the age of 70, she became the literacy coordinator for the Jackson County Literacy Council, in Vancleave, Miss., where she trained volunteers and matched them with adults who needed tutoring to learn to read and write.¬ She had been a Laubaugh Volunteer Tutor for 20 years herself through the Lutheran Church program. She was also active in the Ocean Springs Garden Club and Lutheran Church Women.  The couple moved to an acreage in rural Van Cleave, Miss., where they enjoyed gardening and were active in their church and community.


In 1994, they relocated to Conroy, Iowa, to be closer to family. In 1996, they moved to Chanute, where they lived until 2007, when they moved to the Phoenix area.


She is survived by one son, Gary Rusk, Surprise, Ariz., and one daughter, Cheryl Mintle Orr, Surprise, Ariz.; one sister, Arlene Tyler, Maxwell, Iowa, and three sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Wells, Seminole, Florida; Rita Stevens, Baton Rouge, La.; and Mary and Jack Tardy, Colorado Springs, Colo.; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and 40 nieces and nephews, their children and grandchildren.


She was preceded in death by her spouse, Bless R. Rusk, her parents, Knud and Thora Sorensen, sisters, Florence Nichtern, and Margaret Thim, and one brother, Harvey Sorensen.


Funeral service will be Monday, Jan. 7 with visitation at 8:30 a.m. and service at 9 a.m. at Sunland Memorial Park, Sun City, Ariz.  Burial will be in the National Memorial Cemetery, Phoenix, Ariz.[The Chanute [Kansas] Tribune, January 4, 2013]



Elizabeth E. Rusk


Elizabeth E. Rusk was born in 1917.  She married Leo Anderson on January 14, 1940 in the rectory of NBVM Catholic Church at Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi.  Leo was born at Leshara, Nebraska the son of Nels Anderson, a native of Sweden, and Bertha Anderson from Ohio.  Leo was employed as a bookkeeper at Gulfport, Mississippi with the Pan-Am bulk station owned by Pat Harrison Jr.(The Daily Herald, January 16, 1940, p. 5 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 50, p. 470)


In October 1942, Leo Anderson left Biloxi for San Diego, California for basic training in the US Navy reserves.  He had enlisted at New Orleans.(The Daily Herald, October 1, 1942, p. 11)


Elizabeth married William Benedict Wells in Harrison County, Mississippi on September 13, 1952.  At the time she was employed with the Peoples Bank and a member of Les Femmes carnival club.  Mr. Wells was a native of New Milford, Connecticut and employed with the Wadlington Radio Company at Biloxi.  He had left the military while stationed at KAFB.  The newly weds were at home at 537 Porter Avenue in Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, September 27, 1952, p,5 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 90, p. 548)


Mrs. Elizabeth Rusk Anderson married William Benedict Wells in Harrison County, Mississippi on September 13, 1952.  She filed for divorce from him in September 1955.[The Daily Herald, September 27, 1955, p. 2]






Rita C. Rusk


Rita Clementine Rusk (1920-2004), age 93 years, passed away Saturday, April 12, 2014, at her home in Baton Rouge. She was born on July 6, 1920 at Biloxi, Mississippi.

Rita is survived by two sons, Lamar Stevens of Baton Rouge and Charles Earl Stevens of Denham Springs; a daughter, Betty Bowers of Baton Rouge; two daughters-in-law, Gloria Stevens of Baton Rouge and Jodi Stevens of Denham Springs; five grandchildren, Chris Bowers, Todd Bowers, Anna Marie Barnett, Melissa McCabe and Brooke Stevens; and seven great-grandchildren.


She was preceded in death by her husband, Herbert Coleman Stevens (1915-1959); her parents, Roy Clement Rusk and Augustine Rose Tucci Rusk; and one grandchild.


A graveside service was held Tuesday, April 15, at Ponemah Cemetery at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Clay Norwood officiating. Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.[The Daily News [Bogalusa, Louisiana], April 15, 2014]



Agatha Rusk

Agatha 'Lean' Rusk (1922-2008)




Jack Morris Minckler (1917-1992) died on Dec. 5, 1992, at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was 75, a native of Lissie, Texas, and resident of Bogalusa. He was a U.S. Air Force Gunnery Instructor during World War II and was a retired theatre owner.  At his wishes, he was cremated. Survived by wife, Agatha Rusk Minckler, Bogalusa; two daughters, Jacqueline M. Minckler, Bogalusa, and Celeste Minckler Fleming, Marianna, Fla.; four sons, Gordon C. Minckler, Carierre, Miss., Harold Miller Minckler, Henleyfield, Miss., Roy Rusk Minckler, Houston, Texas, and Dr. David Morris Minckler, Baton Rouge; a sister, Mary Emma Minckler, San Diego, Calif.; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by parents, Harold M. and Beulah Wood Minckler. Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government St., in charge of arrangements.[The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), December 7, 1992]



Joseph W. Rusk


Joseph Willard Rusk (1923-2011) was born October 13, 1923 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Joe was a World War II veteran having served in the US Navy as a gunner’s mate on the USS Wilhoite.  After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he served in the Naval Reserves in Biloxi, Mississippi. Joe co-owned and later purchased the AG Food Center from his father-in-law, Orville Boynton, and managed it for many years. After selling AG Food Center, Joe worked in the meat department at Randalls. He then went to Sears and worked in the automotive department until his retirement. He and his wife also worked for 10 years at Design Two for their daughter, Kathy Walters.


Joseph ‘Joe’ Willard Rusk (1923-2011), age 87 years, resident of Fort Dodge, Iowa since 1960, passed away Monday, February 14, 2011.


Mr. Rusk is survived by his children, Alan (Jan) Rusk, Kathy (Tom) Walters, and Lori (Steve) Beckman; grandchildren, Jeff (Kim) Walters, Nick (Becky) Walters, Chip Walters and his fiance Sara Kamp, Joshua (Shannon) Rusk, Joey (Tracey) Rusk, Anna Rusk and her friend Bart Jeseritz, Michaela Beckman, Luke Beckman, and Sammy Rusk; great grandsons, Nathaniel Rusk, Isaac, and Logan Rusk; step-grandsons, Lucas Still, Jordan Still, and Calob Still; and step-great grandson, Zander Still. He is also survived by a brother, Bless (Bernita) Rusk; sisters, Mary (Jack) Tardy, Elizabeth Wells, and Rita Stevens; sister-in-law, Sandy Beukelman; a niece, Molly (Dan) Lopez and nephew, Todd (Mindy) Beukelman, and many more nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife, of 60 years, Delores J. Boynton Rusk (1929-2009), in 2009; his sister Lean Minckler; brother-in-law Dave Beukelman and by his parents.


Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Thursday at the Gunderson Funeral Chapel with his son Rev. Al Rusk officiating. Burial will be in Graceland Cemetery in Webster City, Iowa with full military honors conducted by the VFW Post #1856 and the United States Navy. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Wednesday at the Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Fort Dodge.




Mary Theresa Rusk married John 'Jack' Edward Tardy in Harrison County, Mississippi on February 1, 1948.[Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB Bk. 76, p. 309]





John P. Tucei and Julia Sterne Tucei


John Peter Tucei (1900-1982) was born July 10, 1900 at Biloxi, Mississippi.  He married Julia Franklin Sterne (1904-1994), the daughter of William T. Sterne (1876-1951) and Julia F. Treloar (1879-1970), on October 1, 1921 in Harrison County, Mississippi. They were the parents of six children: John P. Tucei Jr. (1922-2002); Mary Elaine Tucei (1923-2007) m. Elmer Mabry; William Edward Tucei (1925-2011) m. Margaret Driscoll; Julia Tucei (1927-2010) m. John C. Mills; Lawrence P. Tucei (1930-2013) m. Willie Eakin; and Franklin D. Tucei (1933-2013) m. Rachel Iona Smith (1936-1997) m. Gerald Praetorius (b. 1949)



Julia F. Sterne

Julia Franklin Sterne Tucei (1904-1994), age 89 years and the wife of John Peter Tucei Sr., died at Biloxi, Mississippi on August 29, 1994.  Julia was the daughter of William Theodore Sterne and Julia Franklina Treloar and the granddaughter of John Wesley Treloar and Marie Josephine Delvaille.  John Peter Tucie and Julia Franklin Sterne, both of Biloxi, were married on Saturday evening, 1 Oct 1921, at 8 o'clock p.m., in the Biloxi home of the Rev. Father Joseph Milot.(The Daily Herald, October 4, 1921). 


Julia was the mother of John Peter Tucei Jr., Mary Elaine Tucei Mabry, Julia Tucei Mills, Edward Tucei, Lawrence P. Tucei, and Franklin D. Tucei.  Her siblings were: Anna Josephine Sterne Bridges, and the late Theodore W. Sterne, Jessie Beatrice Sterne, Jennie Johnston Sterne, and Irma Clara Sterne.(The Sun Herald, August 31, 1994 and September 1, 1994)




John P. Tucei Jr.

John Peter Tucei Jr. (1922-2002) was born on February 23, 1922 at Biloxi, Mississippi.






Mary E. Tucei


Mary Elaine Tucei Mabry (1923-2007), age 83 years, of the Latimer Community, passed away on Monday, April 23, 2007, in Biloxi where she was born on July 5, 1923.  She married Elmer George Mabry (1921-1984), the son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Mabry, in Harrison County, Mississippi on December 1, 1939.[Harrison Co., Mississipi Bk. 59, p. 369]


Mrs. Mabry was a veteran nurse at Howard Memorial Hospital and a long-standing member of St. John's Episcopal Church. She loved to garden and cook for her family and to play games and cards.


Mrs. Mabry was preceded in death by her husband of 45 years, Elmer G. Mabry (1921-1984), a brother, John Tucei, Jr. and her parents, John and Julia Tucei. Survivors include her six daughters, Mary (Bill) Caldwell (b. 1941), Andrea (Donald) Chatham, and Karen (Ken) Taliancich, all of Latimer, Leslie Kathlene Webb (b. 1947) of Bay St. Louis, Teri (Ed) Neuman of Hurley, and Julia (Rodney) Quave of Latimer, three sons, Gerald (Pam) Mabry of Perkinston, Glenn Mabry, and Robert (Renee) Mabry of Latimer, 16 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, one sister, Julia Mills of Latimer, and three brothers, Edward Tucei of Seabeck, Washington, Lawrence Tucei of Gautier, and Franklin Tucei of Ocean Springs.


On Friday, April 27, 2007, there will be a 2 p.m. service at St. John's Episcopal Church on Porter Avenue in Ocean Springs. Visitation for family and friends will be from 1-2 p.m. Burial will follow in Crestlawn Cemetery. The Ocean Springs Chapel of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.(Sun Herald, April 26, 2007)



William E. Tucei


William E. Tucei and Margaret E. Driscoll Tucei


William Edward Tucei (1925-2011), age 85 years, of Seabeck, Washington, passed away on Wednesday, August 10, 2011.  Edward was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. on December 24, 1925. He was a retired Navy Veteran, QM1, serving in WWII and the Korean Conflict and was a patriotic American.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Margaret E. Tucei, brother, John Tucei Jr., two sisters, Mary E. Mabry and Julia I. Mills and parents, John and Julia Tucei.  Survivors include two daughters, Margaret E. Tucei and Patricia (Bill) Slater, all of Seabeck, Washington, ten grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, two brothers, Lawrence Tucei of Gautier, Mississippi and Franklin D. Tucei of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, numerous nieces and nephews and a very dear friend, Shannon Gilly.  On Tuesday, September 13, 2011, there will be an 11 a.m. graveside service in Crestlawn Memorial Park in Ocean Springs. The Ocean Springs Chapel of Bradford O'Keefe Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.(The Sun Herald, August 11, 2011)


Julia Tucei


Julia Tucei


Julia Tucei Mills (1927-2010), age 82 years, of North Biloxi, Mississippi, died Friday, September 17, 2010, in Ocean Springs.  Julia was born on November 25, 1927 at Biloxi, Mississippi and remained a lifelong resident of the Coast. She was a seamstress and employed with E.R. Moore Garment Company in Ocean Springs and a member of the Episcopal Church of The Redeemer.  


Julia married John Cannon Mills (1920-1999), the son of George Alvin Mills (1882-1962) and Almedia Abigail Lewis Mills (1881-1959) of Mobile, Alabama in Harrison County, Mississippi on December  8, 1944.  At the time, John C. Mills was an aviation cadet in the US Army Air Corps stationed at Kingman Army Air Base in Arizona.(The Daily Herald, December 12, 1944, p. 9 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB  66 p. 611)


Mrs. Mills was preceded in death by her husband, John Cannon Mills Sr.; sons, John Cannon Mills Jr. and Gregory Wayne Mills (1951-2008); parents, John Peter and Julia Sterne Tucei; sister, Mary Elaine Mabry; and brother, John P. Tucei, Jr.   She is survived by her daughters, Susan (Amos) Mann of Wills Point, Texas, and Beverly Mills of Biloxi; daughters-in-law, Millie Mills of Perkinston and Jeanie Harloe Mills of Biloxi; brothers, William Edward Tucei of Washington State, Lawrence P. Tucei, Sr. of Gautier, and Franklin Tucei Sr. of Ocean Springs; seven grandchildren, Melissa, Rhonda, De'a, Greg Jr., Steven, Donn, and Lynzie; and eight great-grandchildren.  Mother's love filled our home and the shine in her eyes lit up each room.


She was kind and patient and was generous to all. She was the backbone of the family, had strong shoulders and never let anything get her down because God is her Father, Jesus her savior, and the Holy Spirit her friend.  Graveside services will be Tuesday, September 21, 2010, at 2 p.m. at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Ocean Springs. Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, Howard Avenue, in Biloxi is in charge of arrangements. (The Sun Herald on September 20, 2010)



Lawrence P. Tucei


Lawrence P. Tucei


Lawrence Paul Tucei Sr., (1930-2013), age 82 years, of Gautier, Mississippi died April 11, 2013 in Ocean Springs.    Mr. Tucei was a Biloxi boy born there on     1930 during the Great Depression.  He went to Biloxi elementary, Junior High and Biloxi Senior High School from which he graduated in May 1950.  Mr. Tucei had three brothers and two sisters and he was the second youngest.


Lawrence joined the Mississippi National Guard in 1950 and served almost two years.  His unit, Battery C of the 115th Artillery Batallion was activated  on May 1, 1951.  The unit had a reunion at Biloxi in 2004.  Lawrence then joined the US Army and served 20 years and 5 months at several duty stations.  He went to Korea after hostilities had ceased and was a veteran of the Vietnam War.  Mr. Tucei retired from the military in mid-1971 to Gautier, Mississippi where he acquired a home and remained the remainder of his life.  Here he lived a simple life working for Mississippi Chemical for about a year.  He then had a tour with Liberty National Insurance for several years before completing his employment with Chuck's Texaco at Pascagoula, Mississippi.  


In 1955, while stationed in Maryland, Lawrence married Willie Eakin.  They had three sons: Lawrence P. Tucei Jr.; Mark Tucei; and Brian Tucei.


Mr. Tucei was a friendly, affable and gregarious individual who loved his family and people in general.  He was a responsible and dependable family man who enjoyed to hunt and fish.  Lawrence enjoyed sessions with his brothers where they would reminensce of their youth at Biloxi and especially the times they would sleep on the beach.


Lawrence was preceded in death by his parents, John Peter Tucei Sr. and Julia Sterne Tucei; brothers, John Peter Tucei Jr.; Edward Tucei; and sisters, Elaine Tucei Mabry; and Julia Tucei Mills.  He is survivied by his spouse of 58 years; three sons: Larry Tucei, Mark Tucei, and Brian Tucei; granddaughter, Danielle Wickstrom Tucei; and great grandsons, Colen and Carter; and brother Franklin D. Tucei; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.


Mr. Tucei's life was celebrated on April 19, 2013, at the Bradford-O'Keefe Chapel on Howard Avenue in Biloxi, Mississippi.





Franklin D. Tucei



Franklin ‘Frank’ Delvaille Tucei Sr. (1933-2013), age 80 years, died December 2, 2013. He was born on May 24, 1933 in Biloxi, Mississippi and was a lifelong resident of the Coast. Frank served in the U.S. Army and was a member of the Battery "C"-115 Gun BN of Camp Stewart, Georgia. He was a member of Masonic Magnolia Lodge 120.  He married Rachel Iona Smith (1936-1997), the daughter of William Owen Smith and Bessie Barnes.  After their divorce, Rachel married Gerard F. Praetorius (b. 1949) of New Orleans in Harrison County, Mississippi in April 1978.  She expired on March 4, 1997.


Franklin retired from Sherwin Williams as an accountant and retired as a carpenter from Ingalls Shipyard.  Frank was preceded in death by his parents, John and Julia Tucei; sons, Franklin D. Tucei Jr. (1960-2013) and an infant son; and siblings, John Tucei, Jr., Elaine Mabry, Julia Mills, Lawrence Tucei and William Tucei.  Franklin is survived by his daughters, Mona Teresa Tucei Seymour (b. 1956), Julia Dubose, Lenora Lee Fisher (b. 1959) and Gina (Mark) Gambill; his son, John (Debbie) Tucei; daughter-in-law, Darlene Tucei; 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.  


A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6, 2013 at Crestlawn Memorial Park. Bradford-O'Keefe, Howard Avenue is in charge of arrangements.(The Sun Herald, December 4, 2013)





Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Catholic Dioceses of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991).


F. Walker Tucei Jr., History of the Tucei in the United States, [Tucei: Gretna, Lousiana-1999]




The Chanute [Kansas] Tribune, ‘Roy Bless Rusk’, June 30, 2011.

The Chanute [Kansas] Tribune, ‘Bernita N. Sorenson Rusk’, January 4, 2013.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Lady [Antoinette Chiapella Tucei] dies suddenly”, May 14, 1914.

The Daily Herald, ‘Rusk-Tucei’, June 26, 1916,

The Daily Herald, ‘Coleman-Lawrence’, July 9, 1917,

The Daily Herald, 'Swanzy-Tucei', January 5, 1922.

The Daily Herald, 'Death claims noble Biloxian', February 5, 1923.

The Daily Herald, 'Card of Thanks', February 8, 1923.

The Daily Herald, ‘Mrs. Rusk died last night’, August 4, 1928.

The Daily Herald, 'Bless Tucei dies at Biloxi home', January 23, 1932, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, ‘Mrs. Joseph Lawrence dies’, January 13, 1939, p. 6.

The Daily Herald, 'Anderson-Rusk’, January 16, 1940.

The Daily Herald, 'Mabry-Tucei’, August 24, 1940.

The Daily Herald, 'V.J. Tucei engaged', November 22, 1944.

The Daily herald, 'Mills-Tucei', December 12, 1944.

The Daily Herald, ‘Rosenblum buys Guarantee Store’, September 29, 1947.

The Daily Herald, 'Tardy-Rusk’, February 2, 1948.

The Daily Herald, 'Tucei [Thomas Eugene] Birth’, November 9, 1949.

The Daily Herald, 'Christopher Tucei dies', August 10, 1949, p. 8.

The Daily Herald, ‘Breal-Tucei’, June 13, 1951.

The Daily Herald, ‘Mrs. [Mary Lawrence] Coleman dies’, June 23, 1953.

The Daily Herald, ‘Coleman funeral’, June 26, 1953.

The Daily Herald, ‘F.A. Tucei former City Commissioner dies at Biloxi home’, June 13, 1954.

The Daily Herald, ‘Blaise Tucei’, February , 1978

The Sun Herald, 'James G. Tucei', March 10, 1988, p. A-4.

The Sun Herald, ‘F. Walker Tucei Sr.’, November 24, 2000.

The Sun Herald, ‘Lillie Catherine Tucei Dick’, May 26, 2004.

The Sun Herald, ‘Vincent J.A. Tucei Jr.’, March 10, 2007.

The Sun Herald, 'Valmae T, Howarth', November 4, 2013

The Sun Herald, ‘Irene C. Tucei’, January 9, 2014.

The Sun Herald, 'Harry V. Tucei', September 28, 2014.

The Sun Herald, 'Inez R. Taylor', September 28, 2015.


The Times-Picayune, ‘[James Oatis] Coleman’, December 4, 1961.

The Times-Picayune, ‘[F. Walker Tucei Jr.] Tucei’, July 16, 2009.