Missionary TMs devotion, love remembered amid tragic death

Trudy Tucker with her family

A legacy of love and devotion is what Trudy Tucker left behind.

"A legacy in the Valley, so many people, thousands and thousands of people have been touched by her life," Trudy TMs son David Tucker said.

David traveled to her home in Alamo after hearing she passed away.

Tuesday, she was found dead in a canal.

The last time she was seen alive, neighbors told investigators she was disoriented.

Soon after she went missing.

"She probably got lost because soon after that I got a call from a detective saying she had passed away and her car was found in a field," David said.

Her car was nearby her body on fire.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff TMs Department called in a traffic collision reconstruction expert to determine why the car was on fire.

Sheriff Lupe Trevino told Action 4 News the expert believes grass was touching the catalytic converter, the cars emissions control device which may have ignited a grass fire.

Trudy may have gone to the can to get water to put it out and somehow slipped in.

"At her age, maybe the blow may have knocked her out or incapacitated her so that where she would have drowned," Trevino said.

But before her death, she didn TMt let her age slow her down.

Even at 85 she was volunteering everyday and teaching once a week as Macedonia Academy, David said.

One of 17 children born to Dutch immigrants, she raised her four children in Mexico as missionaries.

She loved Mexico, David said. The Mexicans she use to say, ~Se robaron mi Corazon, TM which means they stole my heart.

Her love was so strong she couldn TMt move far.

She made the Rio Grande Valley her home over a decade ago and traveled often.

A few years ago when it wasn TMt quite so violent over there, she would go to the women TMs jail in Reynosa and talk to them and bring blankets," David said.

But she didn TMt neglect this side of the border.

She spent much of her time at a local hospital volunteering with war veterans.

"I am very proud of my mother, she was just always giving," David said.

And although her family is mourning her death, they choose to celebrate her life.

Authorities are waiting on a toxicology and autopsy report to determine her cause of death.

Neighbors believe she may have had a stroke the morning of her death that caused the disorientation.

Loved ones are hosting a memorial service for her this Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Ceballo Funeral Home in McAllen.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to be made to the Macedonia Christian School where Trudy taught.

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