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Rick Tucci’s brother Wayne lost his 3 1/2 year battle with cancer on March 28, 2014. He passed with his family and friends by his side and will be greatly missed and always loved.
1953 - 2014
Wayne Joseph "Coach" Tucci, 60, of Nebo, passed away peacefully Friday, March 28, 2014, at his home with his family and close friends by his side. Born Sept. 13, 1953 in Teaneck, N.J., he was a son of Isabella Buletti Tucci of Toms River, N.J., and the late Louis Frank Tucci. Wayne spent two years at Miami Dade Junior College before receiving a wrestling scholarship to Western Carolina University where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Recreation. From there, he became the Assistant-Recreational Director in Hendersonville for three years, the McDowell Recreational Director for seven years, an official for high school wrestling for 30 years, and the McDowell Babe Ruth Common and local youth league president for over 20 years. In his time at West McDowell Junior High School he served as an assistant coach as well as coach of wrestling, soccer, and baseball. During his career as coach, the wrestling team had achieved multiple championships. His passion was working with kids of all ages in sports and helping them to grow throughout their lives to become great citizens. He truly was an amazing example of a true Spartan and his legacy will always be felt at West McDowell Junior High School. Mr. Tucci was a great asset to the school team and to kids across McDowell County. His compassion for people was shown through his actions every day, and for the lives that he touched, they will be forever grateful. He was an avid New York Yankees' fan and a member of Nebo Crossing in Nebo.
Mr. Tucci loved his family very much and enjoyed spending time with his wife and children. In addition to his father, he is preceded in death by a nephew, Ricky Tucci. He is survived by his mother, Isabella Tucci; his loving and devoted wife, Sandy Tucci; children, Nicholas Tucci and wife, Marcia, of Swannanoa, Gabrielle Tucci of Washington, D.C., and Russell Duncan and Christa Thomason, and their son, Jaxson Duncan, all of Old Fort; brother, Rick Tucci and wife, Cina, and their children, Dominic, Nicky, and Jeff, all of Pembrook Pines, Fla.; and lifelong friends, Dave Smith and Alex Mesa both of Pembrook Pines, Fla. The family would like to acknowledge CarePartners, McDowell County Hospice, and Cancer Care of Asheville for their extraordinary care of Mr. Tucci.
Condolences may be made to the family at www.AshevilleMortuaryServices.com.
The family has requested that memorial donations may be sent to:
McDowell Junior High School Wrestling Team
346 West McDowell Jr. High School Road
Marion, North Carolina 28752
Personal condolences can be sent to Rick by the following means:
10660 Nw 19th Street
Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 2304
(954) 684-4809 (Cell) or email@example.com
Willard LaMarr “Mick” Pickford, IA
1931 - 2014
Willard LaMarr “Mick” Pickford, 82 of Sioux Falls, South Dakota passed away April 9, 2014. He was born August 12, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois to Millie Pickford. Mick graduated in 1949 from Lindblom HS Chicago, IL. where he lettered in wrestling and football, earned football All City team honors, and won two Chicago League Championships. He received his BS degree from Morningside College, Sioux City, IA where he was named to the North Central All Conference Football team his senior year. In 1985, he was inducted into the Morningside College Hall of Fame. Recently he was elected to the college’s 100th anniversary all-time football team. He received his MS degree from Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL. He taught and coached in the Iowa public high school system for 38 years, retiring from active teaching and coaching in 1993.
He reestablished the wrestling program at Fort Madison High School in 1959. During his coaching tenure, the Bloodhounds had 6 undefeated seasons, a string of 42 consecutive dual victories, and compiled a record of approximately 200-74-2. The Hounds had several top ten team finishes at state and earned the 3rd place state trophy in division 3-A in 1980. Seven of “Mick’s kids” became state champions along with many place winners.
Mick was selected to the High School Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame as well as the inaugural Fort Madison High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Iowa High School 3-A Coach of the Year and Regional Coach of the Year for the National Coaches Association. In 1997 he was inducted into the USA National Wrestling Hall of Fame and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Officials.
Along with his high school coaching activities, Mick was also very active in the national/international wrestling scene, being the state chairman for USA Iowa, helping to establish the USA Officials Association and serving a term as its president. He helped set up some of the early training and evaluation procedures for the USA Wrestling Officials Association and conducted many clinics throughout the US. He obtained the highest official’s ranking in international wrestling and the M 1-E in the US. In the 1970-80’s he officiated at several national Sports Festivals, Olympic qualifying trials throughout the United States, and was a table official at the Los Angeles Olympic games. He also served as a US Team delegate for world championships held in Russia and Switzerland. He remained active in the USAW, serving as state chairman and conducting coaching clinics in the region.
Mick was married to Nadine “Deenee” Grosbeck on July 7, 1951 for 52 years. He is survived by 4 sons; Mike Pickford (Judy) of Osage Beach, MO., Scott Pickford (Dianne) of Rock Falls, IL., Tim Pickford of Ft. Madison, IA., Pat Pickford (Sue) of Ft. Madison, IA.; one daughter Wendy (Kevin) Lampe of Sioux Falls, SD; 9 grandchildren, Andrea Niehoff, Nikki Pickford, Ashley Cupp, Courtney Davidson, Megan Campbell, Katie Pickford, Bonnie Pickford, Claire Pickford and Andrew Cochran; 6 great grandsons, William, Austin, Luke, Wyatt, Colt, and Kabe.
The Pickford Family invites you to join them in the celebration of their dad Mick’s life on Saturday, June 7th at 2:00 pm in the FMHS gymnasium. Light refreshments to follow.
Memorial contributions can be made in Mick’s name to the following:
- Good Samaritan – Prairie Creek in Sioux Falls, SD
- Ft. Madison High School Wrestling Program
- Our Savior Lutheran Church in Ft. Madison, IA