Joseph Allan Tucker Jr., M.D

J. Allan Tucker, Jr., MDJoseph Allan Tucker Jr., M.D., a resident of Mobile, Ala., died peacefully on March 23, 2016, following an 18-month battle with brain cancer. Born in Gainesville, Ga., and raised in Decatur, Ga., he was the son of Joseph Allan Tucker Sr. and the late Jacqueline Leverett Tucker.

From 2003 until he stepped down in August of 2015, Dr. Tucker served as the Louise Lenoir Locke Professor and Chair of Pathology as well as the director of anatomic pathology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Dr. Tucker joined USA in 1991 as an associate professor of pathology. He served as director of the Health Services Foundation Anatomic Pathology Laboratories and as chief of surgical pathology from 1992-2008. He also served as director of the pathology residency program and vice chair of pathology.

“Dr. Tucker was an outstanding teacher and a compassionate physician who had a profound positive impact on students and faculty alike,” said Dr. Samuel J. Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine. “His passing is not only a loss for the University of South Alabama, but also for humanity.”

Prior to his tenure at USA, Dr. Tucker served as director of electron microscopy at Tampa General Hospital; clinical assistant professor of pathology at the University of South Florida; and assistant professor of pathology, director of diagnostic electron microscopy, director of anatomic pathology information systems, and chief of the division of surgical pathology at Duke University.

Dr. Tucker was a University of Georgia Foundation Fellow Malon C. Courts Scholar, earning his undergraduate degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude distinction. He was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. He earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt Medical School where he received the National Research Service Award. He completed his residency in the combined anatomic and clinical pathology program at Duke University Medical Center, where he also served as chief resident. To further his training, Dr. Tucker completed a fellowship in surgical pathology and electron microscopy at Duke University Medical Center.

Dr. Tucker was dedicated to teaching. His students and residents recognized this by selecting him for many honors including Best Basic Science Professor, Best Senior Rotation, and Faculty Recognition Award for best pathology housestaff teacher. He was also a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. The USA College of Medicine Class of 2016 selected one faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service.

Dr. Tucker was recognized for this award, the Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society, at the White Coat Ceremony in June 2015. He was also selected by numerous medical school classes to give the farewell charge during their Honors Convocation, including the last three classes. In addition, he has been honored 19 times by senior medical students with the red sash – a graduation honor sash for teaching excellence.

While at USA, Dr. Tucker served on several university committees, including the Medical School Admissions Committee, the Graduate Medical Education Committee, the USA Faculty Senate, the Faculty Assembly of the College of Medicine, the USA Medical Center Medical Executive Committee, and the board of the USA Health Services Foundation, in the last several years as its president. He was also elected to the Board of Directors for the USA Foundation as faculty representative in 2002.

Dr. Tucker held leadership positions in numerous professional organizations, such as the Alabama Association of Pathologists, Alabama Imaging and Microscopy Society, the American Medical Association, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the American Registry of Pathology Board of Directors, the Arthur Purdy Stout Society of Surgical Pathologists, the Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology, the Association of Pathology Chairs, the College of American Pathologists, the International Academy of Pathology, the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, the Medical Society of Mobile County, the Society for Ultrastructural Pathology, the Southern Medical Association Section on Pathology, and the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology. He has also served as a reviewer for a variety of professional journals and contributed to more than 130 medical abstracts and presentations and more than 80 publications.

In addition, Dr. Tucker has served as a co-principal investigator on four National Institutes of Health grant awards, as well as a consultant and collaborator on five National Institutes of Health grant awards.

In March of 2016, the USA Board of Trustees passed a resolution recognizing Dr. Tucker for his many contributions. In the resolution, they noted that “Dr. Tucker’s insight, intellect, and dedication to the field of pathology and electron microscopy on a national and international level are rivaled only by his wit, thoughtfulness, and generosity to others.”

Dr. Tucker is survived by his loving wife, Jean Walker Tucker; his children, Rebecca Hollis Tucker (Andrew Warren Kyser), William Allan Tucker, M.D. (Megan Hudson Tucker, M.D.), and Catherine Walker Tucker; his father Joseph Allan Tucker Sr.; his brother, David Scott Tucker (Karen Lynn Turpin); his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Williams; Jean’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. William Addison Walker; Jean’s brothers and sisters-in-law; his cousins; nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his life will be held at noon on Saturday, April 2, 2016, at All Saints Episcopal Church, 151 S. Ann Street, Mobile, AL 36604. Acting as honorary pallbearers are the faculty in the USA department of pathology - Drs. Brett Baskovich, Carole Boudreaux, Gary Carnahan, Elliot Carter, Andrea Kahn, Javier Laurini, Elizabeth Manci, Jacek Polski, Kelly Roveda, and Dr. Frank Pettyjohn from the USA department of emergency medicine. The family will receive visitors before the service, at 10:30 a.m. in the Parrish Hall.

The family would like to thank Soynika Edwards Bush and Genny Frame for the loving care and support they provided Allan and the family during his illness.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dr. J. Allan Tucker Endowed Fund for Faculty and Resident Development in Pathology, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Office of Development, 300 Alumni Circle, Mobile, Alabama 36688, phone number (251) 414-8144.

— Paul Taylor
University of South Alabama College of Medicine