Frank Neal Tucker, 70.
Born and raised in Bradenton, Frank Tucker spent most of his life plying the shallow waters of his boyhood home. The least rambunctious of five brothers and sisters, Frank kept an even keel and drifted with the flow.
Frank studied at Pensacola State and was one semester shy of graduating with a degree in accounting when he realized that his heart was not in business but in the backwaters of the bays of Bradenton.
For decades Frank supplied the Cortez market with mullet as a master cast netter, a rare skill he learned from his father John Tucker. Frank knew the maze of thousands of mangrove islands like he knew the backstreets of West Bradenton. Some say his beat-up white pickup truck never once broke the speed limit on those scenic windy roads.
Self-reliant by nature, Frank made a decent income as a house painter and fisherman and helped take care of his father. With two green thumbs, Frank maintained a small well-tended organic garden in his backyard to add fresh vegetable supplement to his favorite comfort food – beans and wieners. As an integral thread in the social fabric of the tightknit fishing community of Cortez, Frank bartered for anything else needed, trading things like mullet for mangos and crabs for cantaloupe.
When an injury took the wind out of sails, Frank spent the rest of his life staying close to home with his brother Mark doing the same things that brought him peace his whole life – fishing and gardening. Frank passed peacefully, on March 9, 2023, under the loving care of Tidewell Hospice in Lakewood Ranch, FL.
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