Floral 04

Arlene B. Rucker

September 2, 1930 ~ February 5, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old


Arlene B. Rucker, 93, of Signal Mountain passed away on February 5, 2024, at her home at Alexian Village. 

Mrs. Rucker was born Sept. 2, 1930, in Dalton, GA, the only child of the late Joe T. Brunson and Horace Zimp Brunson.  She was preceded in death by her first husband John Grady Pelfrey who died in 1966, her second husband Glenn D. Rucker who died in 2006, and her grandson Noel Christian Smith who died in 2010.

Mrs. Rucker was valedictorian of the Valley Point High School class of 1947.  She passed up a full scholarship to the University of Georgia, choosing to stay closer to her family earning a diploma from the Herrin Schools of Business. 

Throughout her life, Mrs. Rucker was an energetic volunteer in her communities of Dalton, GA, Signal Mountain, Baton Rouge, LA, and Helena, AR.

Widowed at 36, she worked full time as a secretary and bookkeeper at World Carpets in Dalton, GA, while being an active room mother and PTA member. Decades before work-life balance became a catchphrase, she managed to leave work and bring cupcakes to her children’s classrooms on their birthdays and chaperone field trips. She was her children’s biggest cheerleader, never missing a sporting event, play or pep rally, and her children felt her love until her last day on earth.

After moving to Baton Rouge in the late 1970s, she earned her real estate license and helped many families find their new homes. She suffered a traumatic brain injury in the early 1980s after being hit in the head with a golf ball on the 9th fairway. After being told by the surgeon that she may never speak again, her husband Glenn chuckled and said confidently, “Oh, she’ll speak again.” She resiliently recovered and continued selling houses, playing golf and traveling with enthusiasm.

She was a member of Signal Crest United Methodist Church and brought her light to the United Methodist Women and church circle. A speedy typist, she helped write two cookbooks. For 21 years she served as a docent at the Tennessee Aquarium.  She organized numerous bridge groups. Her last act of volunteerism was reshelving books at the Alexian Library.

In her earlier years, she enjoyed traveling to all 50 states and throughout the world, playing golf, playing bridge, solving newspaper puzzles, cheering on the Atlanta Braves and the Lady Vols and reading.

She is survived by her children, Karen (Peter) Pelfrey Smith of Chattanooga; John (Norma) Grady Pelfrey Jr., Athens, GA; Krista (Jimmy) Rucker Rawlins, Baton Rouge, LA; Kelly (Thad) Rucker Bingel, Arlington, VA; and stepchildren Glenna Rucker, Denton, TX; Randal (Judith) Rucker, Los Altos, CA; Jan Rucker Roseberry, Maryville, TN; Robert Rucker, Nashville; 18 grandchildren; and more than 20 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions to the Alexian Village Residents Scholarship Fund or Hearth Hospice, 513 Georgia Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403 https://www.hearthhospice.com/make_a_donation.php.

Funeral services will be Friday, March 8, at 1 p.m. at Alexian Village Chapel with Rev. Margaret Ferguson officiating.  The family will receive friends an hour before the service in the atrium of the church.  A private family internment will follow at Memorial Gardens in Dalton, GA.

You may share condolences with the family at www.heritagechattanooga.com

Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road



March 8, 2024

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Alexian Village Chapel
100 James Blvd.
Signal Mountain, TN

Celebration of Life
March 8, 2024

1:00 PM
Alexian Village Chapel
100 James Blvd.
Signal Mountain, TN


© 2024 Heritage Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy