Gene Tucker

Family: Carol (wife), two sons, one grandchild

Work: Retired, President & Chief Executive Officer of Bender Direct Mail Service, Inc.

  • Hobby: Fishing. I’ve been fishing for the past 22 years with three good friends. And trout fishing on the White River is the best. I love to eat fish, too. I think I could eat it every day.
  • Book: The American Caesar, by William Manchester. Reading books about World War II - especially by Stephen Ambrose - is another hobby of mine. I was in the Army and served 10 months in Korea. [He received the Bronze Star.]
  • Vacation: London. I enjoy the people and all the sights, and my great-great grandparents were from England.
  • What was the best advice you ever received?
    I was an only child, and my Mother told me to work for myself and own my business. I started out as a sales rep for Caterpillar Tractor up in Wichita. Then I took Mother’s advice and purchased Petroleum Printing Company in Tulsa in 1960. I sold it in 1969, then bought Bender.
  • What advice do you give?
    Always tell the truth because it eliminates problems. Once you tell a lie, you’ve got to keep up with it. Lying creates problems; being truthful solves them.
  • What has surprised you most about retirement?
    How busy I am. I retired from Bender five years ago, and I’ve also been retiring from most of the boards [e.g., QuikTrip, Salvation Army, and TU Alumni]. I have all kinds of projects, and we love to travel. I’m also working with both my sons in their businesses.
  • What would your acquaintances be surprised to know about you?
    I think people who knew me then would be surprised that Carole and I are still married after 40 years. And, some would probably be surprised that my business ventures were successful.
  • What are you most proud of?
    Receiving the Leo G. “Bill” Bernheimer Award in 1997. The Bernheimer Award is the highest honor the Mail Advertising Service Association can bestow upon one of its own members. When I was in office, we began work-sharing programs between the U.S. Postal Service and private industry and that enables the Postal Service to keep its rates stable.
  • What four people would you invite to dinner? Why?
    Why? Winston Churchill because he was one of the greatest men of the 20th century. Jesus Christ, so I could ask Him what He thinks about the world today. Julius Caesar because he created the Roman Empire, and Thomas Jefferson because he wrote the Constitution.