CENTRAL CITY — Joe Ben Tucker, 81, of Central City, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at 8:50 p.m. at his residence with his family by his side. Joe Ben was born Jan. 1, 1940, in Bremen. He was owner and operator of Tucker Funeral Home. Joe Ben was saved and dedicated his life to Christian service on Aug. 16, 1953. He was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church in Central City, where he served as deacon since 1972.

He was preceded in death by his father, Norman Stewart Tucker; and mother, Katherine Whitmer Tucker Crichton.

Anyone that knew him referred to him as Joe Ben, never Joe or Mr. Tucker. Joe Ben was a member of numerous community boards, and focused his efforts on improving the quality of life in Muhlenberg County. He was very involved with the Everly Brothers Foundation since its inception in the late 1980s, and was a member of the original board of directors. This foundation sponsored concerts in Muhlenberg County that funded many scholarships to local students. He was instrumental in coordinating fundraising efforts for the Muhlenberg County campus that eventually led to the construction of the school facility. He served on the Madisonville Community College Foundation Board for many years. He was a former member of Citizens Union Bank board of directors for over 25 years, and continued as a board member at Old National Bank after Old National acquired Citizens Union. He also served on the board of directors at Muhlenberg Community Hospital, and was a member and past president of the Central City Lions Club.

Tucker Funeral Home was founded in 1909, and Joe Ben was the owner and operator since 1958, when he was just 19 years old. Joe Ben was very dedicated to funeral service and treated each family as if they were his own. His involvement with the funeral industry was widespread. He served as president of the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky from 1982-1983. He was a multi-year president and chairman of the Kentucky Funeral Directors Burial Association, having served on this board from 1983-2013. He was instrumental in the creation of the Funeral Funding Trust of Kentucky in 1983, and served as chairman of the Trust Committee and FDAK Services Corporation from 1983-2012. He was a past member of the National Funeral Directors Policy Board, and served on numerous committees for the National Funeral Directors Association and Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky.

Joe Ben had four children that called him Dad; his two girls called him Daddy. To his grandchildren, he was lovingly known as Popa. He had a tremendous and deep relationship with each of his grandchildren, and he created time to understand their interests and was always an active, fun participant in their activities. Popa would always tell his family there were three things that could never be taken away from you: your salvation, the memories you share with your family, and your education. He encouraged each grandchild to achieve these things. Joe Ben lived with faith in God, and dearly loved his wife of 61 years, Carolyn, his four children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. His priorities were his faith, family, funeral service, and community. Joe Ben was a great story teller and had an incredible sense of humor. His integrity and service to others will be remembered by all who knew and loved him.

Joe Ben is survived by his wife of 61 years, Carolyn Stanley Tucker; four children, Tim (Leigh) Tucker, Tracy (Gary) Carver, Tonya (Brad) Sine, and Ted (Adam) Tucker; grandchildren, Brittany (Ryan) Roberts, Chase (Brianne) Carver, Shelby (Hart) Rose, Colby Joe Carver, Tucker Sine, Tatum Tucker, Camden Carver, Tate Sine, and Grady Ben Sine; great-grandchildren, Ruthie Roberts, Annistyn Carver, Liam Carver, and Baby Rose and Baby Roberts expected in the near future; sister, Norma Kay “Sissy” Plain; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be 12 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, at Tucker Funeral Home in Central City, officiated by the Rev. Chase Thompson, the Rev. Curtis McGehee, and the Rev. Kevin Reed. Burial in Fairmount Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Tucker Funeral Home and after 8 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to First Baptist Church of Central City or Madisonville Community College — Muhlenberg County Campus.

Family and friends are asked to wear a face covering, in accordance with the governor’s mandate. Capacity will be limited to comply with current state guidelines, with overflow seating available.

Online condolences may be made at www.tucker