Michael Stewart Tucker

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Michael Stewart Tucker, founder and owner of USA Karate, passed away at 12:15 pm, Friday, July 8, 2016, surrounded by his family. He was born on March 21, 1962, in Denver, Colorado. After graduating from Clear Creek High School in League City, Mr. Tucker completed a bachelor’s degree at University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1985.  He and Monica Contreras were married on January 10, 2003.  Monica has three sons:  Christopher, Gabriel and Emilio, and he loved them all dearly.
Mr. Tucker started training in 1980 under Al Garza.   He was recognized 5 consecutive years as one of the top ten in Texas and as Rookie of the Year and Top Black Belt Fighter in 1985.
From 1985 to 1990, Mr. Tucker ran schools for Mr. Garza and helped create a unique Martial Arts and business system. Early spring 1987 Mr. Tucker, age 25, was teaching karate full-time, sparing, and winning tournaments when he was diagnosed with large tumor in his chest (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma).  He underwent intensive, successful treatment including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. 
Things went well for a number of years. Mr. Tucker opened his first karate school in 1991 off Scarsdale in the Food Town shopping center to what is now USA Karate.  Through years of diligence and constant improvement, Mr. Tucker developed the current system being taught. He expanded the karate classes to include after school care and then summer day care (1997).
Mr. Tucker was a 6th Degree Master Level Black Belt under Rick Moneymaker and Tom Muncy, 8th Degree Grandmasters in Okinawan Kempo and Tuite – Jitsu. He also held a 4th Degree Black Belt under 9th Degree Grandmaster George Dillman in Ryukyu Kempo. In addition Mr. Tucker held a 3rd Degree Black Belt under 8th Degree Master Al Garza in Tae Kwon Do, and a 1st Degree Black Belt under 7th Degree Zdenek Matl in Judo and Ju Jitsu.
In 1993, Mr. Tucker was recognized as one of the Top Instructors of the Year in the state of Texas by the Amateur Organization of Karate.
In 1999 Mr. Tucker was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame as the Master instructor of the year. Also in that year Mr. Tucker was certified as a 5th Degree Black Belt in Torite-jitsu by the World and British Kempo Arts Federation, signed by 11 Masters and Grandmasters.
In June 2000, carbon dioxide started building up in his body and he began to deal with the long-term side effects of his cancer.  His heart and respiratory system suffered severe damage. Sadly, he had to quit sparing in karate but has continued to teach and develop his business.
In 2005/2006 his karate facility was affected by adjacent fires on two separate occasions almost exactly a year apart.  Plans formed for construction and operation of the Scarsdale facility which opened in 2007.
Scaring damaged the aortic valve and Mr. Tucker had successful replacement in 2015.
Mr. Tucker opened his second school in Pearland in June 2013. He continued to teach, supervise his instructors, and operate two karate schools.  He achieved his 7th degree black belt and the title of Grand Master in 2014.  Respiratory issues created by the cancer and treatments intensified, requiring additional breathing support.  Ultimately, Mr. Tucker was unable to overcome the combined long-term effects of the original cancer treatments. 
Mr. Tucker attributed much of his resilience and continued positive attitude to the physical, psychological, and spiritual teachings of karate. Through the many medical challenges and hospitalizations, Mr. Tucker continued to focus on his schools assuring that a high operating standard was set.  He carefully selected staff who shared his passion and who would maintain that standard over time.  His staff members were like a second family to him. He touched many lives and was admired for his determination, perseverance, and positive persona as he dealt with all of his challenges.  His legacy will live on in his schools, students, friends and family.
In addition to karate and business skills, Mr. Tucker was an accomplished woodworker. His intricate works will be treasured by his family. He was an avid Dallas Cowboy fan, card/game player, and dog lover.
He is survived by his family: Wife: Monica Contreras Vargas Tucker; Children:  Christopher Vargas (wife-Nina), Gabriel Vargas, Emilio Vargas; Parents: Ruth and Larry Marcott; Thomas Tucker; Brothers and their families: Douglas Tucker, wife-Sherry, daughters-Catherine Laws (husband-Matt, daughters-Lexi and Cali); Kristina Brown (husband-David, daughters-Brooke and Taylor Rose) Gregory Tucker, wife-Elizabeth, daughters- Audrey, Rachel; Troy Marcott, wife-Valerie, daughter-Courtney Allen and Randy Marcott; Aunt: Elizabeth Moyer; husband-Patrick; son-Daniel and daughter-Phoebe; Uncle: Bill Tucker; wife-Joan; cousins-Wesley (son-Wayne) and Scott (wife-April, daughter-Amelia).
Mr. Tucker’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Scott Kenneth Lloyd, and the many doctors and nurses who cared for him over the years.
A memorial service will be held  Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 2 pm at Webster Presbyterian Church, 201 West NASA Parkway (corner of NASA 1 and HWY 3), Webster, TX  77598-5207
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Mike Tucker’s name to the charity of your choice.
For additional information about Mr. Tucker, visit:  http://usakarate.cc/socialsite/our-instructors
Condolences may be sent to the Tucker family in care of Jeter Memorial Funeral Home at www.jeterfuneralhome.com.

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