Mary Tuke Shoemaker

A viewing is being held today for Tuke Shoemaker, wife of the late retired Gen. Robert M. “Bob” Shoemaker. The visitation is at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Killeen from 5 to 8 p.m. and open to the public.

Tuke died Dec. 27 at age 95. Services were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Shoemakers were big supporters of local education, prompting the Killeen Independent School District to name a high school after Bob Shoemaker in 2000.

Tuke was born Feb. 27, 1925, as Mary Alice Rickard. Tuke was a nickname given to her by her father, a U.S. Army officer, and she liked it so much she eventually had her name legally changed.

Tuke met her future husband in Germany after World War II, where her father was stationed. Bob Shoemaker was a young lieutenant in the Army at the time. He would command the 1st Cavalry Division during the Vietnam War and later command III Corps and Fort Hood before retiring as a four-star general in command of U.S. Army Forces Command.

After his retirement, Bob and Tuke remained active in the Fort Hood area and helped bring Texas A&M University-Central Texas to Killeen.

Tuke was remembered most for her love of horses and teaching children how to ride.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen and is open to the public. The cemetery is located at 11463 State Highway 135 in Killeen. | 254-501-7554

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