Claremore Daily Progress

February 14, 2014

All You Need is Love: Paul and Jennifer Tucker

Storm brings couple together

Salesha Wilken
Claremore Progress

CLAREMORE — Paul and Jennifer Tucker have been married for almost seven years and despite meeting under unusual circumstances the couple believes their relationship was fate.

In 2006 Paul met Jennifer for the first time in Slidell La. He had known almost her entire family for about a year, although the two had never met face–to- face.

Paul met Jennifer’s brother, Jeremy about a year earlier working in Orange Beach, Ala. He lived in a temporary apartment while working away from his hometown of New Orleans.

Paul’s uncle owns a flooring business, which required the trip out of state. Paul and Jeremy quickly became friends during the months living in Alabama, growing close while dealing with hurricane Katrina. All 22 family members shared a two-bedroom condo because of the storms.

Jeremy’s wife was expecting a baby and his mom came down from Claremore to help out with the baby.

The friends were soon separated by life as Jeremy lost his job and moved back to Oklahoma. Paul traveled back to his home state for work where there was plenty of need after Katrina.

A few months passed and Paul received a call from Jeremy, who was unable to find work in Oklahoma and asked if my uncle could help him out, so Jeremy his wife and four kids moved to south Louisiana in the Slidell area. Jeremy worked with us for a while then his wife’s father got really sick. Paul did not know his illness would be the beginning of his story with Jennifer.

Jeremy’s sister came to Louisiana to pick her up and bring her back to Oklahoma so she could see her dad before he died.  When Jennifer arrived in Louisiana, Paul met her for the first time.

“Jennifer was the most beautiful girl I had ever laid eyes on,” Paul said. “She kept catching me staring at her. Because of the circumstances, the trip was short, but Paul knew there was something special about this girl.”

A few months later Jennifer, her mom and younger brother, Jon Townsend, came down to visit for a week.

“Jennifer and I interacted a lot more day-by-day. I showed them all my culture and the way I was raised, took them to the French Quarters and Bourbon Street,” Paul said.

After a month of talking on the phone with Jennifer she decided to move to Louisiana.

We were only 19 years old. I rented a place to live, got all the utilities turned on. I took a Greyhound bus to Oklahoma to pick Jennifer up. We lived in Louisiana for a month when Jennifer’s grandpa, Bud Harrison became really ill.

Jennifer was scared that he would die while she was so far away. So Paul asked her if they should move to Oklahoma. Jennifer was moved Paul would make the sacrifice for her.

Jennifer said, “Really you would do that?”

The couple packed up and moved to Oklahoma to be close to Jennifer’s dying grandfather.

“I hated it here a first but I didn’t tell her that. I found work helped her mom and grandparents any way I could,” Paul said.

In March of 2007 Jennifer’s grandpa was put in the hospital and they were informed he would not live much longer.  Jennifer and I loved each other so much we talked about getting engaged, but Jennifer always had this thing about her grandpa.

She wanted him to give her away. “On the evening of March 8, 2007 Jennifer and I became husband and wife on her grandparent’s 49th wedding anniversary, at his bedside at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa.”

“Her grandpa was so happy he pulled the curtain back and asked the little old man laying in the bed next to him if he wanted to go to a wedding. The little man said well sure. We became husband and wife in normal clothes jeans and a shirt and even forgot to get a camera.” Paul said.

The old man’s wife next to us gave us her disposal camera to take pictures, Paul said.

A nurse who was surprised to see the couple exchanging their vows temporarily interrupted the service. The nurse made her apologies, went to the hospital kitchen and had wedding cupcakes made for the couple’s cake. Ten days after they were married, Jennifer’s grandpa went on to be with the Lord.  The witnesses on the Tucker’s marriage license were Jennifer’s grandpa, Dud Harrison and his roommate.

Harrison was a Rogers County Transport Deputy. Paul later followed his footsteps and currently serves as patrol deputy for Rogers County.