James Franklin Tacker Jr. died peacefully at Richland Health Center on Wednesday, December 21, 2016. He was 91 years old.
Mr. Tacker was born February 5, 1925 in Nashville, the only child of the late James Franklin Tacker, Sr and Lilly Belle Goodwyn Tacker.
Mr. Tacker is survived by his wife, Jane Smith Parrish Tacker, his son James F. Tacker III (Sue), daughter Virginia Emily Tacker, and grandchildren: Franklin Henry Tacker, Grace Burton Wills and Vida Emilee Wills. He was predeceased by his first wife, Nell Parrish Tacker.
Mr. Tacker went to Tarbox School and West High School and upon graduation from West, joined the Army in 1943.
He was in the 106th Infantry Division, 589th Field Artillery Battalion, Headquarters Battery. Deployed to the Ardennes in the fall of 1944, the 106th replaced the 2nd Division and was soon involved in the Battle of the Bulge. When his battalion’s position was overrun, Mr. Tacker was part of a group that fell back to reorganize at Baraque de Fraiture, Belgium later known as Parker’s Crossroads. There, a number of men were gathered and led by Colonel Arthur C. Parker to slow down the advance of the German Army’s 2nd SS Panzer Division. They were successful in delaying the Germans, allowing other United States forces to fall back and regroup. On Christmas Eve, 1944, Mr. Tacker emerged from a burning farmhouse at the Crossroads only to discover he was surrounded by hundreds of German troops. He was taken prisoner and walked, along with many other POW’s, to Limburg, Germany. It was the coldest winter in 50 years in Europe at that time. He was liberated from Stalag X-B in Bremervorde, Germany in late April of 1945. For his actions during the battle at Parker’s Crossroads, Mr. Tacker was awarded the Silver Star.
After discharge from the Army, he joined the Army Reserve and later transferred to the Tennessee Air National Guard when that branch of service was formed in 1951. Mr. Tacker retired from the Air National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel.
He was able to travel back to France, Belgium, and Germany in 2009 and 2010 with his family to revisit the places where he fought and was taken prisoner.
Graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1949 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Mr. Tacker worked at the Corps of Engineers in Nashville until his retirement and assisted in the design of the electrical systems of TVA dams such as Wolf Creek, Dale Hollow, and Percy Priest. He also worked as a consulting engineer and a manufacturer’s representative.
Mr. Tacker was an active member of First Presbyterian Church serving as a prayer partner for youth and participating in several mission trips to Mexico. He was also a long-time volunteer with Saint Thomas West Hospital, Meals on Wheels, and the Red Cross.
The family wants to sincerely thank all the staff at Richland Health Center and Caris Hospice for their care and concern while Mr. Tacker was a patient there.
A memorial service will be held at 11:30 A.M., Thursday, January 5, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church Nashville. The family will receive friends from 10 A.M. until the time of service at the church. If anyone wishes, donations in memory of Mr. Tacker may be made to the Missions Fund at First Presbyterian Church, Nashville.Print Obituary & Condolences