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Crystyl Arnita Rucker

Crystyl Arnita Rucker
  • December 23, 1951 - October 17, 2021
  • Battle Creek, Michigan

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“She was my 8th grade Journalism teacher. A truly wonderful woman, who will be greatly missed.ZB ”
1 of 21 | Posted by: Jeffery Monroe - Battle Creek, MI

“I remember going to church at Washington Heights as a youth seeing Ms. Rucker and Mrs. Hart together all the time. Once I became an adult I really...Read More »
2 of 21 | Posted by: Tameka Tate - Kalamazoo, MI

“Crystyl was a wonderful coworker and friend at Northwestern Junior High School. She will be missed. Thinking of you, Bryce. ...Read More »
3 of 21 | Posted by: Bettie Spight - Battle Creek, MI

“Sorry for your loss ms Rucker was the best ”
4 of 21 | Posted by: Melanie Burks - Battle Creek, MI

“We were so sorry to hear of the passing of a teacher who inspired so many young people in Battle Creek. She loved them and they loved her... ”
5 of 21 | Posted by: BJ and JJ Simmons - Battle Creek, MI

“My thoughts and prayers are with you. ”
6 of 21 | Posted by: Dianne Hatley - Battle Creek, MI

“Heartfelt Condolences and Prayers to the Family.....God's Blessings and Love!Sharon Miller and family ”
7 of 21 | Posted by: Sharon Miller - Battle Creek, MI

“What a wonderful woman!! Lynette and Thomas loved her as their teacher. Leon and I loved her as a colleague and friend. We are so sorry for your loss...Read More »
8 of 21 | Posted by: Cynthia Buford-Preston - Bangor, MI

“My condolences to the family Ms.Rucker was a beautiful soul Rest easy until meet again ”
9 of 21 | Posted by: Laurie Poole-Laurencin - MI

“She was my English teacher in junior high. She was such an inspiration to me. She will be missed. ”
10 of 21 | Posted by: Bobbie Joe VanWormer - MI

“Prayers for family ”
11 of 21 | Posted by: Ruth Metz Glass Glass - MCRAE, AR

“You were one of my favorite teachers in junior high. You helped a lot of us so much. You were patient and fun and funny and I will never forget you....Read More »
12 of 21 | Posted by: chasity VanBruggen - Battle Creek, MI

“Thank you so much for teaching me with a keep it real spirit..when I was bullied...I always felt comfortable and safe around you. ”
13 of 21 | Posted by: Belinda Oliver Oliver - MI

“Crystal was an amazing person who left an incredible impact on so many people. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and her many friends! ”
14 of 21 | Posted by: Al and Maureen Slamer

“So very sorry for your loss. My oldest son was one of Mrs. Rucker's students at NWMS. Every time I would see her around town she would ask what...Read More »
15 of 21 | Posted by: Karen Evans - Battle Creek, MI

“My condolences to the family she was my favorite teacher, whom I've never forgot. She really loved her students , I still remember doing something...Read More »
16 of 21 | Posted by: Carolyn Hubbard - Battle Creek, MI

“So sorry for your lost she was a great lady ”
17 of 21 | Posted by: Michelle Moore - Battle Creek, MI

“What a force of nature. I loved learning and growing under her watch. She made everyone feel safe, loved, and encouraged to be better. Oh her humor,...Read More »
18 of 21 | Posted by: Melissa Williams Williams - MI

“My dearest condolences to you Bryce. Your mother was so loved, caring and a beautiful lady. She truly believed excellence in education. I will miss...Read More »
19 of 21 | Posted by: Vasanta Thompson - Battle creek, MI

“May your beautiful soul rest in paradise. Thank you for your love, guidance, advice, and sharing your wisdom with me as I was finding my way in this...Read More »
20 of 21 | Posted by: Keona Ackley - Battle creek, MI

“Thinking back to those many years ago when I had Ms. Rucker as a teacher at Northwestern. She was one of my favorites! I had her my first year and...Read More »
21 of 21 | Posted by: Starr Older (Roberts) - MI


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Crystyl Arnita Rucker was born in Detroit, Michigan on December 23, 1951. She is the daughter of Amos and Agnes Rucker. She was a 1970 graduate of John J. Pershing High School. She attended Michigan State University and received her Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree in Education.

She moved to Battle Creek, Michigan to begin her teaching career in 1974 at Northwestern Junior High School, where she taught seventh and eighth grade Journalism and English. Affectionately known as "Ma Ruck" at Northwestern, she was both fierce and hilarious. She ruled her classroom and the hallways with both a heavy disciplinary hand, as well as a light loving touch. She believed in connecting with each student to push his or her academic and personal potential, while having lots of fun. Outside of Northwestern, she taught and mentored Battle Creek students in the "Dreamers" Program and spearheaded academic after-school and family scholarship programs at the Battle Creek YMCA. She retired from Battle Creek Public Schools in 2003.

In addition to teaching and leading young people, Crystyl enjoyed: gardening; literature, especially black authors and poets; worshipping at Washington Heights United Methodist Church; grilling and cooking for family and friends; rescuing Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs; flaunting her signature expressive, beautiful nails; growing into an avid wrestling, baseball, and football fan along with her son; Garfield comic strips and popcorn in class; and roller coasters. She was notorious for her love of Motown, funk, gospel, and classic R&B music. She also loved comedy and was quick to deliver a punchline on the phone or to a crowd. Most of all, she relentlessly loved her family and friends.

Crystyl leaves behind to cherish her memory her son, Bryce A. Rucker, of Detroit, Michigan; nephews Byron A. (Ruby) Paisley, of Romulus, Michigan and DeVuante L. Brown, of Highland Park, Michigan; and a host of cousins, nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces, and treasured friends. She was also blessed with a "Viking" family: from which she leaves behind numerous colleagues on the devoted and legendary faculty of Northwestern Junior High School, as well as thousands of former Northwestern students. She was driven and privileged by the opportunity to walk through life with this second family.

Crystyl was called to her heavenly home on the morning of October 17, 2021, a little more than two months shy of her 70th birthday. She was preceded in death by her parents, Amos and Agnes Rucker, her brother, Byron K. Rucker, and her special sister Sharon K. Gawlak.

Visitation will be held Thursday, November 4, 2021 at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home, 105 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI, from 6:00PM – 8:00 PM. Crystyl's Celebration of Life will be held at 12:00 PM on Friday, November 5, 2021 at First United Methodist Church, 111 East Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, MI, and officiated by Reverend Marshall Murphy, Jr. The celebration ceremony will continue with a Repass at 2:00 PM at Faith Assembly Christian Fellowship, 400 West Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, MI. Crystyl will be laid to final rest alongside her parents and brother at Memorial Gardens Cemetery, in Belleville, Michigan, at a small ceremony on Tuesday, November 9, 2021.

Memorial contributions may be made for the Crystyl A. Rucker Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship was instituted to continue Crystyl Rucker's legacy of nurturing Battle Creek Public School students to achieve educational excellence. To give directly online, please visit: https://bccfoundation.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=3475.

Crystyl was a pillar of the Battle Creek community, and in the lives of the many people who will miss her immeasurably.

Loving you forever and always. - Your Village