Rucker, Kenneth and Yvette (Merrill)

(Kenneth Rucker)

Kenneth Robert Rucker was born in Waterloo, IA to Robert and Doris (Ustby) Rucker. Soon after the family moved to Wl. Ken spent most of his youth near Onalaska. He loved to go hiking in the nearby woods, ice skating on a nearby farm pond and ice fishing with his father. His mother always had a large garden. In 1972 the family moved to Austin, MN.

On 1 May 1976 Ken married Yvette Rene Merrill, the daughter of Floyd and Aimee (Gauthier) Merrill, in Austin. Yvette was born in Austin. She lived most of her youth in Austin but had spent a year in Albert Lea, MN and was currently living just north of Austin in the village of Lansing. The Merrill family had been in Mower Co., MN since before 1880.

Ken had been working for his father since his high school summer vacations. In Jun 1976 he and Yvette moved to Decorah where the family business had been relocated. For the next few years Ken worked as a painter, eventually being joined by his younger brother Russell. His uncle Gene also worked for a few years. The business prospered for a time with up to 10 workers employed. Ken worked with his father until 1982. He continued to work on a few sporadic paint jobs until 1985. In 1982 he began working regularly for NEICAC as a carpenter. In I984 he was promoted to a foreman’s position. He currently works full time as an inspector for NEICAC. Ken has always valued learning different trades and has been able to do all of his own work on the family’s homes.

Ken and Yvette bought a house on North Street in Decorah in 1978 and began to raise a family. They moved to Cresco in 1990 where they bought a home which was built in 1903. They sold their Decorah home in 1991. In 1994 the family moved to Waucoma where they bought a home which was built about 1880-1885.

Ken enjoys family history, regional history, gardening, reading aloud to the entire family and restoring ornately styled houses to their former grandeur. Currently the Ruckers still own their last 2 homes and their present home is in a state of restoration.

Yvette suffered a fall in Aug 1993 and permanently injured her arm and so has been unable to resume extensive physical work. She enjoys sewing, quilting, baking and Bible education work. Yvette was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1982, Ken in 1984 and their oldest son Ben in 1992. The family has attended the Decorah Congregation near Burr Oak since about 1980 and were very happy at the construction of the new Kingdom Hall in Jun 1994.

Ken and Yvette are happy to have been blessed with 4 children, all of whom were born in Decorah: Benjamin Vincent Orlando, Sarah Anna Elisabeth, Andrew David James and Rebecca Lydia Kristina.

Benjamin enjoyed tutoring grade school children during his free times at school during the 1994-1995 school year. He likes fishing (when he has the time), computers and is learning to enjoy the restoring of homes that his father loves so much. Sarah is developing a love of needlework in the footsteps of her mother.

Rucker, Robert and Doris (Ustby)

(Robert Rucker)

Bio Photo

Robert and Doris Rucker April 2, 1991

Robert Zeman Rucker was born in Jacksonville, FL 9 Mar 1927 to Harvey and Violette (Zeman) Rucker. On 18 Jun 1949 he married Doris Eileen Ustby at Melrose, Wl. Doris was born at Onalaska, WI to Milo and Florence (Foran) Ustby, the oldest of 6 brothers and sisters. Robert grew up living in many places, including Texas and Chicago. Doris grew up on a farm near Mindoro, WI

Robert and Doris lived in Melrose until about 1955 when they moved to Waterloo, IA where their son Kenneth was born in 1957, soon before they moved to LaCrosse, Wl. In 1958 they moved to a home they had built east of Onalaska. Two more children, Russell and Linnea Jill, were born in 1961 and 1964 at LaCrosse. In 1972 the family moved to Austin, MN and in 1975 to a home they built near the hospital in Decorah, IA.

Their son Kenneth finished school in Austin and follow the family to Decorah. Russell finished his schooling in Decorah. Jill went on to college at UNI in Cedar Falls and was married. Kenneth was married in 1976, has 4 children, and now lives with his family at Waucoma, IA. He inspects homes for the Community Action Agency in Decorah. Russell is now living at Evansville, Wl. He works as a painter for a firm in Madison. Jill has 2 children and now lives in San Francisco, CA. She works for the US Customs Office.

Robert worked as a painter for his father for many years. In Jan 1948 Doris received a diploma in Rural Education at the Wisconsin State Teacher’s College in LaCrosse. She taught school several years at Mindoro, Melrose and various country schools in Jackson Co., Wl. When they began their own painting business in 1966 Doris was secretary/bookkeeper. Rucker Painting operated until about 1984, moving with the Rucker family. About this time Bob became a superintendent for the Grohne Company contracting firm out of Decatur, IL. He worked there about 10 years.


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

Winneshiek IAGenWeb Home

Copyright statement

Please read the IAGenWeb Terms, Conditions & Disclaimer
~all of which applies to the Winneshiek Co. website. ~
this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021