Welcome to the
memorial page for
DonJoeAnn L. Rucker
November 21, 1949
~ September 16, 2021
DonJoeAnn Lorraine Rucker, affectionately known as Doni, Lorraine, or Lo Lo, 71 of Lakewood, NJ, by way of Neptune, NJ passed away at home surrounded by her four children and eldest sister. She was born on November 21, 1949, in Carbondale, West Virginia to Christine and Jessie Bean.
On July 4, 1956, Doni moved to Red Bank, NJ with her mother, eldest sister and two younger brothers. Doni would often speak of her fond memories of her first home in Red Bank at 101 Willow St. At an early age, Doni and her family joined Pilgrim Baptist Church, where she would remain a faithful member for over 60 years. Doni attended River Street Elementary School, Red Bank Middle and Red Bank High School, where she graduated on June 20, 1968; her only son and eldest daughter's father. Doni married her high school sweetheart (Milton E. Moore-deceased) on July 16, 1968; her only son and eldest daughter's father. On March 10, 1969, Doni started working for the Department of the Army as a clerk typist. Doni relocated to Neptune, NJ on October 31, 1975, where she purchased her home at 1100 Green Grove Rd., it remained her home for over 41 years. Doni's house was known as the house on the corner, where everyone felt welcomed, and everyone was referred to as "Baby." On May 15, 1977, Doni graduated from Brookdale Community College with an Associate's in Business Administration. After the dissolution of her marriage, Doni found herself navigating life with two young children, it certainly did not slow her down. Doni graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Florida Institute of Technology and later received her Master's in Business Administration from Monmouth University on May 14, 1997. Doni found a second chance at love when she met the love of her life, James Rucker (deceased), known to many as Jay. It was his charming personality, comforting smile, love for music and soulful voice that swept her off her feet. Jay and Doni would soon welcome two beautiful young girls. Doni had a successful and flourishing career with The United States Department of the Army for 33 years. While starting as a clerk typist, Doni worked her way up to Lead Contract Specialist. As Lead Contract Specialist, Doni received a plethora of awards for outstanding performance. During Doni's 33 years with the government, Doni formed long lasting bonds with friends that would eventually turn into family. Her work family, long after her retirement in 2003, continued to take trips together, check on each other, and eventually comfort her in her last days.
Doni had a beautiful kindred soul that radiated through her smile. If you knew Doni, then you know she was bold, energetic and electrifying. She could enter any room with that captivating smile, her spunky and witty personality and you knew it was going to be a good time. The party started when she entered, she was never afraid of the dance floor, she would always dance like no one was watching. She knew life was short and we are all on borrowed time, and she was determined to live life to the fullest. Doni raised four beautiful children of whom she loved with every ounce of her being. She taught her children to be kind to others, that integrity was everything, and hard work pays off. She taught her children to live life with no regrets. Doni's grandchildren were her biggest fans; they called her Oma. Doni was her happiest when she was around her grandchildren. Doni celebrated every holiday with her grandchildren. If it was Columbus Day, Doni purchased her grandchildren something or spent time with them. She loved the smile on her grandchildren's face when she was acting silly or dancing.
Doni loved attending or watching sporting events. She was a long-time fan of the New York Mets and New York Giants. When her children were smaller, she never missed an opportunity to take them to a Mets game. If you were at Doni's house, then you knew some game was on. If Doni wasn't home watching the game or spending time with her children or grandchildren, then you could catch her in Atlantic City with her sister or one of her cousins. Atlantic City was certainly one of her happy places. Another one of her happy places was in the car traveling with her brother. Doni often spoke of her many road trips that she took with her brother. Doni lived graciously and intensively, she did not let any grass grow up under her feet.
Doni has a host of family and friends, who can all share a moment in their life where she made them laugh. Doni was always there for everyone. If there was a family event going on, Doni was there pulling up her sleeves ready to help. Doni made you feel special. She embodied "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." But make no mistake, Doni did not take any crap. If you have even been on the receiving end of one of Doni's choice words moments, you felt her wrath. She was like a spunky Chihuahua. As many of her friends have said, "To know Doni is to love Doni." Doni's strength and resiliency showed in every aspect of her life; she never backed down from a challenge. Doni was a fighter, literally. When Doni was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer on June 22, 2020, that's when the biggest fight of her life would begin. Doni did not complain. Instead, she continued to live her life to the fullest. She took trips with her children and grandchildren. These trips included swimming in waterfalls, snow tubing, crabbing, amusement parks and dancing in Las Vegas, all while enduring chemotherapy treatments. Doni literally danced her way into heaven. Doni transitioned from this life the way she lived her life, " On Her Own Terms." Doni's joy of life and indomitable spirit for her family kept her pushing through her pain. Doni personified the true definition of love, hope, faith, courage, bravery, perseverance, resiliency, and strength. Doni's inspired so many to simply live their lives despite their circumstances, her circumstances never defined her, and she always pushed through. Doni used her beautiful smile to change the world, the world did not change her smile.
Doni was predeceased by her mother, Christine Bean, her father Jessie Bean, her brothers Jessie Lee and Lonnie Banks, her grandson Tyree E. Johnson and her nephew George S. Scott.
Doni leaves to mourn her children Lapell E. Moore of Eatontown, NJ, Wednesday A. Jones of Bowie, MD, Darnell Bailey (Kymberlee) of Fairfield, CA, Jaia L. Marshall of Brick, NJ, Janae L. Rucker of Aberdeen, MD; her grandchildren Erika J. Moore of Henrico, VA, Da'Jon J. Brandon of Raleigh, NC, Ja'Lell E. Moore of Belair, MD, Jaela N. Marshall of Brick, NJ, Dominic Bailey of Fairfield, CA, Clifton (Leon) Jones Jr. of Bowie, MD, Karis Bailey of Fairfield, CA, Jaden S. Marshall of Brick, NJ, Ja'Zae G. Jones of Aberdeen, MD and JaSai G. Jones of Aberdeen, MD; her great-grandchild Skylar M. Brandon of Raleigh, NC; her siblings Annell Scott of Red Bank, NJ, Aubrey Bean (Margit) of Long Branch, NJ, Theophilus Bean (Leslie) of Fayetteville, GA, Wayne Bolden (Zena) of Barnegat, NJ, Patricia Grant (Charles) of Buffalo, NY, Cassandra Donita-Hopsins (Larry) of Meridian, MS, Deborah McCoy (Tony) of Alabama and Willie Martin of Illinois; her nephews Nate Bean of Tinton Falls, NJ, Corey Bean of Long Branch, NJ, Larry McCoy of Jackson, MS, Tony Harrison of Huntsville, AL, Larry Hopkins of Jackson, MS, Natanis Bean (Shannon) of Neptune, NJ, Denzel Harrison of Columbus, GA, Joseph Hopson of Meridian, MS, Ty Bean (Dorethas) of Fayetteville, GA, Charles Reevy of Neptune, NJ, Wayne Bolden Jr. of East Windsor, NJ and Terrance Whitley of Perth Amboy, NJ; her nieces Angela Wilson (Floyd) of Gastonia, NC, Carmelita Cross (Jonathan) of Asbury Park, NJ, Tamica Jones of Red Bank, NJ, Leaha Jones of Red Bank, NJ, Kelly Bean of Neptune, NJ, Kristy Fisher of Tinton Falls, NJ, Jennifer Johnson (Paris) of Richmond, VA, VaShay Bowens of Neptune, NJ, Jessica Hopson of Meridian, MS, Chanika Lewis of Red Bank, NJ, Renee Bolden of East Windsor, NJ and a host of cousins, great nephews, great nieces, family and friends.