I was born on Oct. 7, 1960 to a young Air Force couple who were at the time stationed in Paris France. From there we headed to Texas and eventually wound up in Florida for the majority of my childhood. You know I am a nice guy being raised in Niceville Florida near Ft. Walton Beach.
When my dad retired we then moved to another interesting named town Hixson Tn., just outside of Chattanooga, where I attended High School. In H.S. I enjoyed sports, meeting new people, public speaking and dating of course. I worked numerous hours at the local Burger King to pay for my fun and my first car, a 1960 Opal Cadet.
After graduating from Hixson High School in 1979 I decided to go to Ten. Tech. College in Cookvelle Tn. to major in business. My goal was to end up at the University TN. Law School with dreams of being the next great court room lawyer. I have to confess at this time even though I was raised in a Christian home my biggest desire was to become a rich successful lawyer. While at TN. Tech., I started speaking for a Christian organization on campus leading Bible studies and speaking at retreats. During that time, God finally got through to me and convicted me that life was more than possessions and money. It is about people and making a difference in their lives.
I then, after two years, switched over to Ozark Bible College in Joplin MO., where I received a Bachelor Degree of Biblical Literature in 1984. During my college years I worked as a youth minister at a local church, but was more interested in working with college students.
My last year of college I was to speak at a fall retreat one weekend. I was going up late to the retreat since I was also working at JC Penneys when a girl by the name of Marcia Siemens called me and asked for a ride. She was also working late as a nurse. I agreed and during the trip this female just talked and talked and we even got lost because we did not turn at the red fence since it was dark. (Country directions gota love them) During that weekend I got to know this Marcia and convinced her to cook me a homemade meal the next weekend since it was my birthday again Oct. 7. (Back then I was extremely cute and convincing) She agreed. Being a farm girl from Iowa, she was a tremendous cook and fixed of course pork chops and all the fixians . I have to admit it was down right delicious! That was our official first date even got a kiss. Seven weeks later I asked her to marry me. ( The old adage a way to a man’ s heart is thru his stomach is correct) When you know she’s the right one you know. The next week at Thanksgiving I had the privelage to meet her parents where she introduced me as her fiancé. Awkward!!!
After graduating and getting married in Goldfield IA. We headed to Tucson AZ. Where I would try to start a college ministry at a local church and Marcia would work as a nurse at St. Marys. Wow what a shock Tucson was to a farm girl from Iowa, but eventually it grew on her and she loved the desert beauty. I loved working with Uof A students, but God had other plans and I also started working as a youth minister for the church. ( God was preparing me for my own 4 kids.) The church also needed a Sr. Pastor so I stepped in for the next 15 years being the pastor of Northside Christian Church.
Once you become a pastor everyone asks you when are you going to start having kids and so my wife obliged and we started having boys every two years. Lance was born April 23, 1989 then Logan Oct. 29, 1991 and Travis Sept, 16, 1993 and finally Tyler May 18, 1995. Yes there was a year in the Puckett household where we had a 6,4,2 year old and a brand new baby. I don’t know how we survived, especially since my boys came out as ten pounders. My poor wife.
After the 15 years of preaching at Northside I got antsy and decided to start a new church on the Westside of Tucson. After getting it up and running I was exhausted since I worked a full time job at Circuit City to support the new work. After 3 years I turned the church over to another minister and decided to retire from the ministry. I felt like getting more on the front lines of where people were at so who could figure I decided to become a cop.
Going through the Sheriff’s academy at 48 was quite challenging, but fortunately I had 4 big boys that were extremely active that kept me in shape . I survived and went on to patrol the foothills area and eventually after 5 years became a detective. I love working with and for people. My wife has been encouraging and supporting me all the way as she has continued to work for St. Marys Hospital for the last 29 years. Wow what a lady! Not bad for only dating 7 weeks before getting engaged. When it works it works perfectly.
While being a cop I still preach at a local church to fill in for the preacher when he goes away on vacation. I still love doing weddings and have performed numerous weddings for Dave Halstrom when he gets over booked. Currently all four of my boys are in college which also requires me to work extra to pay the bills. One is in Prescott, another in Phx and 2 are still here in Tucson at Pima and the UofA. It does make for interesting family gatherings when the boys return home UofA vs. ASU., but we all love each other and there is nothing more precious to me beside my wife then my kids.
I have performed over 100 wedding in all types of locations: a dog park, the desert, a golf course, back yards, local chapels and resorts etc… I love working with Dave Halstrom since I have know him for over 25 years now. I enjoy seeing being come together and being united for the rest of their life. Marriage has been one of the biggest blessings I have ever experienced. Life is exciting, challenging and so much fun which is the reason my weddings are simple, short, down to earth with a little humor. Your marriage day will be one of the most exciting, challenging, fun memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life. I hope and pray I can make that day as special as possible.