Death of Milford parents stuns family, friends

MILFORD – The Tucker family had a happy Christmas, and Chad Tucker was looking forward to the Super Bowl. He was a healthy 52-year-old man who lived with his wife, Kyle and their four children in a nice big house on Settlement Lane and worked as an infrastructure manager for CAPINC in Auburn.

But on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1, Chad didn’t feel well and stayed in bed, something he rarely, if ever did, said his daughters.

The next day he was still in bed. On Wednesday he went downstairs and was “talking gibberish,” said his daughter Ricki Bachman.

His wife immediately took him to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center where he was sent to the intensive care unit, put on a ventilator and sedated.

“Basically his whole body shut down,” Bachman said.

Kyle sat by his side for two days and on Feb. 5 she too began to feel unwell and went to the Milford urgent care center where a doctor said she had a cold.

The next day Kyle was in the hospital ICU and on a ventilator. On Feb. 10 she spiked a fever of 106 and on Feb. 14 she died.

Four days later her husband died.

Kyle Tucker suffered from hemolytic streptococcus A and influenza and pneumonia, said her daughters.

Chad Tucker, from hemolytic streptococcus A and pneumonia.

The couple’s family and friends are at a loss to explain how two relatively healthy middle-aged people could die from common infectious diseases.

Kyle, who was 44, had diabetes and she was keeping it under control with diet and exercise and without insulin, said Ricki, who is 20. Her mother had cervical cancer and underwent a radical hysterectomy in October, but seemed to have fully recovered. In January, she flew to Kentucky to see her friend, Sherry Coleman, and seemed healthy and happy.

“She exercised; she ate right,” said Coleman, during an interview at the family’s kitchen table, with Bachman and Bachman’s sister, Karen Ashley Martin, who is 22, They were surrounded by framed family photos and the elephant statues that Kyle collected.

Chad Tucker had no health issues at all, said his daughters, and he received a clean bill of health from a checkup a few months before he died.

After the parents died, “the doctors didn’t tell us much,” said Bachman, and at first had mentioned an autopsy, and then talked them out of it.

They said Kyle Tucker died “from flu, strep and complications from diabetes.”

On Monday Karen Ashley and Ricki went to family court in Nashua and obtained custody of their younger brothers, Chance, 15, and Charlie, 7.

The only other possibility was a relative who lives in Arizona and who is not in good health, said Coleman. “These kids have no family whatsoever in New Hampshire.”

But the family in Milford was a happy family, said Ricki. “We were all best friends.”

The two young women expect to go back to their jobs in April – Karen Ashley to Walmart and Ricki to Dunkin’ Donuts and GameStop – and they are grateful to friends who are helping them.

There will be a fundraising event at the Milford VFW Hall for Friday, May 15, at 6 p.m. and the family is planning a memorial service at Hampshire Hills in early April.

For information, email tuckerfamilybenefit@gmail.com.

There will be a TD Bank account called Tucker Family Donation Fund.