Obituary of Earl L. Tucker

February 18, 2024



Earl Lawrence Tucker, 71, of New York City, passed away on February 18, 2024, at his home with his husband, Dani Stracuzza, at his side.

Earl was a force. Whether in his personal or professional life, he was passionately present and unstoppably curious. He was always the first to try something new, to lend a helping hand or a listening ear to a friend or colleague, and to pop open a bottle of his beloved Veuve Clicquot to celebrate accomplishments of friends and loved ones or to simply celebrate the end of an ordinary day that he made sure to live extraordinarily. Many who knew and loved him undoubtedly will remember his characteristic (and infectious) laugh that featured a healthy dose of playfulness and sinisterness or his glowing smile that could light up the darkest room. Earl was revered by all who came within his orbit as a kind, caring, and supportive spouse, friend, leader, and colleague who emanated love and could always find joy and laughter in every situation. He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

Earl was a distinguished performing arts professional who traveled across the United States as a ballet dancer, was passionate about leading the cultivation of world-class arts and cultural programming for the boroughs of New York City, and provided strategic consulting advice to many New York City-area performing arts organizations to further enrich the city’s deep cultural heritage in music and dance. He was born on November 15, 1952 in New York City. His childhood was spent in New York City, and he had a passion for the performing arts starting at a young age that ultimately led him to attend F.H. La Guardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts  — a renowned public school that drew talented students from throughout New York City to cultivate their skills in music, art, and the performing arts. From there, Earl earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Music from Indiana University, where he studied with Marina Svetlova and Anton Dolin, and his Master’s of Arts in Arts Administration from New York University.

Earl began his career as a ballet dancer with Ballet Celeste International in 1972, and the Eglevsky Ballet, where he danced in venues across the United States from 1976 to 1980. He also danced with Cincinnati Opera Ballet in 1975, and New York Dance Theatre in 1981. Later, he served as the Director of Performing Arts at Wave Hill from 1983 to 1990, the Director of Performing Arts at Jamaica Arts Center in 1990, and the Fund for the Borough of Brooklyn in 1991. Earl was the Director of Trinity Concerts at Trinity Church Wall Street from 1994 to 2009. His tenure at Trinity Church included using the power of music to help console, grieve, and provide a sense of community and worship on and after the life-altering terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 (the World Trade Center was just three blocks away from Trinity Church and debris rained down on the church but the church miraculously stood strong). In 2013, Earl served as Executive Interim Director for the Martina Arroyo Foundation. He concluded his career as an arts organization management consultant from 2013 to 2023.

Earl worshipped at All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City and had a passion for music, opera, theatre, and the arts.

He is survived by his husband, Dani Stracuzza; step-sisters, Karen Whitney, and Saundra Curry (Donald) and her sisters-in-law Marie Curry and Patricia Masone (Dan); sisters-in-law, Carmen MacNeill (Scott) and Maria Tancredi (Frank); brother-in-law John Stracuzza (James Miller); nephews, Peter Curry (Rachel), Gio MacNeill (Alexandra Campbell), and Curtis MacNeill (Jayce Stringer); cousins, Sharon Yearwood, David Yearwood and his children Lydia, Daniel, and Isaac; close friends Helen Claxton, Stuart Alan Goldstein, Andrea Berta, Lisa Headley, Leonard Greco, David Askler, Lotus Do, Agnes Mooney, Charles Mooney, Bryan Anderson, and Allen Gustin.

Earl was preceded in death by his mother, Lorenza Whitney; father, Earl Lee Tucker; step-father, Yenwith Whitney; and former partner Kurt Owen Richards.

A service to honor Earl’s life will be held at Crestwood Funeral Home, 445 West 43rd Street, New York, NY on Saturday April 6 at 11:00 a.m. Crestwood Funeral Home is assisting with the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, Memorial tributes are suggested to Make a Wish Foundation at

May Earl Lawrence Tucker’s memory be a blessing to all who knew him.

Funeral Services

Memorial Service

April 6, 2024

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Crestwood Funeral Home

445 W. 43rd Street

New York, NY 10036

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Rest in peace my friend. You were a life changer

Posted by: Charles Hollis - Frisco , Texas - Friend March 9, 2024

My dearest longtime friend. Today is 3 weeks. I am still counting the day you departed from us. We are missing you terribly. I treasure and am so grateful that we were part of our journeys for over 45 years, without any lapses, until the very end. The memories, oh my the memories are still so alive. You will always be with us. Not a day will go by where you will not be in our hearts. Here I am sharing the link of memories of all the pics I could find, but there are so much more memories from the beginning, that are imprinted in my heart. Forever, our friend, Love and Peace. Beautiful Song Tribute to you Earl, Early Birdy, Earl the Perl, all our nicknames for you....Earl Tucker, Friends are Friends forever! RIP and Love Always, Andrea (Andi)

Posted by: Andrea Berta - Forest Hills, NY - Friend March 10, 2024

Earl and I met at the High School of Music and Art. He thought that Agnes Sprouse sounded like asparagus and he called me that until I married and then he called Lady Mooney. After high school I didn't see Earl until he called to ask if I would assist with the 15yr. HS reunion (mid 80's) and we never lost touch since. When we gathered together we knew there would be lots of good eating, drinking, laughter, and conversation. A great time would be had by all - guaranteed! Thankfully, I have these wonderful memories to cherish because we can't make anymore. I miss you, Earl. Agnes Sprouse Mooney

Posted by: Agnes Sprouse Mooney - Mamaroneck, New York - Friend March 27, 2024