Getting to Know Tom and Debbie Rueckert
Tom and Debbie have been called to serve a Self-reliance/PEF Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe beginning in January. Until then they will be traveling back and forth to Germany while Tom finishes his employment with the Church.
Tom and Debbie were both born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. They attended the same Jr. High and High School. They both graduated from the University of Utah. Tom graduated with an accounting degree. Debbie graduated with a degree in Elementary Education.
Tom served a mission in Brazil from 1972-1974. He became fluent in Portuguese which turned out to be a blessing as he has been able to use his language skills throughout his career with the Church. He was able to spend nine years in Brazil as a controller for the Church. During this time Tom adopted nine Brazilian children. He has also had the opportunity to work in the Farm Management; Temple Construction and Self-Reliance/PEF Departments.
Debbie taught school in the small town of Randolph in northern Utah the year after she graduated from the university. She also taught school in North Salt Lake for two years before beginning her family. She went back to teaching after her youngest child was in school. She loved teaching Kindergarten in the Granite and Jordan School Districts.
When she married Tom in 1998, she quit school to raise 10 children. The children are all grown now. Tom and Debbie have 35 grandchildren.
They have both been active in the community by serving as delegates and precinct officers in their districts. Tom has worked with the BSA and Debbie has been active in several PTA offices and School Community Councils. Tom enjoys following baseball and playing golf occasionally. He also enjoys spending as much time as possible on Family History. Debbie enjoys being a Grandma; baking chocolate chip cookies; reading; playing the piano and working on Family History.
Their mission experience will be a very unique one. For the last 3 years Tom has been working with Elder Robert C. Gay and Mike Murray and others to roll out a Self Reliance /PEF initiative internationally. He has spent much time traveling around the world launching this initiative. The focus of this initiative is to enable members of the Church to become both temporally and spiritually self-reliant. He has seen hundreds of lives blessed during the last few years. Tom and Debbie will be back and forth from now until December working with 11 managers in the 39 countries of Europe. Tom will remain an employee for the Church until he retires at the end of December. Tom and Debbie will enter the MTC in January and return to Frankfurt, Germany as missionaries.