Norfolk – Funeral services with military honors for 93 year old John J. Plonka, a resident of the St. Regis Nursing Home, Massena, and formerly of Norfolk, NY and Witherbee, NY, will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Visitation in Norfolk, with Rev. Msgr. John Murphy presiding.
Burial will be held in the Visitation Cemetery, Norfolk.
Family and friends may call at the Buck Funeral Home in Norfolk on Sunday from 2 - 5 p.m.
Mr. Plonka passed away Christmas Eve.
John is survived by two sons, John and Judy Plonka, Colton, Thomas and Terrye Plonka, Fulton; a daughter, Christine Dresser, Saranac; seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. John is also survived by a brother, Stephen and Frances Plonka, Latham; a sister, Josephine Duffy, Rome, NY; several nieces and nephews.
John was predeceased by his wife Monica in 2005; a daughter-in-law, Carol Plonka, in 2001; a grand-daughter, Lisa Plonka, in 1981; a sister, Mary Rourk.
Born in Witherbee, NY on August 29, 1920 to the late Frank and Zofia Krnyminska Plonka, he married Monica M. Corriveau on May 23, 1948.
After graduating from High School, he entered the U.S. Marine Corps, serving during both WWII and the Korean Conflict. He served for 12 years, leaving the Marines as a Master Sergeant. Upon his return from the service, he was a baseball coach for a Little League Team and he managed the Mineville Bowling Alleys for several years before starting work at the Moriah Central School as a custodian and bus driver.
He was very active in the Mineville VFW Post 5802, where he was a life member. He was Captain of the VFW Military Honor Detail, in which he was particularly proud that General William Westmoreland came to the small hamlet of Witherbee to review his detail. He was also a member of the Norfolk American Legion.
John enjoyed barbecuing and tending to his garden, making sure every row was straight, picking every weed and making sure there was enough vegetables and in particular, cucumbers for his pickles, so they could give most of them away.
John’s other passion was fishing. He enjoyed fishing, whether it was fishing on Duff’s Dock, along a river bank or walking through the snowy woods at Camp Dudley in Westport too get to an ice fishing hole on Lake Champlain, it was always an adventure.
Memorial donations in John’s memory can be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley.
Memories and condolences may be shared online at www.buckfuneralhome.com.
Friday, May 22, 2015, Watertown, NY
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