American Veteran 01

Dr. George Webb Plonk Sr.

March 17, 1919 ~ April 24, 2022 (age 103)


Dr. George Webb Plonk Sr.

“To You, O Lord I lift up my soul” Psalm 25
George W. Plonk, MD passed away on April 24th at Kings Mountain Hospital after a brief illness. He was 103 years young.
Born on March 17, 1919 in Kings Mountain, he was the son of the late Clarence and Ellen Plonk. He was the seventh of 10 children.
George graduated from Kings Mountain High School where he played football and baseball. He was a proud Tar Heel Class of 1940 at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. In 1941 he married Margaret Cooper despite the fact that she was a Duke graduate! After college he attended Carolina Medical School (at that time only a two year program) and transferred to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and later did his residency at Lankenau Hospital. He subsequently passed the American Board of Surgery exam. His medical training had been interrupted by World War II where he served two years as a physician with last year being in Italy at the end of the war. Later in life, he was proud to take part in the Flight of Honor and to be recognized as a veteran at the World War II Memorial in Washington DC.
Once he completed his training in general surgery, he took his family to Raleigh and joined the practice of Dr. Gordon Sinclair who he credited with teaching him the importance of a compassionate bedside manner. In 1957 he began practicing in Kings Mountain. Dr Plonk felt privileged and humbled to be able to serve and care for the citizens of Kings Mountain and surrounding areas. He was respected by his medical colleagues and loved by his patients. He retired from his practice in 1984. He did assist Dr. Joe Zucker an orthopedic surgeon, for several years until Dr. Zucker moved to Charlotte.
Dr Plonk was an avid horseman who developed a love for the Paso Fino breed. He loved trail riding and even had some success in national PasoFina horse shows. He was a sports fan cheering loudly for his grandchildrens’ events, the Tar Heels, and the Braves. He enjoyed working out at the YMCA and catching up with old friends and new. He was also active in community service as he was a member of the Lions and Rotary clubs. He was always very active in the church and served on the church council at Resurrection Lutheran Church for a number of years. He and Esther Plonk are also founding members of Advent Lutheran Church.
George loved to tell stories and could hold the attention of both young and old for hours as he talked about his life and its adventures. He told a story with passion, humor, and humility making it interesting and endearing regardless of topic or timeframe.
The joy of Dr Plonk’s life was his family. He enjoyed 62 wonderful years of marriage to his high school sweetheart, Margaret who passed away in 2003. They had settled in Kings Mountain where they raised their five children.
In 2004, Dr. Plonk married Esther Muench and further expanded his family with the addition of her three children: Jeff and Jim Muench, and Jennie Laney and their families. They were married for 17 years. Esther was a very loving, caring wife who added much happiness and companionship to his later years.

 One of his proudest moments occurred on his 100th birthday when Governor Roy Cooper honored him with induction into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. This is the highest award given by the governors of North Carolina since 1963 for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities.
He is survived by his wife,Esther Muench Plonk, one sister, Clara Politis, a sister-in-law, Dorcas Plonk, and his 5 children: Carole Fenimore Haas Gravagno, Peggy Pollack (Ken), George Webb Plonk (Judy), Barbara Bridges (Bill) and Becky Loftin (Bill). He was very proud of his sixteen grandchildren and would boast about “the ones who made him great”: his multitude of great grandchildren.. He took great care and attention to keep track of everyone: always showing up for weddings, baptisms, graduations, and celebrations. He wrote wonderfully expressive letters, sent cards, and was quick to pick up the phone and check on loved ones.
His family has been blessed to know his unconditional love and support in the form of presence, advice, cheers, laughter, and hugs. His stories are legend and he regaled anyone who would listen right up to the last week.
The family would like to thank the staff of Summit Place and Kings Mountain Hospital for their exceptional care of Dr Plonk.
A Family Service will take place at 11:00 am Saturday, April 30 at Advent Lutheran Church in Kings Mountain.
In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be given to Advent Lutheran Church, Cleveland County Hospice or the charity of your choice.





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