American Veteran 01

William D. Ploenes

December 3, 1925 ~ August 28, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old

William Ploenes Obituary

 William D Ploenes “Bill”

Another of the Greatest Generation has passed away on August 28, 2023. He never met a stranger and was one of the luckiest men to live.

Born in Akron on December 3, 1925, he enlisted at age 17 into the army by memorizing the eye chart after being passed over by all other branches of the military. He was off to WW II. At 18 he was on an English dock ready to board ship with the 66th Panther Division on Christmas Eve.  While waiting in line he was pulled off and moved to another ship because he could drive a truck.  His original ship, the USS Leopoldville, was torpedoed and sunk while crossing the channel and he never saw his division again.

Later while laying radio wire in a muddy field his position was shelled by the Germans. An 88-shell skipped by him in the mud, killing another soldier nearby. The furrow of the shell was inches from Bill’s muddy imprint.

After the war he returned and attended the University of Akron and was a member of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.  While there, he was teaching a young boy how to fast-pitch a softball. During the instruction he took a pitch off his knee. Shortly afterwards he was recalled for the Korean war but failed the physical due to his swollen knee.

At college his luck continued as he met and married out of his league, Darleen R Kosco, and had four wonderful children.  Bill and Dee remained happily married their entire lives.

While together in the car, with their youngest daughter, they survived being hit head on by a drunk driver. Both Bill and Dee survived serious injuries while their daughter was unhurt. Though both had long term injuries they lead a wonderful life. 

He was proceeded in death by his parents, Albert and Myra Ploenes, His sister, Elizabeth “Lib” Daugherty, his brother Albert “Patch” Ploenes and the love of his life Darleen “Dee” Ploenes.

Together Bill and Dee had four children, Paula (John) Coon; John (Barb) Ploenes; Tracey (Jeff) Bognar and Lea Burns.  In addition, he leaves behind eight grand children one of which is famous, Aaron Coon, who is a chef at the Marble Room. He also leaves seven great grandchildren and one on the way.

His family would like to thank his excellent care giver Melissa Williams for the past months and his nephew David for his frequent visits.

In lieu of flowers or donations please meet a stranger, tell them a funny or interesting story and be kind.  Online memories may be shared at www.bakerfuneralberea.com.

 

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