Robert Eugene Ploung, a resident of Banning, CA passed away on Saturday, December 15, 2018.
Robert was born on April 10, 1925 in Waterloo, Iowa. He had three half sisters: Ruth, Mary & Jeannie and lived in many cities and states through the Depression, but finally settled in Minneapolis, MN where his parents were furriers.
In 1941, at age 16, he joined the Civil Conservation Corps and worked part-time as a Hydraulic Press Operator at Creamette. In 1942, at age 17, Robert met his future wife, Patricia Hickenlooper, while working at White Castle where she came in with his friend on a blind date. They began dating, shortly after.
He served in the Navy Seabees from 1943-1946 in locations including the South Pacific at New Caledonia, New Hebrides Island, Ulithi, and Okinawa during World War II.
Robert and Patricia married on May 8, 1947 raising their family, 2 sons and a daughter, in Minneapolis while he worked as a machinist at Northern Pump Co.
In 1956 they moved the family to Fullerton, CA along with Patricia’s parents who moved into the same neighborhood a few doors down.
Robert is survived by son Dale Ploung ('66), his wife Sandra, daughter Wendy and grandchildren Jacob, Hannah, and Mason; son Michael Ploung ('6, his wife Lynda, son Ryan and grandchildren Jack and Ben; daughter Melanie Woods, her husband Phil, daughter Jennifer and son Cory and grandchildren Aidan and Declan.
Robert was a skilled dancer who loved music, especially that of the big band era. He was very active in his children’s lives’ serving as den leader for the Boy Scouts, supporting ballet, accordian and piano lessons, taking the family out for ‘Sunday’ drives, yearly camping trips, and adventurous road trips through Mexico.
He managed the boy’s band, The Variations, from middle school age through their 20’s.
He worked at Fullerton Hughes Aircraft for 28 years developing and designing microwave components and antennas.
He enjoyed sailing on his 26’ sailboat, traveling the states in his motorhome, cruising the world, riding motorcycles, skiing, scuba diving, playing poker and craps, and could fix anything he put his mind to.
Robert retired in 1985 at the age of 60 and was an avid adventurer who enjoyed world travel with his wife Patricia, and after her passing, with girlfriend Jean Johnson including well over 50 cruises and tours.
He’s hiked Nepal from cabin to cabin, hang-glided in Rio de Janero, stayed in African yurts surrounded by lions, sailed a yacht to the Galapagos Islands and skied into his late 70’s. In 2011 Robert and Jean took a 110-day worldwide cruise visiting many locations they had yet to visit.
In the past few years dad enjoyed the companionship of Pat Wright who appreciated music, drives and spending time with Robert’s family.
Robert is a family hero who we are all so proud of. We all hope to experience the full life he had and face the future with the zest, humor, drive, unconditional love and support he exhibited throughout his life.
A chapel service will be held at 12 p.m on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at Memory Garden Memorial Parkand Mortuary at 455 W. Central, Brea, CA 92821.