Morton Vaughan Plumb Jr. (1943 - 2018)

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Morton Vaughan Plumb Jr. died on Feb. 5, 2018, at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., St Mary's Campus, after a battle with cancer. His family was by his side.
Born on July 22, 1943, in Abington Township, Pa., he was the son of Morton and Marion Plumb. Mort graduated from Delaware Township High School, Cherry Hill, N.J. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History/Political Science from Tusculum College, Greeneville, Tenn. Mort held a Master of Business Administration in Business Management from Marymount University in Arlington, Va. He completed post-graduate studies in project management and systems analysis at American University in Washington, D.C., the Executive Management programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
After college, Mort joined the U.S. Air Force. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1967, and earned his pilot wings in 1968. He married his college sweetheart, and the love of his life, Sydney Anne Hartle, in December 1968. He was then stationed in Vietnam and Thailand with the 1st Air Commando Wing accumulating over 500 combat hours. Mort's 27-year Air Force career took his family to many different stateside bases, also Germany, the Pentagon and Alaska. At Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, he was promoted to Colonel in 1989. He was Director of Operations for the Alaskan Command, Chief of Staff of 11th Air Force, and Vice Commander of 11th Air Force. He was an F-4E fighter pilot. His professional military education included Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. Mort was a command pilot with more than 4,100 flying hours and 515 combat hours. He retired from active duty on Oct. 1, 1994.
After retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a Colonel, he transitioned into his next role as the Director of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport from 1995-2008. He was appointed by Gov. Knowles, and continued with Gov. Murkowski and Gov. Palin. Mort had a great passion and dedication for the airport. Under his direction, he was responsible for the safe, secure, efficient operation of the largest cargo airport in North America and in the U.S. (#1 for all cargo landed weight), the largest passenger airport in Alaska and the busiest float plane base in the world. He obtained federal funding sources to support a capital development program for airport infrastructure and was instrumental in the addition of Concourse C. Mort's vision for Anchorage and Alaska, through construction and redevelopment, was to have a newer, bigger, better, world-class airport, and he made that happen.
Mort was honored to be a member of the First National Bank Board of Directors, and in 2008 he became the Chief Operating Officer of the bank. He concluded his service as the Director and COO of First National Bank of Alaska in 2010.
Because he had a passion for helping others, Mort was an active dedicated Board member of the Fisher House of Alaska, a "home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at military and VA medical centers. He also served proudly on the board of directors for the following organizations: First National Bank of Alaska, Commonwealth North, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Airports Council International and Armed Services YMCA of Alaska and the Executive Board of the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games, Alaska. Mort was a member of the American Association of Airport Executives, the Downtown Anchorage Rotary and the UAA College of Fellows, and a board member of the Gulfstream Condominium, Corpus Christi, Texas.
He was a recipient of the Armed Services YMCA Robert B. Atwood Award for Outstanding Civilian of the Year in 2006.
Physical fitness was important to Mort. He was an avid runner, golfer and skier.
A proud family man, Mort was a kind, devoted, loving husband, father and grandfather. His legacy he leaves to his family is that he taught by example the importance of integrity, hard work, loyalty and dedication. He was dedicated to providing his family with a beautiful family life, attending extracurricular activities of his children, and grandchildren, and providing numerous family vacations and adventures. He was a leader who strived to do what was right for his community and his country. Mort will be remembered as a man who always reached out to help other people.
Mort was preceded in death by his father, Morton; his mother, Marion; his stepfather, George Krattenmaker; and newborn son, Scott Andrew Plumb.
Mort is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sydney Anne Plumb; son, Robert Morton Plumb and his wife Allie; daughter, Kimberly Anna Plumb; granddaughter, Kylie Plumb; grandson, Brooks Plumb; grandson, Truman Plumb; sister-in-law, Lynn Sloane; nephews, Rick, David and Jason; niece, Christina; brother-in-law, Joseph Hartle; cousin, Donna Jo Turner; and her sisters, Barbara , Nance and Sheree.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Austin T. Nelson at the 673d Medical Group JBER, Dr. Larry Daugherty at the Alaska Cancer Treatment Center and the doctors and staff at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for their dedicated care and compassion.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Alaska Aviation Museum on Sunday, March 18, 2018, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery with Full Military Honors on April 6, 2018, at 3 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made in Morton Plumb's name to: Fisher House of Alaska, 4943 Zeamer Avenue, JBER, AK 99506; 907-222-1673.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on Mar. 4, 2018
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