Thomas (Tom) M. Plouf, 76, of Las Cruces passed from his earthly body to his Heavenly Home on Sunday, November 17, 2013 at La Posada - Mesilla Valley Hospice after a four year battle with cancer. "Tom", as he was fondly known to family and friends, was born December 15, 1936 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Napoleon and Mary Collins Plouf. He graduated from Bethlehem Academy High School, Faribault, Minnesota; attended St. Mary's University of Minnesota; University of Minnesota, Bachelor of Chemical Engineering; University of Nevada, Master of Science; University of Idaho, Doctor of Philosophy-Chemical Engineers; and served in the Peace Corps in 1966 in Bolivia, South America. Tom began his career as a Professor, teaching at the University of Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico Tech. He later worked as a Metallurgical Engineer consultant which took him all over the world in mines of all kinds of precise metals. Tom enjoyed learning the cultures, speaking the languages and making many friends. He wrote over thirty publications on Mineral Processing and two books on Chemical Engineering, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Mineral Processing by the Society of Mining Engineers in 2012 in Colorado, Tom and Karen met when they were working in Denver and married in 1991 near Rabbit Ears Pass in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They retired to Las Cruces in 1994. Tom and his wife loved early morning golf, biking, traveling, watching all kinds of sports and visiting family. Along his path here on earth, his gregarious nature, open honesty and infectious laugh touched the hearts of many. Tom trusted in God each day and was faithful in his devotional time. He is survived by his wife, friend and soul mate, Karen of Las Cruces; son Paul of Colorado; sisters, Bea Schadle and Mari Plouf of California; many nieces, nephews and cousins. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Bernadette and Sally, and a nephew, Chris. At his request no services are scheduled at this time and a private memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Tom's memory to Mesilla Valley Hospice, 299 E. Montana Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88005.Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Baca's Funeral Chapels and Sunset Crematory of Las Cruces, 300 E. Boutz Road Las Cruces, 527-2222 For online condolences logon to www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Nov. 24, 2013