Mary Elizabeth (Erwin) Plog

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Born April 15, 1918 in Augusta, Kansas, fifth of eight children, Mary Elizabeth Erwin Plog passed peacefully on October 17, 2012, in Lodi, Ca. after a long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease. Mary was a member of the Greatest Generation, and witnessed in her 94 years the end of the horse-and-buggy days and the rise of automobiles and airplanes, television, computers, and cell phones. She was preceded in death by husband Roy C. Plog, grand-daughter Danielle Beal, grandson Abram Klemm, great-granddaughter Amanda Klemm, and great-great-granddaughter Kiara Ann Marroquin.
During the Great Depression, Mary's family traveled west from the Dust Bowl to California. At age 18, determined to further her education, Mary came alone to Fresno, Ca., to work her way through college. She achieved her B.A. in Education in 1954 and teaching credential in 1955 from Fresno State College, and an M.A. from Chapman College in 1975.
Along the way she met Roy Charles Plog. They married in June 1941. By December the country was at war, and Roy had joined the Army Air Force. After the war he remained in the Air Force Reserves. He was called up during the Korean conflict and was killed in a training exercise on January 8, 1953, in Savannah, Georgia. This left Mary to raise their two war babies, Jo Anne and Charles, and two post-war babies, Janice and Gail.
As a single mother and professional woman, Mary taught business courses in Fresno and Lodi. When she retired in 1983, she had time to indulge her desire to see the country and the world. She visited England, Scotland, Denmark, Israel, Palestine, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Canada. Her last trip was in September 2001 to Australia and New Zealand.
Mary was an active member and deacon of Grace Presbyterian Church in Lodi, Ca. She was elected twice as president of the Lodi Garden Club and was active as well in the Valley Horticultural Club, Penny Pines, the American Association of University Women, and the Literacy Project. She valued education highly. She was a long-time member of the Sierra Club and also a docent at the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum, and volunteer at the San Joaquin Women's Center. Mary was a lifelong seamstress and a quilter once retirement gave her the time.
She will always be remembered with love as Mom and Grandma by her children, Jo Anne Plog, Chuck Plog, Janice Dennis (Lloyd), and Gail Erwin (Robert Schuldheisz); ten grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. She will also be missed by brothers Bud Erwin (Verna) and Donald Erwin (Ruth), sister Helen Campbell, sister-in-law Ada May Brubaker; and countless nieces, nephews, and friends, including caregivers Mary O'Donnell and Maria Klemm. The family is grateful as well to Adult Day Service Center at Hutchins Street Square, Arcadia Health Care, and Vienna Nursing Center for their care of Mary during her last years.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, October 25, 11:00 am at Grace Presbyterian Church, 10 N. Mills, Lodi, Ca. Interment at Chapel of the Light, Fresno, Ca. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mary's name to Disabled American Veterans or the Sierra Club.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Oct. 23 to Oct. 30, 2012
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