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Retired Col. John Plegge

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Retired Col. John Plegge, 88, of Radcliff, died Friday, April 19, 2013, at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown.

John was born to Joseph and Elisabeth (Santo) Plegge in Salem, Ohio, in 1924, and graduated from Salem Senior High School in 1946. He played football and served as a class officer. He attended Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, for two years and played on the football team. He was then drafted by the U.S. Army in 1948 and completed his Basic Training at Fort Knox.

After two years in the Army, John returned to Mount Union College and graduated in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science. He was accepted to the dental school at Ohio State University and joined the U.S. Army Reserve. He married Bonnie Jean Lewis in Columbus, Ohio, in June, 1956. He graduated in 1957 with a Doctor of Dental Surgery and then received his commission in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.

Dr. Plegge's duty stations included Fort Carson, Colo. and then Seoul, South Korea. While in Korea, he organized and implemented a plan for U.S. Army dentists to work with local dentists to help provide dental care to poor Koreans. He then was stationed at Fort Sheridan, Ill., Fort Sam Houston, Texas, was dental commander of dental clinic no. 3 at Fort Knox and dental commander of the 54th field Army hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. While in Thailand, Dr. Plegge again implemented a plan to help bring better dental health to the poor in Bangkok.

In 1970, Dr. Plegge was the project officer for the construction and equipment of four large dental clinics while stationed at Fort Knox, Fort Campbell and back to Fort Knox where he retired in 1986 with the rank of Colonel after 38 years of service.

In 1974, Dr. Plegge earned a Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) after successful completion of 500 hours of continuing education and a final exam. In 1991, he completed an additional 600 hours of continuing education and earned the Mastership of the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD). Of the 37,000 members of the AGD, only 1,800 have earned the MAGD.

Dr. Plegge had been a member of the Radcliff Lion's Club and a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and the M Club (Mount Union College). He enjoyed playing cards with his friends at the Colvin Community Center in Radcliff.

Dr. Plegge was preceded in death by his parents; his wife in 2002; a stepdaughter and son-in-law, Donna Sue and Donald Dick; two sisters, Catherine (Francisco Viola) and Frances (Danny LaRocca); and five brothers, Joseph, Domenic (Ruth), Willard (Barbara), Anthony (Josephine) and Joseph.

He is survived by three sisters, Lena (Stephen Birtalan), Parma and Mary; two sons, John Joseph (Rita) Plegge of Dickinson, N.D., and Christopher Craig (Lisa) Plegge of Falls Church, Va.; two daughters, Regina Ann (Craig Adams) Plegge of Radcliff and Joan Plegge Kille of Georgetown; five grandchildren, David (Karen) Daniels, Debbie Dean, John Kille, Lauren Kille and Catherine Kille; great-grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.

The funeral is at 11 a.m. Monday, April 22, at Nelson-Edelen-Bennett Funeral Home in Radcliff. Entombment, with full military honors, follows in North Hardin Memorial Gardens in Radcliff.

Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday and continues at 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Published in The News-Enterprise on Apr. 21, 2013
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