Joseph J. Plander, born November 7, 1917 passed away March 23, 2014. He is preceded in death by his wife Pearl R. Plander (5-3-1992) and son Richard Plander (12-30-2013) and granddaughter Susan Renee Green (2-22-73). He will be greatly missed by his children Nelda Green and husband Douglas, Barbara Fitzgerald, Shirley Schuler and husband George III, Kenneth Plander; grandchildren, Deborah Green and husband Benjamin, Jacob Green, Laura Haines and husband Dennis, Joseph Fitzgerald, Jessica Lauret and husband Josh, George Schuler IV and wife Amanda, Christina Schuler; great grandchildren, Jared, Rachel, J.D., Connor Haines, Kolby and Kadence Fitzgerald and Jenna Lauret; brother, Jimmy Felix Plander and nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Joseph served his country in the US Army. He was a Staff Sargent, was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star during WWII. He returned home and was employed with F.H. Maloney in the Tool and Die department for 40 plus years until his retirement. Joseph was a loyal husband, father and grandfather. His legacy will be carried in the hearts of his grandchildren.
Joseph Plander spent the duration of WWII from 10/9/1941 to 8/24/1945 earning a Purple Heart and several Bronze Stars during hostile combat during the Asiatic Pacific campaign. He went to California by train and shipped out of San Francisco on the newly troopship conversion of the Queen Elizabeth. They reached Australia on 6 April. Because Melbourne could not accommodate the Queen Elizabeth, it unloaded at Sydney and the troops and cargo were moved to Melbourne by rail and smaller Dutch ships. Staff Sergeant Joe Plander was a squad leader and a runner and survived three beach landings and contracted malaria while crawling through the wet jungles.
He met his younger brother, Jimmy, while on Biak Island. He didn't even recognize him until Jimmy said: "Hey, don't you recognize your brother." They got to spend a few hours together before Uncle Jimmy shipped out.
One story Dad told was about him shooting at a soldier, who he thought was the enemy since they were surrounded by them. He kept shooting as the man rolled down a hill. One of Dad's companions said: "Hey, Joe, I think you got him." And the soldier answered: "No, you didn't get me." And Joe answered: "Well, it wasn't for the lack of trying."
When Mom passed away in 1992, I went to Dad's house every week to show him how to run a house, cooking, banking, grocery shopping, laundry, paying bill, etc. He had always taken care of outside chores and knew absolutely nothing about Mom's jobs. I was so proud of him and how much he learned and we really got close. He was just my Dad before, always there, but we never really sat down and had long conversations. He was always working on things or doing his talking with his brothers, sons, and nephews.
He was a great dad. We always did things as a family-going places every weekend and we went on a family vacation every year. He was always there to help any of us if we needed help.
I knew him the longest since I am the oldest, and I'm going to miss him so much. He accomplished so much in his life and he was a strong man. I'll always love him.