Latrobe Army vet was avid Pittsburgh sports fan
C.J. Plummer played some sports for fun, but his interest as a fan in Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams was a little more serious.
Oct. 9, 1971, was a big day for Mr. Plummer. On that date, he exchanged vows with the former Sallie Van Kirk, and the Pirates played the first of seven games in a World Series win over Baltimore.
“I was worried that my wedding was going to have to be late because the first game was on our wedding day, and I knew half the wedding party was going to want to watch the game,” Sallie said.
The nuptial ceremony took priority that day, but the couple’s honeymoon plans co-existed with the rest of the baseball series schedule. “We timed our stay at motels so they could watch the games,” said Sallie.
Mr. Plummer’s Pirates heroes have included stars Roberto Clemente and Andrew McCutchen, though he also enjoyed following the Penguins and Steelers.
“He loved the sports,” his wife said. As proof, “We have the (team) caps, blankets and sweatshirts.”
Clarence J. “C.J.” Plummer, 83, of Latrobe died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, at Excela Latrobe Hospital. Born Jan. 19, 1935, in Derry, he was a son of the late Clarence Sr. and Evan Blanche Plummer.
Mr. Plummer graduated from Derry Borough High School in 1952 and enlisted in the Army. He served at Fort Knox and in Germany, where he drove a troop vehicle.
A member of Latrobe United Presbyterian Church, he played in the church’s men’s softball league.
“It was strictly for fun,” his wife said.
Mr. Plummer worked for 34 years at the Latrobe hospital, advancing from the housekeeping department to the storeroom before his retirement in 2000.
He met his future wife at the hospital and helped found a co-ed bowling league that competed Wednesdays, September through April, at the local Lincoln Lanes.
“We bowled in it for 40 some years, up until the last three years,” Sallie said. At one point, she said, the league changed its name to The Castaways, with team names referencing the classic “Gilligan’s Island” TV show.
Her husband was an average bowler, enjoying most the camaraderie with fellow league members, she said.
“Even after we quit bowling, we would try to get out a couple of times a year to see them especially at the party for Christmas.”
She described her husband as “very loving, very easy-going and laid back. He was always positive. He just took things as they came.”
Mr. Plummer is survived by his wife, Sallie; two sons, Christopher and his wife, Colleen, of Greensburg, and Scott and his wife, Amelia, of Oakmont; and six grandchildren.
Friends and family will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Frederick Funeral Home, 1543 Ligonier St., Latrobe.
Latrobe-Derry Veterans Honor Guard will conduct military honors at 10:30 a.m. Monday in the funeral home, followed by a service at 11 a.m. Interment will follow in Unity Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to Latrobe United Presbyterian Church, 340 Spring St., Latrobe PA 15650.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @jhimler_news.