Former Rep. Bob Plunk liked getting up early so he could get a head start on the day’s work.
When Plunk was in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, he typically arrived at work by 5 a.m. each day. The front doors of the state capitol were locked at that hour, so Plunk had to use the janitorial entrance to get into the building.
Once Plunk entered his office, he started his day with a prayer. Then he began reviewing the paperwork that had piled up on his desk.
“He’d read his Bible and pray, and then he’d start studying the bills to try to stay one step ahead before they started,” said his son, Byng resident Bruce Plunk.
Plunk’s family and friends shared their memories of the former businessman and lawmaker who died Thursday of a heart attack at an Ada hospital. He was 81.
A native of Allen, Plunk graduated from Allen High School in 1951 and joined the U.S. Air Force. He served in the prestigious Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, which sparked his interest in politics.
Plunk turned 21 while he was in the Air Force and was eligible to vote for the first time, he told The Ada News in 2006. He cast an absentee ballot in the 1952 presidential election, which pitted Republican nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower against the Democratic candidate, Adlai Stevenson.
Plunk later received an honorary discharge from the Air Force, and Allen resident Fred Kimbrough convinced him to seek a seat on the city council. He won the election and dove into local government — an experience that led him to serve as the town’s city manager.
He also served on the board of directors of the Southern Oklahoma Development Association and led the effort to establish volunteer fire departments in SODA’s 10-county region, which includes Pontotoc County.