Charlie R. Ploug, a lifelong native of the Kingsville area, passed away on Jan. 16, 2021, in the Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home in Floresville, Texas, at the age of 93 years, 2 months, and 18 days. He was born at home on the family farm in the San Fernando Community outside of Kingsville, Texas, on Oct. 29, 1927. He was the son of Alfred Ploug and Marie (Larsen) Ploug, who were Scandinavian immigrants. He was the third son in the family of nine children. He went to San Fernando School and then graduated from H.M. King High School in Kingsville.
Shortly after graduating in 1945, Charlie joined the U.S. Army. After boot camp, he was trained in heavy equipment repair. Thereafter, he was stationed in Hawaii where he went to cook and baker school. After completing that training, he went on to mess sergeant school. Later, he was sent on a mission to Eniwetok atoll, a testing ground for atomic weapons. After three years, he was honorably discharged from service and then returned to the Kingsville area.
Following his military service, Charlie decided to attend electronics school in San Antonio. On one of his visits back home, he met Lornadell Wehmann and married her on Nov. 10, 1951. For several years, he worked as an automotive mechanic and later opened his own shop and took on an International Harvester Truck Dealership franchise for 12 years. After that, he opened an automotive parts supply store in the downtown area of Kingsville until leasing it out in 1995.
Charlie and his family were staunch supporters of the Texas A&I Javelina football and basketball teams and would travel all over the nation to attend games. They loved attending family reunions and get togethers. Charlie was an avid fisherman and enjoyed taking friends and family on many deep-sea fishing trips. His passion was his year-round garden that everyone was envious of; he generously shared the abundance of his garden with many.
For many years, Charlie was an active member of the Kingsville Noon Lions Club and Kingsville Elks Lodge. He attended many conventions and assisted in transportation for many children from the surrounding area to attend the Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville, Texas. He faithfully volunteered at St. Paul Lutheran Church, where he and his family were members. After retirement, he enjoyed volunteering weekly at the Kingsville Visitors Center.
Charlie and Lornadell had two sons, Dale who was born in 1953 and passed away in 1976 in a car accident, and John who was born in 1957. The family lived in the Kingsville area until Charlie and his son, John, moved to Floresville, Texas, in 2018 to be closer to family.
Lornadell and Charlie were married for 62 years when she passed away on Sept. 16, 2012. Charlie’s remains will be buried next to Lornadell’s in the Chamberlain Cemetery in Kingsville.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Lornadell, his son, Dale, his two brothers Larry Ploug, who passed away as a baby, and Alfred Ploug, Jr., and his six sisters, Margarethe Etheridge, Agnes Sijansky, Elizabeth Wilkerson, Opal Lovett, Clara Moore Rubin and Betty Meyer. He is survived by his son John Ploug, who now lives in Floresville, and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff at Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home in Floresville for the care they provided to Charlie for the last couple of years.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 19, 2021, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Kingsville, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Texas Lions Camp, P.O. Box 290247, Kerrville, Texas 78029-0247 or to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at www.mdanderson.org. Notifications/cards may be sent to John Ploug, 86 Katy Lane, Floresville, Texas 78114.