Bobby Earl "Bob" Plunkett Obituary

Mr. Bobby Earl Plunkett went to his heavenly home on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Mena, Arkansas. “Bob” was born January 25, 1937, in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Houston “Hoot” Plunkett and Lee Dunagan. He attended Vandervoort Elementary School and remembered having to help push the bus out of the snow and icy mud on cold winter days. Before and after graduating from Van-Cove High School in 1955, he worked on the family farm, at a sawmill in Dierks, and at the local chicken processing plant. However, that experience led to his unwillingness to ever eat chicken again.

At 20 years of age, he joined the Army and the military sent him to Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas, Ft. Gordon, Georgia (for small engine repair), and eventually to Ft. MacArthur, California. Having a top secret security clearance, he passed on messages at the main military communication center in downtown Los Angeles, California, where he extended his enlistment during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

During his time in the Army he married Joyce Eileen, daughter of Floyd and Kathryn Clements of Vandervoort. In 1962 his only child, Elizabeth Anne was born a month early in Alhambra, California. He worked hard to provide them everything they could ever need.

After the military, Bobby’s small engine repair training helped him get a job for South California Edison Electric Company for the next 32 years. He proudly would mention that as a mechanic and lead garage foreman for vehicle maintenance he would always accept the offers for overtime work and only took one day off work after breaking his leg falling down a hillside on the job.

In 2005, his wife Joyce, passed away at their home in Lancaster, California, having been together 46 years.

Bob returned to Mena soon after and became reacquainted with many old friends while making many new ones. He enjoyed weekly trips to Scotty’s in Cove in hopes of seeing people from the old days.

He is survived by his daughter, Beth and her husband Col. Ron Woodard, USAR, retired, of Royal, Arkansas. Bobby was always proud to tell people that his son-in-law was an ICU nurse. He also is survived by his love and long-time companion, Pat Gilbert, of Mena. Family and friends made his life complete.

A graveside memorial service will be held 2 p.m., Friday, June 3, 2022, at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Cove, Arkansas. Brother Ron Ladd will be officiating under the direction of Beasley-Wood Funeral Home. Bobby had a special interest in the preservation of Pleasant Grove Cemetery where he purchased and had erected the American Flagpole that stands there today. In lieu of flowers, he requested donations be made to the Pleasant Grove Cemetery Association. Cremation services for Mr. Plunkett are entrusted to Beasley-Wood Funeral Home. Online obituary at


5-31-22 3:24 p.m. KAWX.ORG