Richard Hanson Plant died peacefully on April 17, 2011, of congestive heart failure. He was born in Flushing, N.Y., the youngest of five siblings and the only one born in the United States, his family having emigrated from England shortly after World War I.
After graduating from high school he worked as a page boy in a bank on Wall Street until the outbreak of World War II. He went to a recruiting office to enlist as a Navy pilot, but early in the war the Navy required two years of college for its pilots. On his way out of the office he noticed a sign encouraging young men to enlist in the Seabees, and although he didn’t know what a Seabee was, he signed up. He served in the South Pacific and later during the war passed a test that allowed him to enter the V-12 program, an officer training program. He was stationed at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. It was there that he met his future wife Beatrice (Bee) Brandt. They dated throughout the remainder of the war, but could not get married because the Navy did not permit officer trainees to marry. They were finally married on February 12, 1946, after he completed his officer training and graduated from Northwestern.
After leaving active duty in the Navy, Dick and Bee remained in the Chicago area for a time, and Bee gave birth to three sons. Dick took a job with the DuPont Company. In 1955 his job took him to Appleton, Wis., where they raised their family. In 1966 they moved to the Milwaukee area, and in 1971 they returned to Chicago. Upon his retirement in 1985, they moved to Rocklin. After Bee’s death in 2005, Dick moved to the University Retirement Community in Davis, where he passed the remainder of his life. He formed many wonderful friendships among the residents and staff there.
Dick was a lifelong New York Yankees fan and often noted that he was born in the same year as the original Yankee Stadium was built. He was an avid golfer and was especially proud of the fact that although he was legally blind, he hit a hole in one on two separate occasions. He loved bridge and organized and taught a class for beginners at URC.
He is survived by son Richard Plant and daughter-in-law Kathie Keber of Davis, son Roger Plant and daughter-in-law Mary Lou Osborne of Winthrop, Mass., and son Randall Plant and daughter-in-law Yukiko Hayano of Anchorage, Alaska, and grandchildren Carolyn Keber Plant, Suzanne Keber Plant, Nathaniel Osborne Plant and Genevieve Beatrice Plant.
Dick was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. His many friends will remember him for his kindness and generosity to everyone and for his good natured, optimistic spirit. A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23, in the Club Room at the University Retirement Community. In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent in his name to the California State Library Foundation for use by the Braille and Talking Books program or to the Northwestern University Naval R.O.T.C. Scholarship Fund.