Mark Allen Plummer, age 92, died from complications of a hip fracture at 5:00am on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at the Royal Oaks Care Center. There will be a Celebration of Life service at 1:00pm on Monday, December 13, 2021, at the Sun City Christian Church, 9745 W Palmeras Dr, Sun City, AZ 85373.
Mark was born on June 1, 1929 in Seneca, Missouri. He was the son of Maynard Osa Plummer and Ruth Mae Davidson Plummer. Ruth died at age 38 and Maynard married Venta Emily Hottel who later legally adopted Mark and his brother Max. Mark attended the University of Missouri and Pittsburg State University in Kansas, where he completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Science.
Mark was drafted in 1952 and took Artillery basic at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas. He was then assigned to Counter-Intelligence School in Baltimore, Maryland.
On April 28, 1953, he married Betty Jean Smith in Neodesha, Kansas. She followed him to his assignment in Wurzburg, Germany, where they lived for a year and began their marriage of 68 years.
Mark and Betty taught in Kansas City, Kansas for three years (1954-57). Mark entered graduate school at the University of Kansas and earned his PhD in history in 1960. He taught American and Asian History at Illinois State University until his retirement in 1994.
Mark served as Chairman of the history department twice during his tenure at Illinois State University. He was a Fulbright professor at National Taiwan University. During his career, he served as President of the Illinois State Historical Society and was a Director Emeritus of the Abraham Lincoln Society. He wrote several books and articles, culminating in book of the year awarded by the Illinois State Historical Society for his Lincoln’s Rail-Splitter: Governor Richard J Oglesby book.
Mark enjoyed a rich life of travel, adventure, sports, academia, and the love of family and friends. Throughout his life, he and Betty traveled extensively, including living in Taiwan and Germany, river cruising in the US and abroad, and traveling to nearly all parts of the globe. A highlight for Mark was when he and Betty traveled to Beijing in 1989 during the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests and Massacre. He relished being a part of history!
Mark is survived by his wife Betty, two children: Robert Allen Plummer (Dallas, TX) and Lisa Ann Borho (Sun City, AZ); two grandchildren: Chelsea Plummer James (Jeff), and Joshua Dean Plummer, and great grandson Jacob Allen James. He is also survived by his brother Max David Plummer (Raytown, MO), and Max’s three sons: Jonathan, Jeremy, and Benjamin Plummer (Valerie).
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Betty Plummer International Studies Outstanding Senior Scholarship. Donation website: https://giving.illinoisstate.edu/donate/ (choose Illinois State Excellence Fund, then donate, then write in name of scholarship in textbox). You may also send a check to University Advancement, Illinois State University, Campus Box 8000, Normal, IL 61790-8000. Phone: (309) 438-2294. Celebration of Life
Monday, December 13, 2021
Starts at 1:00pm
Sun City Christian Church (Sun City, AZ)