James “Junior" Plemons was born in Tennessee where he grew up in a large loving family, caregiver Cindy Franz said.
In Tennessee, Plemons met and married his wife, Pauline, in 1949.
“They shared 65 years together as best friends and devoted husband and wife to each other,” Franz said. “He devoted his life to Pauline, loving, protecting and caring for her as much as anyone could imagine.”
Plemons was a proud father of his son John, Franz said, and a proud grandfather to Maj. Jennifer Bein, a dentist in the U.S. Air Force, and his two great-grandchildren.
A member of Whiting Baptist Church, Plemons was a devout Christian, Franz said.
“He always had an incredible smile on his face, wanting to talk and joke and make all who were touched by his gentle spirit happy, all the time whistling and singing around the house,” Franz said. “He truly loved life.”
A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, Franz said Plemons, 87, of Whiting, was proud of his service. He was stationed in Korea just after the bombing of Nagasaki, Franz said. Plemons was employed as a laborer at Inland Steel for 40 years.
Both Jim and Pauline, who died 37 days prior to her husband, loved to travel with their son to Tennessee, to national parks and to amusement parks. They enjoyed attending fairs, festivals and eating at buffets, Franz said.
“I don’t think Jim could say no to anyone, always willing to help those who crossed his path,” Franz said.
Franz said Plemons looked upon her like a daughter, affectionately calling her “Cindy Bindy.”
Franz said she and John Plemons were lucky enough to witness him jokingly smile on his last day.
“It is a special memory we will hold in our hearts forever,” Franz said. “Jim was smiling up to the end.”