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Palmer resident Gary Dean Plonta, 57, died Sept. 2, 2007, from complications related to a hard-fought battle with liver cancer at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.
At the time of his death, he was "surrounded by family members holding and comforting him."
A memorial service will be held at noon Saturday at Trinity Lutheran Church of Palmer. The Revs. Carol George and Phil Kettering will officiate.
Mr. Plonta was born Oct. 26, 1949, in Saginaw, Mich., to Emma Jean and Gary Dean Plonta Sr. He and his sister Karen were raised in Michigan. Gary moved to California in his early 20s. He is best remembered for his sharp '70s style, roller skating championships, and racing muscle cars with his buddies.
In the late '70s he moved to Alaska with his mother and stepfather, Emma Jean and Clint Lewis. He met his soulmate, Sarah Ann Locklear, in 1977. They were married March 11, 1978. This year they celebrated their 29th year of marriage. Gary made his career as a generator mechanic, licensed electrician, LNG plant manager, and much more.
His family wrote: "He was extremely dedicated to his work, always striving for excellence in all he did. Gary is now retired from Precision Power LLC. A very respected man of the community, he leaves a legacy as an outstanding husband, father, son, brother, uncle, co-worker and friend.
"Mr. Plonta enjoyed spending time with his family most. Everything he did was for his wife and children, from planning family vacations to movie nights with his kids. All of his hobbies consisted of spending time with the ones he loved. His favorite spot to be in all the world was his comfortable recliner, family by his side.
"Gary's generosity and kind heart were an inspiration to his family. He lived his life with integrity, bravery, and humble unselfishness. His humor and love of life will never be forgotten."
He is survived by his wife, Sarah Ann; daughter and son-in-law, Shannon Andrea and Joe Inama; son, Skyler David and companion Megan; daughter, Shelby Allison; sister, Karen Plonta-Stovall of Salem, Ill.; brothers, David Lewis and Richard Lewis; father- and mother-in-law, David and Lucy Locklear; brothers- and sister-in-laws, Steve and Suzie Garrett, David Jr. and Marsha Locklear, Debbie and Serena Stockton, Duaine and Gloria Locklear, and Darel Locklear; and all his loving nieces, nephews and other family members.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to Northrim Bank in the name of Gary D. Plonta.
Friends who would like to send condolences may mail them to 1150 S. Colony Way, Suite 3-107, Palmer 99645
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