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J. Robert "Bob" Plankenhorn

   James Robert “Bob” Plankenhorn passed away peacefully in his home early January 1, 2019.  Born June 28, 1927 in Richmond, Indiana to Russell and Erma (Newman) Plankenhorn, he was 91 years old.   Survivors include: Mary, his loving wife of 68 years; son, Rob and his wife Connie of Indianapolis; son, Dan of Palo Alto; 3 grandchildren, Robbie, David and Isabella; 1 great-grandson Eli; sisters-in-law, Elma, Christine, and Nancy; nieces and nephews.  He was a member of the First English Lutheran Church, Richmond.

   Bob was a lifelong Wayne County resident, growing up in rural Webster Township. He graduated from Webster High School in 1945 where he lettered in track and basketball.  After high school, he was 4H leader for the township until his marriage to Mary in 1950.  Bob farmed with his father and grandfather, Oscar, for a number of years until choosing to enter the gasoline business in 1961.   He partnered with Dick Ross to operate the Texaco Service in Fountain City selling a full line of automobile products as well as home-heating oil.  When Dick left the business in 1965 Bob continued to operate the full-service gas station and heating oil distributorship until his retirement in 1973.

   Plankenhorn’s Texaco was located in the heart of Fountain City at the busy intersection of Main St. and Highway 27.  The location gave Bob a unique visibility into and from the community as most citizens passed through the intersection each day.  This traffic acquainted Bob with almost every resident of the town and he became lifelong friends with many.   His service to the community included elected positions on the town board and the volunteer fire department. 

   Bob’s service station was much more than a place to buy gas and oil, it was also central to Fountain City’s community where locals lingered and socialized in the station’s large, comfortable waiting room.  Also, as a full-service gas station, Plankenhorn Texaco was an employer to many of the area’s young men as “pump jockeys”; with whom Bob maintained close friendships until his death.  Bob retired from the gasoline business in 1975, but the relationships formed with the employees, customers and vendors to Plankenhorn’s Texaco continued to be an important part of his social circle.

   Following his retirement and partially due to his large network of friends within the community, Bob was employed by Smith & McQuiston Funeral Home in Fountain City.  In their moment of grief, family survivors and funeral attendees were always cheered to see Bob’s familiar face and hear his kind words which were often laced with an appropriate level of wit.  Riggle-Waltermann Mortuary in Richmond similarly employed Bob and his tenure in the funeral business stretched past 40 years.

   Bob Plankenhorn will be remembered for his kindness, intelligence, open disposition, humor and loyalty to friends.  In many ways, Bob was the personification of Fountain City, Indiana, the community that he loved so dearly.   He will be sorely missed by his family, his many friends and the entire community.

   Bob’s life will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 5, at the Smith-McQuiston & Webster Funeral Home, 321 US 27, Fountain City. Interment will follow in Willow Grove Cemetery.

   Family and friends may gather for visitation from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, January 4, at the funeral home.

   Memorial contributions are encouraged for the First English Lutheran Church, 2727 East Main Street, Richmond, IN 47374 or the Reid Foundation for Hospice Care, 1100 Reid Parkway, Richmond, IN 47374.

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Condolences to all of the family. It seems Bob was a constant in my life. I can still see his smile while he sat kicked back in a lawn chair in that huge old canoe he and Mary used part of the time. Sitting on the river with his feet up. I remember ice skating with him on the pond. Always laughing. Always joking. Always with a warm hug for me and a kind word when I had to go to the funeral home. He will be missed. But he will always be with us in our memories What a great guy.

Libbie Hardwick Jan 5 2019 12:00 AM

My condolences to you and the family Mary. Bob meant so much to us young Fountain City knuckleheads in the late 50's and 60's. Being able to hang out and talk with our buddies and enjoy a cold Pepsi was a highlight of many days. I think he always enjoyed when he and I talked about my mom, Myra Quakenbush, being his teacher at Webster back in the late 30's. It was nice to have that connection to Bob. My hat off to the person that wrote the obituary as it captured Bob's presence and core to the Fountain City community. Rest in peace Bob!
Charlie Quakenbush

Charles Quakenbush Jan 4 2019 12:00 AM

What precious memories we have of Bob and Mary and the boys. Those memorieswill stay with us until it is our turn to leave this earth. We have spent the last couple of days remembering with Mindy, all the wonderful times spent with the Plankenhorn family. Our "home" for many years. If we began trying to list all of the fun times and giggles and laughs, they would go on foreverin this message. Frog gigging in the creek at Grandpa'sand eating frog legs at midnight. Canoeing the rivers of the Midwest. Just to name a "few" of the most precious memories we have. And, how we will always remember the famous plaid blue shirt that we re-gifted almost every year to Bob. He loved it so much.
So sorry that we will not be there with you but you are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Love, Max and Merilou

Merilou Fulks Jan 3 2019 12:00 AM

Mary and Family, Jeff and I are so sorry to hear of Bob's passing. What sweet man he was. I have such fond memories of our church family at Trinity. He will be missed. Our prayers for you of comfort and peace. Praying for God to wrap his arms around all of you. That your wonderful memories of Bob to sustain you.

Jeff and Pam Kettler Jan 3 2019 12:00 AM

Mary and family, we were so sorry to hear this news. So many things that I remember about Bob and your family. But I think the thing that I remember the most, and will miss the most about Bob, were his stories and jokes. Anytime we were back in Fountain City, whether at Mom and Dad's, or just coming thru town in later years, every time we saw Bob, he always had a story or a joke. Fountain City has lost another great one.

Brent & Maggie Hendrix Jan 3 2019 12:00 AM

Our deepest sympathies to the family. Bob brightened our lives in so many ways and his ease and cheerful humor always made everyone feel welcome. He will be a remembered fondly.

John and Kelley Davidson and family Jan 2 2019 12:00 AM

My heart goes out to you Mary and your family. Loved talking to him every time I saw him. You all will be in my prayers. Love Nellie Cheek

Nellie cheek Jan 2 2019 12:00 AM

My father and mother, Paul and Joan Hendrix were good friends of Bob and Mary and I enjoyed stories that Bob always told whenever he stopped over. My deepest condolences to the entire Plankenhorn family.
Eric Hendrix

Eric Hendrix Jan 2 2019 12:00 AM

My condolences to the Plankenhorn family. The Texaco station was just across the creek from where I last lived in Fountain City and remember it well!

Debra Dean Callahan Jan 2 2019 12:00 AM

Mary , thinking of you and yours tonight...Such a good man to all he met..we will see you soon..God's blessings to all..

Janice Moyer and Family Jan 2 2019 12:00 AM

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