Ben Plucknett

Thursday, November 21, 2002

ESSEX, Mo. -- Walter Harrison "Ben" Plucknett, 48, of Essex died Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002, at his home.

He was born April 13, 1954, in Beatrice, Neb., son of Glenn Walter and Mary Jane Fry Plucknett.

Plucknett attended Beatrice High School and was the state discus record holder in Nebraska.

He received a degree in animal husbandry from the University of Missouri-Columbia and was a member of the track team, throwing the discus and shot put. He received the Tom Botts Award as a freshman, was a member of the Junior Olympics team in 1973 in discus, and won the Big 8 as a freshman, sophomore and senior at the university.

Plucknett participated in many national and international competitions, and was a member of the 1980 Olympics team but did not compete due to the U.S. boycott of the Moscow games. He threw a world record in discus in 1981 and still holds the American record. He retired from track about 1989. He became involved in the Highland Scottish Games, participating nationally and internationally, and won the world championship in Edinburgh, Scotland.

He moved to Sikeston, Mo., in 1993 to farm with his parents. The past few years he was a summer coach at Ironwood Throwers Camp in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, was involved with discus throwers on the track team at the University of Missouri, and worked with individual discus throwers across the country who contacted him for assistance.

Plucknett was inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Hall of Fame in 2000.

Survivors include his mother of Boise, Idaho; a brother, John Plucknett of Ogallaga, Neb.; and a sister, Dr. Jan DeRoin of Boise.

He was preceded in death by his father.

A private committal service will be held at a later date.

Nunnelee Funeral Chapel in Sikeston is in charge of arrangements.