Robert J. Plant

Robert J. Plant 85, formerly of Cranston, Rhode Island died Saturday November 4, 2017 near his home in Garland, Maine. The son of George and Helen Plant, he was the brother of the late Marilyn (Plant) Guilmain. He is survived by his daughter, Michelle Wingate and her husband Bruce of Narragansett, Rhode Island, grandchildren Bridget (Campanale) Fitzsimmons and her husband Patrick of Virginia, Devon and Domenic Campanale and his girlfriend Kaitlin of Narragansett, Rhode Island, great-grandchildren Landon and Callie, nephews J Guilmain, Rev. Steven Guilmain and his wife Deborah, his former wife, June Marie Dean of Wakefield, Rhode Island and his step-daughter, Kelly Cronin Hart of Virginia. Known as “Bob”, his friends ranged from company presidents to blue-collar workers to the destitute. Bob believed that everyone deserved to be treated with respect and dignity, another reason why he will be missed. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 34 years and moved to Maine. It was there that he developed a lifelong passion for golf. A great day to Bob was to join his friends at the Dexter Memorial Golf Course for a round of golf. The only people he did not call friends were the ones he had not yet met. He was especially proud of two major events in his life: fatherhood (no daughter was better loved than his Michelle) and his membership in “The Chosin Few.” The battle of the Chosin Reservoir was the Iwo Jima of the Korean War. In November 1950, during the coldest winter North Korea had experienced in 100 years, Bob Plant’s army unit was surprised by 120,000 Chinese troops. The battle was fought over some of the roughest terrain during one of the harshest winter weather conditions of the Korean War. Bob Plant was one of the few Army survivors who would join the 1st Marine Division in a desperate 78-mile journey to freedom. Cut off from support, the Marines and army veterans were still able to fight their way through 10 Chinese infantry divisions. The attitude of those who served at the “Frozen Chosin” set an example that is still remembered by the Marines and soldiers, like Bob Plant, who fought against what seemed like impossible odds. For more than 40 years, Bob attended reunions of the “Chosin Few” that were held annually around the country. At one of the gatherings, a Marine first sergeant described Bob Plant as “Audie Murphy,” the most decorated soldier in WWII, as Bob manned a machine gun and threw grenades to keep attacking Chinese from overrunning key positions. It was during that time that Bob suffered frostbite in both feet, a problem that plagued him all his life. He refused to accept the idea that he was a war hero, claiming that the only war heroes were the men who died in Korea. Bob admired honesty and candor almost as much as he disliked insincerity and phoniness. While Bob liked to think of himself as a nonconformist, he embraced traditional values, such as family, patriotism and friendship. Anyone who was able to call Bob Plant friend, did not need much else in this world. When John Adams was named as Ambassador to France, a French noblemen said, “So you are the replacement for Benjamin Franklin.” Adams replied, “Sir, no one can replace Benjamin Franklin. I am merely his successor."

No one can replace Bob Plant.

A Chosin Prayer

Give us, Lord
the stubbornness
to hold,
When our enemy is thinning us.

Give us, Lord,
the courage
to rise,
When our enemy
comes among us.

Give us Lord,
the strength
to destroy,
When our enemy
bugles his retreat.

Give us, Lord,
the endurance
to regroup,
The heart to fight
our way out,
The faith to know
that you are
with us --

every snowbound
step of the way.

-- A Survivor --

His Funeral Service will be held on Thursday at 12:00 noon in The Butterfield Chapel 500 Pontiac Avenue Cranston. Visitation will be held for two hours prior to the Service beginning at 10:00AM. Burial with Military Honors will be on Friday morning at 10:30am in the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, Exeter.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob's memory to the Wounded Warrior Project or to the DAV would be appreciated.

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Gina Dadomo - 11/08/2017

Condolences to all your family, Bob was a true friend, he will be missed.

Ed Daly - 11/08/2017

I received a call today informing me that Bobby Plant passed away, he was my hero from the first time I heard of him, until ever, he will never be forgotton by me. When I came home from overseasBob called and said we should meet. He took me on a month long trip to Maine. We talked about things to get me caught up on life in the States, I found that he had a fascination with a show called Star Trek, it was a time with him I will never forget. I won't elaborate on what we said or what we did, but I can say it surely will be remembered. He was a good mentor for me, RIP Bobby. Your words an actions put me in the right direction.

Juli Kimball - 11/08/2017

Bob was my neighbor here in Garland, Maine for almost 20 years. Every time you saw him he had a smile and a wave. He loved my 4 Bassett Hounds I would always go over and apologize if they were extremely vocal he would just raise his hand as if to wave it away and said they don't bother me. He loved Bassetts but was glad they were mine he had one that would not housebreak and had to get rid of it. My husband Steve would help Bob out when he could or should I say when Bob allowed it. Bob was very active and independent. He formed a bond with our best friend and fellow neighbor Rick Martin. Rick had just recently asked Bob to stay off the ladder to the roof no by the time he got over there guess what he saw yup Bobs baseball cap popping up just over the roof line. Rick had brought a broom over to sweep the pine needles off his roof but they ended up finishing the task together. My parents Yvonne and Al Brown moved into the addition that was added to our house for them and who do you think was one of their first and greatest friend yes it was Bob. He would come over and talk about the war with my father or just come over and enjoy a cup of coffee. It would be out of the ordinary for the three of them not to see each other daily as they looked out for each other and had a grand time together. Bob did not pass alone, when the ambulances came Steve and Rick ran over to see if there was anything they could help with. They spoke to Bob, he new they were there he was not alone when the ambulance left for the hospital. Sadly we heard quickly that Bob was no longer with us he has passed away. This has changed our lives and neighborhood with the loss of a great man and friend. Bob had told my mother to make sure Al, my father, came back from Myrtle Beach in the spring sadly about the time I got my parents to Freeport, Maine to meet my brother to drive them to Myrtle Beach. My parents took the loss deeply and said coming home will not be the same. It seems weird to look over across the street and not see Bob working on something in his sheds or in the driveway waving to us. For Bobs family and other friends our hearts go out to you for the loss of such a wonderful person, we feel your pain. Tomorrow Bob will be honored and remembered at his veterans funeral high we are unable to attend but will be thinking of his family and the loss they are carrying. Our condolences from the Garland, Maine neighborhood.

Bruce Cheeseman - 11/08/2017

Condolences to your family. Michelle, I know how close you two were. Praying for your family

Joe & Martha Keaveney - 11/09/2017

We will miss you Bob. We'll miss your mischievous smile when you say your leaving because your bored, we'll miss you saying " what do you mean by that" when someone says hi , how are you, we'll miss you at the many dinners we have together. We will miss the stories you shared of your travels and how much you remember about certain places and your adventures. We'll miss your company watching the movie "The Quiet Man" on St. Patrick's Day. We'll miss your generosity of always bringing a gift to enhance our evening dinners, and your willingness to help whenever needed. Thank you for being our friend, and most of all for being a true American war hero.
To Michelle, who Bob treasured most, and all her family our sincere condolences and comforting prayers.

Susan M. - 11/09/2017

What beautiful words here. It's clear he survived his war experiences in order to affect the lives he went on to come into contact with. Condolences to those he left behind. Michelle and Kelly were my childhood friends, so though I'd not seen him for decades, Bob will always be in my memory. Their loss feels like mine. I'm so sorry.

Constance Daly - 11/09/2017

This is the third time I have written extensively about my memories with Bob and for some reason they don’t seem to post. Bob was my first cousin who babysat for me when I was a baby. He’d revel in his stories of how he’d be left alone with me and request help from neighbors to change my diaper! What was my mother thinking?
Over the years we kept contact monthly by visiting or, after I moved west, by phone. We never discussed politics or religion for our ideas would collide dramatically. I loved Bob and was so glad his neighbors in Maine beautifully articulated their relationships with Bob. I thought he lived in a log cabin in the woods surrounded by deer with a golf course in the vicinity! He would always assure me he was taken care of by his neighbors.

Jim and Pat Tobin - 11/10/2017

RIP Bob. We will miss you at our dinners and on the golf course. Your stories and memories always kept our attention. We got to know a true hero. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michelle and the rest of your family.

Suzy Grant - 11/15/2017

Bob will be missed! No matter when or where you saw him he had a ready smile and wave. He loved people and he loved life. Garland is just one of the many places that will miss his presents. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family RIP Mr. Plant!

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