Roger Vance Pluckebaum passed away peacefully at his Indianapolis home on Friday, November 10th, the day before his 86th birthday.
He was born on November 11, 1931 to Louis and Bernice Pluckebaum and had one brother, Jack. He attended Cathedral High School (1949) and Butler University (1953) and was a strong supporter of both schools. He served in the army from 1953 - 1955 and married Maryann (Beckerich) immediately following his release. Maryann and Roger would have celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary on Sunday, November 12th.
He enjoyed a longtime, successful career in auto part sales, working for Mobil Oil to Auto Pro which led him and his family to call a number of Indiana and Illinois cities home. Eventually, they settled in Indianapolis, which he called home again for the next 50 years. During that time, he was a long-time member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish and a current parishioner at St. Luke Catholic Church. He was generous with his time, volunteering regularly at St. Vincent DePaul and Indiana State Museum.
With a jovial spirit and an outgoing personality, Roger made friends everywhere he went. He cherished his friendships, and many of them go back to almost the entire 62 years of marriage. He was an avid tennis player and played regularly with the same group of friends into his 70's. He and Maryann also enjoyed a volleyball club for many years, and he kept a monthly lunch date with friends from Immaculate Heart for almost thirty years.
He and Maryann enjoyed traveling and experiencing the history and traditions of other cultures. Even with five small children, they took cross-country vacations to create lifelong memories, and all of them still stories about these trips today. Later, they visited many countries across Europe include an especially memorable trip to Germany that including a cruise along the Rhine River and a visit with German relatives that Roger had discovered through his ancestry research.
Working as Santa Claus at the Indiana State Museum for many years was one of his favorite activities. He had a big, joyful smile and a booming, but kind voice, and he loved getting to play that role for kids of all ages - especially his many grandchildren. Family was important to Roger, and he celebrated all of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren enthusiastically and unconditionally. He was a constant at sporting events, concerts, and performances all over the city and never hesitated to read a book, play a game, tell a story, or enjoy a cookie with one of his grandchildren.
Roger is survived by his wife, Maryann; children, Dave (Joann), Steve (Sheila), Mike, Paul (Renee), and AnneMarie (George Cottrell); grandchildren, Mary Catharine (Tony Grau), Peter (Morgan), Sarah (Brian Tague), Ryan, Shane, Rachel, Andrew, Maddie (Cottrell), Lucy (Cottrell), George (Cottrell), and Emily (Cottrell); and great-grandchildren, Lucas, Corrine (Grau), and Will; brother, Jack. He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Bernice; son, Joseph; grandson, Paul; and great grandson, Christopher.
Leppert Mortuary ( 740 E 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46240) is handling funeral arrangements and will host the viewing from 4-7 pm on Tuesday. The mass of Christian burial will take place at St. Luke Catholic Church on Wednesday at 11:30 am. Donations may be made in Roger's name to St. Vincent DePaul, Indiana State Museum, and St. Meinrad.
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