William McGuire Plonk ’49

Rev. William McGuire Plonk, 95, died April 10, 2021 at King’s Grant Retirement Community in Martinsville VA, where he lived for almost twenty years.

Born in Franklin NC on August 19, 1925, Bill grew up in Spindale NC, Macon GA, Winston-Salem, and Charlotte, spending many summers on his grandmother’s farm in Franklin.

After graduating from RJ Reynolds High School, he served as an Army second lieutenant during WWII in Alabama and Alaska. He graduated from Davidson College as a physics major in 1949 and Union Theological Seminary (Richmond) in 1954. 

Following ordination in the Presbyterian Church, he served pastorates in Lawrenceville VA, Greensboro NC, Spartanburg SC, and Virginia Beach before settling on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where he served churches in Onancock and Accomac for over 25 years. He was the founding pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia SC, which celebrates its sixtieth anniversary this year. He continued to serve as an interim minister in Melfa, Chatham, Callaway, and Stuart VA after his retirement.

Bill loved his God, his family, and the NC mountains. He also loved to travel, taking his family on pastorate exchanges to Canada and Scotland and representing the Church on several trips to Ireland.

He was an active member of the Rotary and Lions Clubs wherever he lived and served on numerous community boards. He was known as the conscience of Accomack County.

He possessed a beautiful baritone voice and enjoyed singing as much as preaching. In Scotland he was famous as the preacher who sounded like Andy Griffith. He loved to visit parishioners, often unannounced. Despite working weekends and holidays, he was a devoted husband and father and will be missed greatly by his family and many, many friends.

He was predeceased by his father Thomas Motley Plonk, his mother Mary Louise McGuire Plonk, his brother Thomas Motley Plonk, Jr., his sister Margaret Plonk Anderson, and his beloved wife Nancy Moore Plonk, whom he cared for devotedly after her stroke in 1997 until her death in 2011.

He is survived by his sister Mildred Plonk Folk (Charlotte), daughter Mary and Richard Lucas (Roanoke), son William and Beth Plonk (Durham NC), seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Services will be held on Saturday April 17 at 11 AM at Harris Funeral Home in Kings Mountain NC with burial in Mountain Rest Cemetery.

Donations may be made to King’s Grant or Mountain Valley Hospice.