Richard A. Plunkett, of Crystal Lake, passed away May 5, 2023 at the age of 82.
He was born September 10, 1940 in Hackensack, NJ. The son of the late Walter and Marguerite Plunkett.
Richard graduated from Rutgers University in 1964 with a commission in the Air Force ROTC and immediately went on active duty as a jet pilot and was promoted to Captain. He flew 239 missions and spent 460 combat days in Vietnam. During this time, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross , 11 Air Medals, and 2 Unit citations.
In 1964, Capt. Plunkett was stationed at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines with 509th Fighter Interceptor Squadron surviving more than 65 weeks of combat duty. For shorter periods, he was stationed at various Vietnamese bases, flying the F102 all-weather jets to keep away enemy aircraft. His Vietnamese service ribbon has three stars for the three different time zones into which the combat area has been divided. From 1966 - 1969, he flew as a pilot with the Falcons 27th Interceptor Fighter Squadron.
In 1970, he continued his aviation career as a commercial pilot for Delta Airlines and retired from the airline in 2000. Aside from his passion for aviation, he was an avid car enthusiast who attended and exhibited at car shows all while acquiring cars. As he enjoyed watching his daughter and son start their own families, he shared his passions with his grandchildren.
Richard is survived by his loving wife, Fidela; his son Mark (Adoleena) Plunkett; his grandchildren, Mark and Mia Plunkett and Ryan, Ella and Keira Conlon and their father Sean Conlon; and siblings, Jim Plunkett and Janice Kherle.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Conlon; and sister, Nancy Plunkett.
Visitation will be held Thursday, May 11, 2023 from 4-8pm at the Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory, 419 E Terra Cotta Ave (Rt. 176) Crystal Lake. Visitation will continue the following day, Friday, May 12, from 8:30am until prayers are held at the funeral home at 9:30am with procession to follow to St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church for the funeral Mass at 10:00am. Burial will follow at Crystal Lake Memorial Park.
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.