Col. (Ret.) John Plegge

VINE GROVE, KY. – Col. (Ret.) John Plegge, 88, of Radcliff, Kentucky, died on April 19, 2013, at Hardin Memorial Hospital in nearby Elizabethtown.

John was born to Joseph and Elisabeth (Santo) Plegge in 1924 in Salem, Ohio, and he graduated from Salem Senior High School in 1946.

He played football and served as a class officer. He then attended Mount Union College (Alliance, Ohio) for two years and played on the football team. He was then drafted by the U.S .Army in 1948 and completed his basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

After two years in the Army, John returned to Mount Union College and graduated in 1953 with a bachelor’s of science degree. He was accepted to the dental school at The Ohio State University and joined the U.S. Army Reserve.

He married Bonnie Jean Lewis in Columbus, Ohio, in June 1956. He graduated in 1957 with a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree, and then he received his commission in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant.

Dr. Plegge’s duty stations included Ft. Carson, Colorado, and then Seoul, South Korea. While in Korea, he organized and implemented a plan for U.S. Army dentists to work with local dentists to help provide dental care to poor Koreans.

He then was stationed at Ft. Sheridan, Illinois; Ft. Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Knox, Kentucky (dental commander of Dental Clinic #3); and Bangkok, Thailand (dental commander of the 54th Field Army Hospital). While in Thailand, Dr. Plegge again implemented a plan to help bring better dental health to the poor in Bangkok.

In 1970, Dr. Plegge was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky (project officer for the construction and equipment of four large dental clinics); Vicenza, Italy; Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, and back to Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he retired in 1986 with the rank of colonel after 38 years of service.

In 1974, Dr. Plegge earned a fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) after successful completion of 500 hours of continuing education and a final exam. In 1991, he successfully completed an additional 600 hours of continuing education and earned the Mastership of the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD). Of the 37,000 members of the AGD, only 1,800 have earned the MAGD.

Dr. Plegge was preceded in death by his parents, his wife (2002), stepdaughter and son-in-law (Donna Sue and Donald Dick), sisters Catherine (Francisco Viola) and Frances (Danny LaRocca); brothers Joseph, Domenic (Ruth), Willard (Barbara), Anthony (Josephine) and another Joseph. He is survived by three sisters, Lena (Stephen Birtalan), Parma and Mary; by his sons John Joseph (Rita) Plegge of Dickinson, North Dakota, and Christopher Craig (Lisa) Plegge of Falls Church, Virginia; daughters Regina Ann (Craig Adams) Plegge of Radcliff, Kentucky, and Joan Plegge Kille of Georgetown, Kentucky; grandchildren David (Karen) Daniels, Debbie Dean, John Kille, Lauren Kille and Catherine Kille; great-grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces.

Dr. Plegge had been a member of the Radcliff Lion’s Club and a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and the M Club (Mount Union College). He enjoyed playing cards with his friends at the Colvin Community Center in Radcliff.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday April 22, 2013 at Nelson-Edelen-Bennett Funeral Home in Radcliff. Entombment will be at North Hardin Memorial Gardens in Radcliff with military honors.

Visitation will be on Sunday from 5-8 p.m. and after 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed online at


(Paid obituary)