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Mark Allen Plummer

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Mark A Plummer, age 92, passed away Tuesday, November 9, 2021 in Sun City, AZ. There will be a Celebration of Life service at 1:00pm on Monday, December 13, 2021, at the Sun City Christian Church, 9745 W Palmeras Dr, Sun City, AZ 85373.

Mark was born on June 1, 1929 in Seneca, Missouri. Mark attended the University of Missouri and Pittsburg State University in Kansas, where he completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Science.

He was drafted into the Army in 1952. On April 28, 1953, he married Betty Smith. She followed him to his assignment in Wurzburg, Germany, where they lived for a year and began their marriage of 68 years.

Mark entered graduate school at the University of Kansas and earned his PhD in history in 1960. He taught American and Asian History at Illinois State University until his retirement in 1994. During his career, he was a Fulbright professor at National Taiwan University; served as President of the Illinois State Historical Society and wrote several books and articles, culminating in book of the year awarded by the Illinois State Historical Society for his Lincoln’s Rail-Splitter: Governor Richard J Oglesby book.

Mark enjoyed a rich life of travel, adventure, sports, academia, and the love of family/friends. A highlight for Mark was when he and Betty traveled to Beijing in 1989 during the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests & Massacre. He relished being a part of history!

Mark is survived by his wife Betty, two children: Robert Plummer (Dallas, TX), Lisa Borho (Sun City, AZ); two grandchildren: Chelsea Plummer James (Jeff), Joshua Plummer; and great grandson Jacob James.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Betty Plummer International Studies Outstanding Senior Scholarship. Donate at: (choose Illinois State Excellence Fund, then donate, then write in name of scholarship in textbox). You may also send a check to Illinois State University Foundation, Campus Box 8000, Normal, IL 61790 or call 309-438-2594.