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Friday
Jun042010

My brother: Andy Plank, 1969-2010

My brother Andy died of ALS May 29 at his home in North Liberty, Iowa, after fighting the disease nearly five years. He was 40 and left behind his wife, Susan, and their two sons, Zac, 10, and Brennan, 7. What follows are two things. First, my thoughts about writing a eulogy for Andy and second, the eulogy itself that I gave at his funeral service, June 2:

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Friday
Jul032009

Grandpa's Hills

This is my eulogy to my maternal grandfather, Gerald Scotton, who died Sunday, June 28, 2009, at the age of 96. He farmed near Northboro, Iowa, nearly all his life. In 2001, he moved to a care center in nearby Shenandoah and in 2007, he moved to a care center in Columbus Junction to be closer to his daughter, my mom.

His funeral was at the Northboro United Methodist Church on July 1. I read the eulogy as an introduction to a song I sang and played on guitar:

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Monday
Jun082009

An influential teacher retires

Sandy Martin, the high school English teacher who got me involved in newspaper, yearbook, speech, drama, and writing, retired at the end of the 2008-09 school year. On Sunday, June 7, I was among 27 speakers who surprised her at her retirement ceremony. This is what I said:

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Monday
Jun012009

My Ode to Dad Upon Selling the Shop

On June 1, 2009, my Dad, Chuck Plank, ends 46 years of ownership of Plank Implement, the farm equipment dealership he began in Columbus City, Iowa. Although he has sold the shop, Dad will remain as manager. Obviously, the shop has been an important part of our family’s life for as long as I can remember. My Grandpa Ray (Dad’s dad) worked there for many years. Mom worked there keeping books in the early years. We three siblings—Jodie, Andy, and I—all had our first jobs there, sweeping floors, taking inventory of the parts, or my favorite, filling the pop machine. On May 30, his employees past and present honored him at a party marking this transition. I read this poem to mark the occasion:

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