ESSEX -- Walter Harrison "Ben" Plucknett, 48, died Nov. 17, 2002, at his home.
Born April 13, 1954, in Beatrice, Neb., son of Mary Jane Fry Plucknett of Boise, Idaho, and the late Glenn Walter Plucknett, he attended Beatrice High School, where coach Willis Jones encouraged his interest in throwing the discus. Plucknett was the state discus record-holder in Nebraska.
While attending the University of Missouri-Columbia, he participated as a member of the track team, throwing the discus and shot put. He received the Tom Botts Award as a freshman. In 1973, he was a member of the Junior Olympic Team in discus and won the Big 8 as a freshman, sophomore and senior at Missouri University. He graduated with a degree in animal husbandry.
Plucknett competed in many national and international competitions and was a member of the 1980 Olympic Team but did not compete due to the U.S. boycott of the Moscow games. He set a world record throw of 233-7, which still stands as the American record, less than two months after he broke his own world record of 237-4.
In 1989, he retired from track and became involved in the Highland Scottish Games, participating nationally and internationally, including the world championship in Edinburgh, Scotland, which he won. In 1993, he moved to Sikeston farm with his parents. For the past few years, he participated as a coach in the summer for Ironwood Throwers Camp in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and was involved with the discus throwers on the track team at the University of Missouri. He also worked with individual discus throwers across the country who contacted him for assistance. Plucknett was inducted in 2000 into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Hall of Fame.
In addition to his mother, he is survived by his brother, John Plucknett of Ogallaga, Neb.; one sister, Dr. Jan DeRoin of Boise; and five nieces and nephews, Leticia Plucknett, Jared Plucknett and Justin Plucknett of Ogallaga and David DeRoin and Eric DeRoin of Idaho; and his English setter, Susie.
No public services are scheduled and a private committal of his cremains will be held at a later date.
Nunnelee Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be sent to:
the Ironwood Throwing Camp in care of Bart Templeman Couer d'Alene, Idaho 83814
the University of Missouri Track Program Attention: Debbie Perkins P.O. Box 677 Columbia, Mo. 65205
to a charity of the donor's choice.