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Francis “Frank” Herman Ploof
- Name: Francis "Frank" Herman Ploof
- Location of Birth: Trout Lake Township, Itasca County, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
- Date of Birth: September 21, 1932
- Date of Death: August 23, 1995 (62 years old)
- Parents: Charles Ploof and Alice (Carlson) Ploof
- High School and Class: Grand Rapids High School, Grand Rapids, Minnesota
- Highest Rank: AIC (Airman First Class)
- Branch: Air Force
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Frank was a United States Air Force veteran serving from 1950 to 1954.
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News article from August 27, 1995 edition of the Grand Rapids Herald Review:
"Federal Aviation Administration officials were in Grand Rapids Friday, August 25th, to determine the cause of the ultra light aircraft crash that took the lives of two Itasca County men Wednesday night, August 23, 1995.
Itasca County Sheriff's Department responded to the call at about 7:30 p.m. when it received a 911 call from Wendigo Golf Pro, Ken Baril.
Dead are Frances Herman Ploof, 62, of rural Grand Rapids and Robin Dale Peck, 33, of rural Deer River. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
Sheriff Department officials indicated that Peck was the pilot and owner of the ultra light aircraft.
Witnesses who saw the plane said the aircraft was experiencing engine trouble when it went down about two miles south of Grand Rapids in Harris Township.
George Winkler, Wendigo Golf Course employee, said he was playing golf on the Number 7 green. "We normally don't pay much attention to planes because they come over all the time, but it sounded different.
It was roaring, then it died out, then it roared and died out. Then there was a big bang--it wasn't in one piece, it was separating--it just fell. It disappeared behind the trees and there was a thud."
Winkler says he hollered at another golfer to go to the pro shop and call 911.
Then he jumped into his truck along with fellow golfer, Dale Magnuson.
Winkler said by the time the two arrived on the accident scene, three other people were there.
"They (Ploof and Peck) were under the plane," he said. "We lifted it up, but it was obvious they were dead."
Winkler said he lives across the road from the Ploofs, but had no idea until Thursday morning it was his neighbor in the crash.
Magnuson was a bit shocked to see the plane go down. "You know how you get, I was kind of numb."
But Winkler and Magnuson weren't the only ones to witness the crash.
Robert Amborn's wife also was among those to have viewed the plane flying low at about tree top height.
A piece of the aircraft almost hit the Amborn's home.
"We didn't see it fall or crash because of the woods," said Amborn. "We lost track in the trees."
Itasca County Sheriff Pat Medure said his department is continuing its investigation into the aircraft accident. The Sheriff's Department was assisted on the scene by the Grand Rapids Police and Fire Departments as well as MEDS 1 Ambulance Service in Grand Rapids, Minnesota."
Frank had worked for Blandin Paper Company in Grand Rapids, Minnesota for twenty-seven years and was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and a former member of the Grand Rapids Moose Lodge.
He married Regena Saxhaug on June 2, 1976, at Bethel Lutheran Church, in Bovey, Minnesota.
Preceded in death by his parents and a brother, John, he is survived by his wife, Regena; five sons, Donald Dickey, Rayne Dickey, Charles Ploof, Frank Ploof, and Rian Ploof; a daughter, Linda Aubert; a sister, Ruby Anderson; and seven grandchildren.
Buried in Harris Cemetery at Grand Rapids, Minnesota. (Plot 220.127.116.11)
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