CORALVILLE, Iowa — Ben and Carol Ploof, married for more than 61 years and separated by only hours of each other’s death, are together for eternity, dying on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, at the Coralville United Methodist Church. Visitation will be 4-7:30 p.m. Friday, concluding with Masonic memorial services at 7:30 p.m., at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service in Iowa City. A memorial scholarship fund will be established in their memory. To share a memory, thought or condolence, please go to the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.
Carol Jean Hanson was born June 12, 1934, on the family farm near Early, Iowa. She attended school in Early until her senior year, when she attended and graduated class valedictorian of Cushing High School. She went on to attend Sioux City Methodist School of Nursing. The years that followed allowed her to practice nursing in hospitals, doctors' offices, schools and as an instructor at the University of Iowa School of Nursing before going on to help run the families’ businesses.
Ben Harvey Ploof was born April 19, 1930, in Sioux City, Iowa. Growing up in Sioux City, he graduated from Central High School. Following high school, Ben worked in Sioux City until deciding to further his education at Morningside College. Ben received his bachelor’s degree in education from Iowa State Teachers College, and in 1959, he earned his master’s degree in school administration. Ben’s professional life started in education as a teacher, high school principal and later as superintendent of schools. He moved on to work at the Iowa Department of Public Safety, then Aetna Life and Casualty as director of their safety education department. He later worked at the University of Iowa Traffic Safety Center as community services director before going on to help run the families’ businesses.
Carol and Ben met at a Methodist Church camp at Lake Okoboji as church camp chaperons. They were soon to discover that this was the beginning of a wonderful life together, marrying on June 4, 1955. In 1973 Ben, Carol and family moved to Twelfth Avenue in Coralville, commonly known as the Ploof home … the house with the big RV in the driveway! Ben and Carol did so much together, from raising their children, helping them through boy scouts and girl scouts, functions at school, and activities in the community. They were a very active presence in their churches. They were also in business together. Their business, Triple T Enterprises, Inc. (Teaching, Testing and Training) produced driver’s license tests for many states. They also owned and operated the Portrait Shop, capturing memories for many families. Both Carol and Ben lived their strong faith, supported many things that were important to them, including the Masonic Lodge, Order of Eastern Star and the Chamber of Commerce.
Ben and Carol enjoyed traveling all over the United States and spent time abroad exploring 18 countries. They loved showing their pictures and telling stories of their adventures. The true joy in their lives was spending time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ben’s storytelling abilities were well-known!
Their family includes their four children, Steven Ploof (Dyana), Cheryl McMann (Chris), David Ploof (Christine) and Janell Ploof Michel; grandchildren, Cassandra Rasmussan (Dave), Glynette Bennett (Chad), Pamela Kahlstrom (Doug), Nicholas Woodley (Alexis), Kathryn Gaunt (Jeremy), Amanda Ploof, Dalton Ploof, Julia Alvarez and Jessica Alvarez; great-grandchildren, Michel, Rylee, Sean, Conner, Dustin, Lylith, Liam, Christopher, Atticus, Tyler, Kolton, Peyton, Gabriel, James, Daniel and Donyeal. Also surviving are Carol’s brothers, Dean Hanson (Karen), and John Hanson (Renee); and their sister-in-law, Marjorie Ploof.
Carol and Ben were preceded in death by their parents, Clarence and Ruth Hanson and Ben and Amanda Ploof; a son-in-law, Don Woodley; Carol’s brother, Kenneth Hanson, and Ben’s brother, Marvin Ploof.