Mary Beth Plunkett, age 73 of Wausau, WI, lost her battle with Parkinson’s disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis on March 8, 2019 at Pride TLC. Mary was born on November 21, 1945 to Erna and Ray Kluetz of the town of Maine. Mary was a 1963 graduate of Wausau Senior High School. She worked at Employers Insurance for a number of years. On March 20, 1965, in very wintry weather, she married Patrick Plunkett, at St. John Lutheran Church, town of Maine. She left Employers in 1969 and started volunteering at the North Central Health Care Center in the early ‘70’s. After a short time, she was asked to work as a full-time staff member, working with the developmentally disabled. She enjoyed the difficult task of bringing those less fortunate individuals into a more normal life style as much as possible. She also was involved in teaching Sunday school at Pilgrim Lutheran Church for as long as she could.
Mary was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1988 and with Parkinson’s disease in 1992. She bravely resisted the effects of her illnesses but had to retire from NCHC in 1999 after 25 years of service. In 2003 she was forced to use a walker and in 2007 was reduced to using a wheelchair. As she continued to decline, her husband, along with family members, friends, and neighbors, provided necessary support so she could remain at home. However, on February 4, 2019 the Parkinson’s began its final stages of progression. She passed away under the excellent care of Pride TLC.
Survivors include her husband of 53 years, Patrick Plunkett, brother Mike (Sue Harris) Kluetz, Brother-in-Law Ken Klug, two nieces, Lisa (Greg) Nowicki and Sara (Mike) Agamaite, two nephews, Karl (Mayumi) Kluetz and Erik (Estreitta) Kluetz and one aunt, Mary Stone. She was preceded in death by her sister, Judy Klug, her aunt Mick and uncle Johnny, uncle Stoney, and by both parents.
A memorial service will be held at Helke Funeral Home, 302 Spruce Street, Wausau, WI, 54401 on March 18th, with visitation from 9:00 to 11:00 am followed by the memorial service. Pastor Dan Sire will officiate. Entombment will be at Restlawn Memorial Park, Wausau, WI.
Memorials may be donated to the Marathon County Humane Society, 7001 Packer Dr, Wausau, WI 54401, or to Aspirus Health Foundation – Comfort Care and Hospice Services, 425 Pine Ridge Blvd, Wausau, WI 54401.
We wish to give a special thanks to the Neurology staff at Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, WI, particularly Mahala Earnhart, R. N., for their help in dealing with Parkinson’s disease and to Pride TLC and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services for their outstanding professionalism and compassionate care of Mary in her final days.