Ollie Margaret (Miner) Plants was born on June 22, 1902 in Washington, Washington County, PA, the daughter of Harry Orlan and Armena Viancy (Cain) Miner.
The photo seen here shows Ollie as an adorable young girl. She loved to wear large ribbons in her hair.
Ollie suffered throughout her life with high blood pressure. This was due, some said, to the fact that her mother nursed her older sister the entire time leading up to Ollie's birth.
In the summer of 1919, Ollie's father died unexpectedly of a stroke, when she was only 17 years of age. Despite the obvious pressure to go to work, she remained in school, and worked part time as a teacher and a bookeeper. In 1921, she became the first member of her family to graduate from high school.
On July 14, 1921, at the age of 19, Ollie married John Leonard Plants (1900-1983). A family Bible notation records that their wedding ceremony took place at 8:30 o'clock in the evening.
John was born on Jan. 14, 1900, the son of Leonard Abraham and Mary (McClelland) Plants of Dallas, Marshall County, WV. Prior to marriage, John was a student and had resided as a boarder with Ollie's great-uncle and aunt, Stephen W. and Mime Johnston, in Claysville, Washington County.
Ollie (with large bow) and her elder sister Grace (Miner) White are seen here in dark dresses, perhaps at the funeral of their father in July 1919.
They had seven children – John Lewis Plants, Robert Lloyd Plants, Donald Leroy Plants, Edward Lawrence Plants, Richard Allan Plants, Margaret "Jean" Alkula Vandigriff and Barbara Snyder.
Sadly, their firstborn, John Lewis Plants, contacted gastroenteritis, an infection of the digestive system. When this led to an obstruction in the intestines, he died at age three months, 12 days in Washington Hospital on Aug. 6, 1922. His tender remains were placed into rest in the Miner family plot in Washington Cemetery.
Ollie and John lived in Washington circa 1922 at 154 Henderson Avenue. They moved to Claysville, then to Fairmont, West Virginia and again to Martins Ferry, Ohio. Eventually they settled on a tenant farm on Center Road near Austinburg, Ashtabula County, OH. There, they worked as "farmers on a sharecropping basis and industrial workers," said the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference Journal.
During World War II, Ollie and John saw three sons go off to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. One of them -- Donald, seen here with his parents -- was taken prisoner in Germany and spent significant time in a Nazi prison camp. One can only imagine the anxiety that the family underwent during that difficult time in our nation's history.
Ollie's sister in law, Monalea (Ullom) Miner, is known to have traveled from her home in Aliquippa, PA to help take care of the children as Ollie suffered health issues.
In mid-January 1946, after suffering for several years from hypertension and chronic inflammation of the kidneys, Ollie suffered a massive stroke. A day later, she died, on Jan. 16, 1946, at the age of just 44. At the time, sons Bob and Ed were in the Armed Forces in the South Pacific, and Don was stationed in the Army in Georgia, while the youngest daughters were in their teenage years. The sons in the military were unable to get home for the funeral.
Ollie was laid to rest in Saybrook Cemetery, about half a mile south of Route 20 along Ohio Route 45 west of Ashtabula. Her official Ohio death certificate erroneously reads that she was interred in Edgewood Cemetery in Ashtabula.
Three years after Ollie's death, John married Hazel (Luke) Ream (1907-2002). Their wedding took place in May 1949.
Hazel had been married once before, to Lawrence (?) Ream. Hazel brought at least one son to the marriage, Graham Luke Reams. Tragically, Graham, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, was killed in action on Sept. 22, 1951, during the Korean War. His remains were returned stateside for burial in the Saybrook Cemetery.
They spent their remaining years in Ohio and Florida.
John died in April 1983. He is mentioned in Louis Thomas Farabee’s undated book, Genealogy of the Farabees in America.
Hazel survived him by nearly two decades. She passed away on Nov. 20, 2002, in Largo, at the age of 95.
~ Son Robert Lloyd Plants ~
Son Robert Lloyd Plants (1923-2013) was born on March 21, 1923 in Washington. As a boy he moved to Ohio with his parents and siblings.
At the age of 28, on Nov. 21, 1951, Bob married 20-year-old Jeanne A. Goode (1931-2004) at Prospect Presbyterian Church in Ashtabula. Jeanne was a native of Saginaw, MI, and the daughter of Edgar L. and Edna (Dey) Goode.
They resided in Ashtabula, and had six children -- David L. Plants, James A. Plants, Martha "Marti" Bogdon, Kenneth Lloyd Plants, Dorothy L. Ziemer and Nancy Piltz.
Bob enjoyed photography, and had a knack for the art. He opened his own studio in 1953. Eventually he became a tool and die maker for the plastic manufacturer Rockwell International. He also was a freelance photographer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
In 1985, he was named Ashtabula County Apiary (Bee) Inspector, a position which he held for 11 years. He was featured in numerous newspaper stories over the years, including a 1999 issue of the Star-Beacon. Bob graciously contributed honey products as door prizes at the Minerd-Miner-Minor Reunion.
Jeanne "was employed by the former Childs Motors and Play & Learn of Ashtabula for several years," said the Star Beacon. She "was a life member of the Harbor United Methodist Church, Contact Tele Ministries, PTA, United Methodist Women's group, Ashtabula Co. and Trumbull Co. Bee Association. Jeanne enjoyed gardening, flowers, cats, birds, traveling especially her trip to Europe and rail trip to Colorado, and being a kind hearted Christian to others."
Jeanne passed away at the age of 73 on Nov. 8, 2004, with burial at Greenlawn Memory Gardens in North Kingsville, OH.
Bob outlived his wife by eight and a half years. He moved into a home in New Castle, Lawrence County, PA and celebrated his 90th birthday on March 21, 2013. He slipped away peacefully into eternity on May 13, 2013, surrounded by his family. Interment was in Greenlawn Memory Gardens in Ashtabula, with a memorial service held at the city's First United Methodist Church.
Son Kenneth Lloyd Plants (1958-2015) was born on Feb. 25, 1958 in Ashtabula. His first wife was Janet Richards (1952-2005), daughter of Robert M. and Sarah Jane Richards Sr. The marriage produced children Joseph R. Plants and Jessica A. Plants. Janet was a graduate of Morrisville State College, a U.S. Air Force veteran and a dietician for the Richland County (SC) District One. The couple later divorced, with Janet making her home in Columbia, SC until her death from lupus at age 52 on Feb. 9, 2005. Kenneth wed for a second time to Ann (Foster) Braddock who had three children of her own to a previous marriage -- Rev. Zachery W. Braddock, Ian S. Braddock and J. Alexander Braddock. They lived in Blythewood, SC. Ken was a longtime flight medic with the U.S. Air Force Reserve 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Wing and served in Operations Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. He also was deployed in Haiti during the 1990s. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and was a licensed aircraft pilot. He was employed by the U.S. Department of Defense at Fort Jackson as a paramedic for more than a quarter of a century, a volunteer fireman with the Richland County Fire Department, and taught at the South Carolina Fire Academy. He was also a member of Windsor United Methodist Church. Stricken with cancer, he died in Blythewood, SC on May 12, 2015.
~ Son Rev. Donald Leroy Plants ~
Son Rev. Donald Leroy Plants (1925-2006) was born on July 15, 1925.
He married Jeanette Caldwell (Aug. 27, 1927-2007), daughter of Lionel Eugene and Lois (Hardin) Caldwell.
Their children were Donald E. Plants, Marshall Caldwell Plants and Anita Marie Manley Sealock.
While serving in World War II, Donald's hearing was damaged by gunfire. As an "amphibious engineer," he was involved in the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge, and was captured as a Nazi prisoner of war (POW).
After the war, he entered the ministry.
Near tragedy befell the family in March 1968. While their children Marshall and Anita were riding in a sports car on U.S. Route 27, near the border of Chattanooga and Floyd Counties, a fuel truck carrrying gasoline collided with their vehicle. The collision caused an explosion, and "smoke from the flames was visible for several miles and officers were forced to close the highway to traffic," reported the Rome (GA) News-Tribune. Both children survived the crash but were severely burned, with Anita pulled from the wreckage by a bystander. Doctors told the family that the children would not live through the night. But they pulled through and have lived long and productive lives.
Donald and Jeanette started the Lakeside Assembly of God Church in Centre, AL. According to the Cherokee County Herald, "Their first service was held Easter Sunday 1976 with only the Plants family. Attendance increased from the family to eight and then on to a record attendance of 42 persons.” Other of his activities were reported over the years in the Anniston (AL) Star.
Jeanette served as vice president, and daughter Anita as secretary, of the Christian Women's Fellowship of Centre circa 1984. Active in the “Clowns for Christ” ministry in Centre, she was pictured on the cover of the Gadsden Times’ "Mountain Lakes Magazine," in 1998. Donald was profiled and pictured in a July 9, 2001 article, "Veteran's Survived More than War," published in the PolkOnline.com website. He was a guest speaker at our 1998 reunion.
Donald died in Centre on April 15, 2006, at the age of 80.
Jeanette only survived her husband by 10 months. She too passed into eternity on Feb. 6, 2007. They rest in Weiss Lake Memorial Gardens in Cherokee County, AL.
Son Marshall Caldwell Plants ( ? - ? ) is married to Kaye ( ? - ? ). They dwell in Rome, GA. Marshall is a talented pianist and singer. Over the years, he has sung the National Anthem at Rome Braves minor league baseball games.
Daughter Anita "Marie" Plants has been married twice. Her first husband was (?) Manley ( ? - ? ). Together, they bore two children, Jonathan Manley and Marshall Manley. After a divorce, she wedded again circa 1996 to Matthew Wayne Sealock (Dec. 11, 1962-2021), son of Edward and Dorothy (Randall) Sealock. Their union endured for 24 years until cleaved apart by death. Anita was employed as a longtime third grade teacher at Elm Street in the Rome City Schools. Matthew served in the U.S. Navy and spent his career in maintenance at NWGR Hospital, Ashland Park Apartments, Elm Street Elementary School and last with Shorter University. Their residence in 2021 was in Armuchee, GA. Tragically, at the age of 58, Matthew was killed in an autombile crash in Rome on April 22, 2021. He was driving a Ford Escape when an oncoming vehicle crossed Martha Berry Highway near Berry College and collided with his car head-on. Funeral services were co-officiated by his brothers-in-law Pastor Marshall Plants and Rev. Donald E. Plants as well as Pastor Steve Gandy. Interment of the remains was in Oaknoll Memorial Gardens, with military rites provided by the American Legion post.
~ Son Edward Lawrence Plants ~
Son Edward Lawrence Plants (1927-1985) was born on May 2, 1927 in Fairmont, Marion County, WV. He grew up in a variety of towns in West Virginia and Ohio, the last of which would have been near Ashtabula.
He pursued a career as an educator and earned additional income as a painter. He received higher education at Bowling Green University, the University of Connecticut at New Britain, the University of North Carolina at Raleigh and the University of South Florida.
In his early 20s, he taught in Bowling Green, Wood County, OH.
On July 26, 1953, in a wedding ceremony held in Wood County, the 26-year-old Edward was united in holy matrimony with 16-year-old Betty Cook (Nov. 24, 1935-living). She was the daughter of Fred and Edith (Ritchie) Cook and a native of Van Wert County, OH, but a resident of Cygnet, Wood County at the time of marriage.
Betty also was an educator, having received a degree from St. Petersburg Junior College (1970) and the University of South Florida (1972). She then taught in these Florida schools: Orange Grove Elementary at Seminole, Kennedy Middle and Ponce de Leon Elementary at Clearwater.
The couple produced three children -- Lydia Marie Good, Lawrence Edward "Larry" Plants and Leonard Clark Plants.
In addition to Bowling Green, Ed taught mathematics and/or coached sports at schools in Liberty Township, Richfield and Akron, Ohio.
Later, after relocating to Florida, he was an educator at John Fitzgerald Kennedy Middle School in Clearwater, FL (1963-1985). He is said to have been one of a group of teachers who opened the Kennedy school for the inaugural 1963-1964 year.
He is honored on a plaque at Memphis St. Jude's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, for his decade of work promoting Math-A-Thon.
Ed passed away in 1985 in Florida. He was laid to rest at the Bay Pines National Cemetery in Bay Pines, FL, located between St. Petersburg and Seminole.
Daughter Lydia Marie Plants (1955-living) was born in about 1955 in Bowling Green and moved with her family to Florida in the early 1960s. She studied at St. Petersburg Junior College and was employed with the U.S. Post Office in Clearwater. On April 5, 1997, she married Steve Good ( ? -living). For years she was an independent beauty consultant with Mary Kay. Now retired, they live in Clearwater.
Son Lawrence Edward "Larry" Plants (1958-living) was born in 1958 in Bowling Green. As a child, he relocated to Florida with his parents. He graduated in 1979 from Pinellas Vocational Technical School with a specialty in diesel mechanics. He made a home in the 1980s in Clearwater and today is in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Son Leonard Clark Plants ( ? - ? ) was born in Bowling Green. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, enlisting in September 1979, and was a member of the 9th Engineer Support Battalion stationed at Okinawa. After completing his term of duty, he worked for Suburban Gas. He has resided in Largo, FL.
~ Son Rev. Richard Allan Plants ~
Son Rev. Richard Allan Plants (1929-1991) was born in 1929.
As a collegian at Taylor University in Upland, IN, Dick was a cross-country runner, set school records that lasted for 26 years and in 1978 was named to its athletic hall of fame. His plaque, seen below, hangs in the school gymnasium.
Richard was married twice. His first bride was Winifred Lucille Brookover (1929-1954). They were wed in 1952, when he and she both were about age 23. Winifred was the daughter of C. Edgar Brookover of of Newark, Licking County, OH and belonged to the East Main Street Evangelical United Brethren Church. She had studied at Newark College of Commerce and Taylor University which is where she may have met Richard.
The couple made a home in Dover, NJ and bore one son, Mark Allan Plants. There, she taught at Mt. Hope School in Rockaway, NJ.
Richard was transferred to the Middlbury Center Methodist Church in Tioga County, PA in 1953 or 1954.
Tragically, after just two years of marriage, Winifred contracted a deadly illness in December 1953. As her health declined, she returned to her parents' home in Newark. She passed away in Newark Hospital on July 26, 1954. Funeral services were held in the Brookover home and then the family church. Her remains were placed into eternal repose in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark, Licking County, OH. The Newark Advocate and Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette each printed an obituary.
After two years of grieving, in 1956, Richard married Joyce Whittemore ( ? -living).
They produced two children of their own -- Bonnie Lynn Horton and Rev. Edward John Plants.
Richard became ordained as a Methodist minister in the former Northeast Ohio Annual Conference. He went on to serve these churches: Marengo/Fulton and Canal Fulton, OH (1955-1964), DelNorte/Bowen Charge and Glenwood Springs, CO (1964-1972), Newcastle, WY (1972-1978), and Highlands and Hotchkiss/Crawford, CO (1983-1990). Said the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference Journal, during their tenure at Gillette, “Dick and Joyce led the newly developing congregation from an initial 27 members to 244 members with their own new facility and a fully supported congregation." He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, golf, reading, travel and rock hunting.
After suffering from cancer, and taking a disability leave of absence in 1990, Dick passed away in Loveland, CO on July 11, 1991, at the age of 62. His remains were cremated and returned to Ohio for burial at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark, Licking County. Obituaries were published in a variety of newspapers in communities where he had lived or pastored, including the Casper (WY) Star-Tribune, Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post, Loveland Reporter Herald, Rapid City (SC) Journal, Gillette (WY) News-Record and Ashtabula Star Beacon, as well as the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference Journal.
Son Mark Allan Plants (1953-living) was born in 1953 in Dover, Morris County, NJ. He moved frequently as a boy when his father was transferred to church pastorship assignments. Mark graduated from high school in Glenwood Springs, CO and Fort Lewis College in 1975 with a bachelor of arts in Spanish. In 1969-1970, he was a foreign exchange student living in Saltillo, Mexico. He also took part in a Study Abroad Program in Ecuador in 1974 and spent several weeks in 1980 in the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) in the years before Communism collapsed. He has worked as an English-Spanish translator, and with his spouse Michael Hughes, attended our 2008 "Pittsburgh 250" family reunion.
Daughter Bonnie Lynn Plants (1957-living) was born in 1957 in Mt. Gilead, Morrow County, OH. In 1979, she received her bachelor of arts in chemistry from Southern Methodist University and in 1981 a bachelor of arts in nursing from Rush University. On Aug. 25, 1984, she was united in marriage with Gregory Joe Horton in nuptials held in Dallas, TX. At the time, he sold plastics for American Petrofina. She has worked at Blue Valley School District. Today they live in Overland Park, KS.
Son Rev. Edward John Plants (1960-living) was born in 1960. He received a bachelor's degree in 1982 from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. While at SMU, he met his future wife, Elizabeth Wise (1960-living). They were wed on June 11, 1983 in nuptials held at First Baptist Church in Dallas, officiated by her father and by Rev. W.A. Carswell. Edward then went on to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Edward has served as pastor of Geyer Road Baptist Church. Their home today is in Kirkwood, MO.
~ Daughter Margaret "Jean" (Plants) Alkula ~
Daughter Margaret "Jean" Plants ( ? -living) was born in (?).
In 1947, at the age of 21, Jean married 22-year-old factory worker Venlear James "Jim" Alkula (April 25, 1927-1991), a native of Ashtabula, OH. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps, having held the rank of corporal. They received their marriage license in Newport, KY, with the news published in the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Their children are Sandra Baldauf Boda, Jacqueline Alkula, Gordon "Joseph" Alkula, Charles James Alkula and Dale Thomas Alkula.
The Alkulas originally resided in Painesville/Perry, Lake County, OH. Then in 1966, they relocated to Largo/Dunedin, Pinellas County, FL where they put down roots permanently.
Jim obtained employment with S.&.S. Electric Company in Oldsmar. They belonged to the Union Street United Methodist Church.
Sadly, Jim passed away on May 25, 1991, at the age of 64. His remains were placed at rest in Bay Pines National Cemetery in Pinellas County. An obituary was printed in the Tampa Bay Times and the Tampa Tribune.
Jean has remained in the Florida west coast area. She later married World War II Navy veteran Thomas Jude Vandigriff ( ? -2016). A native of Yonkers, NY, Thomas had lived in Stockton, CA before relocating to Dunedin, FL in 1999, and had been employed by AT&T as a testing technician. He had been married before and brought three stepdaughters to the union -- Jessica Vandigriff, Brenda Vandigriff and Mary Vandigriff. Thomas passed away in Dunedin on Nov. 8, 2016. His funeral mass was held at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Dunedin, with burial in Bay Pines National Cemetery.
Daughter Sandra (Alkula) Baldauf Boda (1948- ? ) was born in 1948 in Painesville, OH. She has been twice married. Her first husband was Dennis Baldauf ( ? - ? ). They lived in Fayetteville, GA and produced two children, Julie Baldauf and Michael James Edward Baldauf. Sandra was employed as a medical transcriptionist before having children. Then, in 1981, she became office manager for a construction company. The Baldaufs also owned their own collections firm. Later, she married Steve Boda. In 1986, Sandra published a number of family stories in a booklet entitled The Plants Family: Grand-children and Great Grand-children of John, Ollie and Hazel Plants. At one time, she was Executive Assistant of Steve Dale Motorsports. Since 2001, she has served as Executive Officer of the Home Builders Association of Mid West Georgia and has been pictured in a Professional Grade newsletter article for her work as 2005-2006 president of the Home Builder's Association of the Georgia Executive Officer Council. She also was pictured and featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Nov. 24, 2005) when she was named president of the Council. In August 2012, at the Leadership Conference of the prestigious National Association of Home Builders, she was one of only four executives, from a total of some 800 associations, to receive the Small Office Honor Award. This is presented in recognition of an executive officer of a small association who has been judged to be an exceptionally effective manager in spite of limited resources. At the time she was hired, the HBA of Midwest Georgia was floundering and in need of direction. She has grown the organization from 350 members to 750 members at its high point and has doubled the number of counties it covers. Members of the HBA of Midwest Georgia receive benefits including continuing education classes, networking events, a robust government affairs program, a golf tournament, newsletters and community outreach projects. She and Steve attended our 2008 "Pittsburgh 250" reunion and was a panelist on family legacy at our national reunion in 2013.
Daughter Jacqueline Alkula (1953-living) was born in 1953 in Painesville. Jacqueline served in the U.S. Army in Berlin and handled assignments in Alaska, the Panama Canal and California and later married and settled in Largo, FL. Four children include Joshua Dale Alkula, Jeremiah James Alkula, Jason Alkula and Elizabeth "Lizz" Alkula. Jacqueline and daughter Lizz attended our national family reunion in 2000 and today resides in Missouri.
Son Gordon Joseph Alkula (1956- ? ) was born in 1956 in Geneva, OH. At the age of 10, in 1966, he moved with his family to Largo, FL. On Feb. 16, 1985, he was united in matrimony with Joann "Jody" Favero (1954- ? ), a native of Niagara Falls, NY and the daughter of Gene Favero of Largo. Their wedding ceremony was held at the First United Methodist Church Chapel in Largo, with the news printed in the Tampa Bay Times. They made a home in Largo, and circa 1986, he was an active volunteer leader with the Largo Historical Society. In 1991, they resided in Holiday, FL.
Son Rev. Dr. Charles James Alkula (1958- ? ) -- preferring the spelling "Charls" -- was born in 1958 in Geneva, OH. He received a bachelor's degree from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He taught social studies, mathematics and science at a Christian boys' home in Orangeburg, SC in the mid-1980s. His home in 1991 was in Paxton, MD. Later, he joined the U.S. Navy as a chaplain served at the Naval Hospital of Camp Lejeune. On Nov. 23, 1997, he was joined in marriage with Belinda Hammitt. Their ceremony was held in the Montgomery County Courthouse in Rockville, MD, followed by a religious service held in the chapel of Walter Reed Army Hospital. In 2004, he was transferred to Newquay, Cornwall, England for a three-year tour of duty, and in 2007 became the parish pastor in Sidney, Nebraska. He received his doctorate of ministry degree from the global on-line program at Drew University, and his thesis was "Out of Many, One: An Understanding of Religious Diversity and the Formation of a Community of Faith in the Sea Services." In 2005, Charles was pictured in an article in the Cornish (UK) Guardian newspaper, "Day World Saw Terror Attack on the US," leading a memorial service at RAF St. Hawgan in England. The Alkulas dwell in Stevensville, MT.
Son Dale Thomas Alkula (1968-living) was born in 1968 in Largo. Nicknamed "Aardvark," he received a degree from the University of Kentucky under a music scholarship. His home in 1991 was in Lexington, KY. Later, he became employed as a music teacher in the city schools of Columbus, Franklin County, OH. In his work, he developed a junior-high rock band at Dominion Middle School and performed in downtown Columbus as part of the Ohio Youth Arts Month Noontime Concert series. Said a feature story in the Columbus Dispatch, "His classroom looks more like a teenager's basement, plastered with posters of Jimi Hendrix and Kanye West. He has played in dozens of rock bands but now focuses on the Proxies and Guilty Bystanders, which he manages and with which he performs."
~ Daughter Barbara Grace (Plants) Snyder ~
Daughter Barbara Grace Plants (1935-2011) was born in 1935, the youngest member of her family.
She was married to Finley Snyder ( ? - ? ) for a brief time. They did not reproduce.
Barbara "was a gentle soul" and "loved making people happy," said a newspaper.
Barbara resided in Steubenville, Jefferson County, OH, where she "was an avid bowler, winning numerous awards in the Steubenville, Ohio Women's Bowling Association," said the Chattanoogan newspaper of Tennessee. She also enjoyed puzzles as well as feeding birds and taking in the fauna and flora of nature.
Later, she relocated to Florida, and after the death of a beloved friend, moved to Chattanooga, Hamilton County, TN. She died there at the age of 76 on March 2, 2011.
Copyright © 2000-2013, 2018-2019 Mark A. Miner