Amherst Magazine

Our classmate, Richard H. Plock, Jr. died of a heart attack at his home on August 31, 1980. He was 44.

Dick graduated from the Burlington High School in Burlington, Iowa. At Amherst, he was a Psi Upsilon, of which he was elected vice president. He played football all four years and was active in WAMF.

After leaving Amherst Dick went on to law school and then into a career of law and politics. He made his home in Denver, Colo. and became famous and popular throughout the state. The following article, which appeared in the Denver Post shortly after his death, expresses it well:

"Dick Plock was one of those rare public figures whose political skill transcended party labels. He will be remembered, by Democrats and Republicans alike, as a fair and honest man.

"Dick died Sunday at the tragically young age of 44, his heart having stopped after a long battle against a debilitating lung ailment. He win be missed not only by his young family but also by the state of Colorado. Dick Plock was a voice of reason, civility, and moderation despite a political climate that seemed to favor stormy ideologue.

"Plock served two terms as a Republican senator from Denver. For the last four of those eight years, from the beginning of 1975 until the end of 1978, he was the majority floor leader in the Senate. He quit the Senate to seek the Republican nomination for governor in 1978, but lost to Senator Ted Strickland in the primary.

"An urbane and self-effacing wit, Plock never took his power too seriously. His deep voice rumbling, eyes glinting under his shaggy eyebrows, he persuaded rather than commanded. If Plock had a weakness which kept him from even greater political success, it was that he lacked the single-mindedness, the hardline conservative stance that the dedicated activists in his party seemed to demand.

"But his sensible, tactful approach appealed to the moderates of both parties. Almost 10 years ago, Plock and then-Rep. Dick Lamm were leaders of a moderate bipartisan coalition which spearheaded novel and visionary legislation on land use and other issues vital to Colorado.

"Plock didn't lust after power. There were more important things In his life than raw ambition, including his family and his integrity.

"Dick Plock had much to give Colorado. It is a shame that he was not allowed the time to give even more than he did."

Surviving Dick are his wife Judy; two children, Bill (12) and Christine (10); his mother, Mrs. Richard Plock, of Burlington, Iowa; and two sisters, Susan Bromley of Denver and Carolyn Eherely, of Iowa City. The Class of 1957 hereby extends its deepest sympathy to Dick's family.

 

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