Roger Henry Plothow


Roger H. Plothow of American Fork, Utah died Tuesday, May 26, 2020 in Provo, Utah of causes incident to age. He was 85.

He was born in Peru, Indiana on Nov. 21, 1934 to Anthony Fredrick “Fritz” Jr. and Wilma Lavon Plothow, the second of six siblings. He attended area schools and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University. He later moved his young family to Utah, where he earned a doctorate in education from Brigham Young University in 1972.

He married Lenora Dean Damron in 1957 in Gilead, Indiana. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake City temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Lenora died in 2007. He married Mary Gail Jones Worsley in 2009 in the Mount Timpanogos temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He spent his life as an educator and in the service of his family and church. He was a high school teacher, guidance counselor and administrator before becoming Indiana director of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, then a division of the United States Department of Agriculture, from 1966 to 1968. He was assistant to the campus dean at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Campus for two years.

After completing his Ed.D., he spent the rest of his career serving in a number of positions at what is now Utah Valley University, including Director of Institutional Development and Director of Environmental Studies from 1994 until his retirement in 1998. He was the longtime director of the evening school and continuing education at Utah Technical College at Provo and Utah Valley State College. He was an expert grant writer and ran his own business as a researcher and consultant from 1987 to 2012.

He served three times as branch president or bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; twice in Indiana and once in Utah. He and Lenora served a mission for the church in the New York Rochester Mission from 2004 to 2006. He served as a captain in the Indiana National Guard.

He loved to travel, visiting many places in North America, Israel and Europe. He loved Utah. When Lenora was Director for the Center of Lifelong Learning at what is now Utah Valley University, Roger would often accompany groups from the center on their field trips throughout the state, serving as their informal tour guide.

Roger and Mary Gail loved serving together, volunteering time at the Crandall Printing Museum, the Family History Center, and their Ward Empty Nesters. They also enjoyed combining their large and growing family of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, often supporting their various activities and life achievements. They considered each one like their own, and Roger was happiest when surrounded by his large family.

Survivors of the combined family include: His wife, Mary Gail, American Fork, Utah; children Roger Dean Plothow (Kathleen), Idaho Falls, Idaho; Phillip Anthony Plothow (Emily), Orem, Utah; Kathleen Louise Plothow, Peru, Indiana; Melissa Anne Stevenson, Highland, Utah; Amy Lee Perry (Chad), Brigham City, Utah; Chris Worsley (Cheri), Alpine, Utah; Elizabeth Scoggin (Andrew), Boise, Idaho; Meredith Call (Lael), Springville, Utah; Susan Jordan (Steve), Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; David Worsley (Tonya), Lehi, Utah; Thomas Worsley (Micah), Rapid City, South Dakota; and one foster son, Harrison Begay, Albuquerque. He had 43 grandchildren and step grandchildren and and 32 great-grandchildren and step great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by siblings Richard Plothow (Marcia), Pleasant Grove, Utah; Suzanne Werner (Bob), Saratoga Springs, Utah; and Steven Plothow (Cathie), Taylorsville, Utah.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lenora; his brother, Anthony Fredrick “Fritz” Plothow III; his sister, Wanda Mosser; and his son-in-law, Rod Stevenson.

Family-only services will be held, and he will be interred at the Provo City Cemetery.