Robert H. Ploof, 78, formerly of Chester

Robert H. Ploof, 78, passed away peacefully on Nov. 11, 2021, in Fort Myers, Fla., surrounded by his loving wife and family.

Bob was born on May 2, 1943 in Springfield, Vt., to Henry and Ida Ploof, and graduated from Chester High School in Chester in 1961. Bob studied at Northeastern Institution in Villanova, Penn., where he met his wife, Carol Joan Smith. They married in 1965. He continued his education at a Christian University in Edmund, Okla.. Bob and Carol returned to Chester in 1968, where they raised their family.

Bob had an unrivaled love of sports. He fulfilled his passion through coaching, playing or just watching. In 1961, he spearheaded building the Little League baseball field in Chester and began his coaching endeavors. Bob coached baseball, basketball and softball in Chester and surrounding areas, showcasing his ability to connect with the youth.

He was known not to be shy about voicing his opinions about a referee or umpire’s call. His passion and pride for coaching was unrivaled. He would often sit in the hot sun all day watching his niece’s husband play slow pitch softball, then come home and recount every play.

Bob was a member of The Sons of the American Legion Squadron #67 in Chester, and enjoyed marching in the color guard. He will be remembered for his wit, humor and love of teasing. He was a man who made strong and lasting friendships, many of which lasted for over six decades.

Most recently Bob and Carol resided in Lehigh Acres, Fla., where Bob enjoyed playing golf.  Bob is predeceased by his father Henry Ploof, who died when Bob was 2, his mother Ida Ploof, and his brother-in-law Rod Holden, who he thought of as a father.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Carol Ploof; his three children Susan Willis (Milt) of Chester; Michelle Olanyk (Todd) of Ashfield, Mass.; and Brian Ploof (Lisa) of Chicago, Ill.;  his grandchildren Shannon, Kyle, and Sierra Kemp, Lindsey Sturtevant, Samantha Willis, Natasha Jones, Camron Olanyk, and Lyla and Cora Ploof; two great-grandchildren Halley and Owen Blanchard, his sister Helen Holden of Lehigh Acres, Fla; his nieces and nephew – whom he thought of as his sisters and brother – Kathi Nacca (Joe) of Canandaigua, N.Y., Marlene Gardner (Bruce) and Don Holden, both of Lehigh Acres, and many great nieces and great nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on  Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 at the American Legion # 67 at 635 VT-103 in Chester. In lieu of flowers, please mail donations in his name c/o Chester Little League Program, Town of Chester, PO Box 370, Chester, VT, 05143.

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  1. Bob I have always thought to be the one who lit the fire of the love of BASEBALL for my brother Mike. There is Baseball in Heaven

  2. Sandra Garnett says:

    My deepest sympathy Carol and family. It’s been years but I remember the good times we spent together. Sending loving thoughts and prayers to you. Bob was such a wonderful person and loved coaching the teams in Chester.
    Prayers always. Sandi

  3. Mary JANE E Coolidge says:

    So sorry to hear of Bobby`s passing. Yes, I remember him as outgoing, always interested in kids sports either as a coach or ” quietly” sitting in the stands at GMUHS. He and my husband, Buddy< spent many an hour discussing plays and coaches. I remember him as a great and loving dad who would often welcome our Jen into his home when Jen and Mitchell were hungry or thirsty or in trouble with me. My condolences Carol and all of his family.

    Prayers for you all.
    Mary Jane

  4. Thomas Knockenhauer says:

    RIP Bob u taught me so much.