Harvey John Ploeger was born September 6, 1931 to parents John and Titia (Timmer) Ploeger on a farm near Shell Rock, Iowa in Butler county. He attended grade school at a country school until the depression forced them to move to the town of Cedar Falls, Iowa where his father got a job as a policeman. When they moved to town, Harvey then had to attend a different school which he never liked.
When he was 16, he wanted to join the Navy and ﬁnally at age 17 in 1948, his parents allowed him to enter the armed forces. He served in the Navy as a Sea Bee (Construction Battalion). His unit built all kinds of things like roads, bridges, and buildings in the Aleutian Islands in the North Paciﬁc, the Marshall Islands in the South Paciﬁc, Korea and Japan. He was honorably discharged in 1953. When he returned to civilian life in Cedar Falls, he met a petite young woman, Marilyn Ann Love and they were married June 30, 1955 in Waterloo.
He was hired by the Iowa State Conservation commission in 1954 as part of the farm game habitat crew. The crew worked statewide developing and maintaining farm game habitat areas on private land. In 1957, Randall John was born in Cedar Falls. In 1958, Harvey and Marilyn moved to Wapello and Harvey became the foreman of the Odessa Wildlife Unit where they remained until 1962. Daughter Lori Lyn was born at this time. Harvey was promoted to district foreman for the southwest district of the state with headquarters at the Mount Ayr Wildlife Area. Daughter Wendy Sue was born in 1968. The Commission reorganized in 1972 and became the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Harvey continued as the wildlife technician of the Mount Ayr Unit. Harvey was proud of the fact that during his working career he worked in nearly all 99 counties in Iowa and while driving down the interstate, could name a county by the number on the vehicle license plate, before the name of the county was printed on the plates.
Harvey was a skilled carpenter, helping build the house at the game area for his family and worked on many projects for family, friends and neighbors. He retired from the DNR in 1993 and he and Marilyn moved to a small acreage near Mount Ayr where he continued building things and working in their yard and garden. Harvey and Marilyn loved to go to dances, play cards with friends and ﬁsh together. One of the highlights Harvey was very proud of was getting to ﬂy on the Honor Flight to Washington DC in 2015.
Harvey passed away May 8, 2019 at Clearview Home. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Hermina Secor; brother-in-law Bill Secor; parents-in-law; and sister-in-law, Kay Love.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife Marilyn; son Randy, wife Julia and their children Ashley and Brandi; daughter Lori Fellah, husband Mohamed and their children Mila and Maya; daughter Wendy Wimer, husband Brian and their children Logan and Cody Stackhouse and Clay; brothers-in-law, Barry Love, Larry Love and his wife, Margitta; sister-in-law, Joan Hibben and husband Jim; many nieces and nephews.
Harvey has been cremated and there will be no services. Memorials are to the veterans Honor Flight so other veterans will have the same opportunity Harvey had to visit the veteran’s memorials in Washington D.C. Memorials may be directed to the Central Iowa Honor Flight - P.O. Box 125 - Council Bluffs, Iowa 51502
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