John Plakans passed away suddenly on January 6th, 2021.
John Plakans was born on October 5, 1943, in Riga, Latvia, the youngest son of Alfreds and Klāra (née Ozols) Plakans. In July 1944, fleeing the re-occupation of Latvia by the Soviet Union, John’s family went into exile, living out the rest of WWII in Reichenberg, in the Sudetenland part of Czechoslovakia. After the War, the family moved further west, spending the next six years in ‘displaced persons camps’ in the American Zone of defeated Germany, and then, in 1951 emigrating to the United States and settling in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There followed a decade of schooling in the Lancaster public school system, including three years in the J.P. McCaskey High School, during which John was a key member of the tennis teams in both doubles and singles as well as president of his graduating class. Tennis remained his sport of choice for a long time, and he was active in the Lancaster Tennis Club and worked as the resident tennis pro in various clubs in the mid-Pennsylvania area. At Franklin and Marshall College, (Class of 1965) John majored in business and accounting, followed by two years at Tuck Business School (1967). John’s marriage to Diane (née Stahle) in 1966 produced two sons, John Jeffrey Plakans (1970) and Daniel Scott Plakans (1971), but ended in divorce, which was followed by his marriage to Shelley (née Swift) in 1980. After Tuck, John chose to make his business career in the Boston area, working at Arthur Andersen & Co., Damon Corporation, ECRM, Inc., Howes Leather, Hood Sailmakers, and First Security Services. In 1987, he founded his own firm, Payrolls Plus, Inc. in Weymouth and Salem Massachusetts of which he was CEO until his retirement.
John and Shelley were residents of Marblehead, Massachusets, members of Tedesco Country Club, Eastern Yacht Club and The Gut N’ Feathers Badminton Club, where John continued to excel in tennis and golf.
John and Shelley moved to Naples, Florida in 2003 and joined Windstar Country Club where John was Treasurer in 2007 and President in 2008. He continued to serve on the Board from 2014 to 2016. He was also President of the Master Association in 2011. He continued to participate in club activities until his death.
John is survived by his wife, Shelley, of 39 years, his brother, Andrejs Plakans of Iowa City, Iowa, his children, John Jeffrey Plakans and Daniel Scott Plakans of Massachusetts and stepdaughters, Ashley Russell of Gainesville, Florida and Lindsey Gund of Concord, Massachusetts as well as Charlotte, Kurt, Jake and Eliza Plakans of Massachusetts.
A celebration of life will be held later in Windstar Country Club and Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Donations can be made in John’s name to the Windstar Beautification Fund, Windstar Country Club, 1700 Windstar Boulevard, Naples, FL, 34112
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