David T. Plank, Beta Phi (Baldwin-Wallace) ’40, known by generations of Sinfonians around the country, passed away on Sunday, January 1, 2006. He was 85. His daughter, Stephanie Plank Livengood, reported that Brother Plank passed away at 3:00 p.m. “as he listened to his favorite music on the Moody Bible Broadcasting Network out of Chicago.”
Plank was a regular at Fraternity events such as National Conventions and Conclaves, and was known by many Sinfonians for his classic, music-related puns, which he would “pun” off on unsuspecting souls in rapid-fire succession. In February 2000, he led several hundred Brothers in song during the largest annual gathering of Sinfonians, the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Sinfonia Sing, in San Antonio.
Plank was the composer of many Sinfonia songs, three of which are featured in the current edition of Sinfonia Songs:
Sinfonia (Sing, Brothers, Sing) (p.26)
Sing of Sinfonia (p.30)
Sinfonia Grace (p.85)
National President Richard Crosby commented, “This is truly a sad day for all Sinfonians. No Sinfonian lived and breathed music every day of his life more than David Plank. He will be sorely missedï¿½but even though he has left us physically, his spirit will be with us always through his fraternal songs. I will always remember his spirit when I sing ‘Sing of Sinfonia.'”
Executive Director Ryan Ripperton added, “David has always been the most unconditionally enthusiastic Sinfonian I’ve ever met. Never one to be involved in politics or policy, David showed up under the Sinfonia banner over and over again, there simply to share his love of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.”
On Friday, December 30, approximately forty Collegiate Province Representatives, gathered at Lyrecrest for the annual CPR Convocation, sang “Sing of Sinfonia” to Brother Plank by telephone after hearing that his health was deteriorating.
Chapters, colonies, and alumni associations are asked to sing at least one of Plank’s songs at their next meeting to remember this honorable Sinfonian. Sinfonians everywhere are encouraged to consider a memorial contribution to the charity mentioned in the obituary below.
(as published in The Daily Record; Wooster, Ohio)
SMITHVILLE – David T. Plank, 85, formerly of Smithville, died Sunday, Jan. 1, 2006, at Sunrise Assisted Living in Wooster.
Funeral services will be Thursday, Jan. 5, at 11 a.m. at the Gresser Funeral Home, 415 N. Elm St., Orrville. The Rev. Ray Aspinall will be officiating. Burial will be at the Smithville Cemetery in Smithville.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Greater Wayne County, 2525 Back Orrville Road, Wooster 44691.
He was born March 29, 1920, in Cleveland, the son of Clarence and Eulalia (Foss) Plank. He married Martha D. Hartzler on Dec. 26, 1943. She died in 1990.
David grew up in Bath, Ohio and graduated from Bath High School in 1938. He received a bachelor of arts from Baldwin Wallace College in 1942 and a masterï¿½s of music education from Oberlin Conservatory in 1949. He shared his musical talent throughout his life and was a published composer. David and his wife, Martha, were educators in the Medina and Rittman school systems. For three years they lived in Iowa while David taught music at Buena Vista College. In 1953, David and Martha built the Howard Johnsonï¿½s Restaurant east of Wooster. The restaurant was awarded Howard Johnsonï¿½s Franchise of the Year in 1982. After 36 years in business, they retired in 1990.
David was a member of the Smithville Brethren Church, the Smithville Ruritan Club, The Clinton Community Band, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.
He is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Plank Livengood and her husband, Mark Livengood of Smithville, and a sister, Arlene Baxter of Cuyahoga Falls.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by a brother, Harry Plank.