Robert Ernest Plett Colonel, United States Army

From a contemporary press report

Robert Ernest Plett, 75, a retired Army colonel who for a time operated a consulting firm on government regulatory issues, died May 8, 1998 at Inova Fairfax Hospital of complications from septic shock. He had lived in Alexandria since the late 1960s.

Colonel Plett, a native of Massachusetts, was a 1943 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He spent the next 27 years on active duty, serving as a field artillery officer in Europe during World War II and in Korea during the Korean War.

He also was assigned to the Los Alamos Laboratories as a physicist and later to the scientific task force at the Eniwetok Nuclear Tests as deputy director of logistics. Other postings included associate professor of mathematics at the U.S. Military Academy and artillery battalion commander in Europe.

His military decorations include the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star.

After his military retirement in 1970, he began working for the Office of Emergency Preparedness as deputy chief of the oil and energy division and later became administrator of the National Voluntary Petroleum Allocation Program.

In 1974, he opened his own consulting firm, which later was sold to Cenex Inc., a Minneapolis-based regional agricultural supply cooperative. He worked for Cenex as a government affairs specialist until his death.

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and past president and vice president of the Holy Name Society.

He received a master's degree in mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master's degree in business administration from George Washington University.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Florence Looney Plett of Alexandria; a daughter, Margaret-Mary Plett Howell of Alexandria; a sister; and four grandchildren.


On May 8, 1998. Survived by his wife of 53 years, Florence L. Plett; his daughter, Margaret-Mary Howell; his son-in-law, David Howell; his grandchildren, Jeffrey, Sarah, Andrew and Amy Howell. Also survived by his sister, Vonnie Cadose of Scituate, MA; his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Daniel and Virginia Looney of Manomet, MA; numerous nieces, nephews and loved ones. . A service with military honors will be held on Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. in the Ft. Myer Post Chapel. Interment to follow in Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to charity of choice.

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