HEMET, Calif. -- Donald Norman Plueger, 83, of Hemet, Calif., and a Le Mars native, died Thursday, Aug. 12, 2004, at Hemet, Calif., following a lengthy illness.
Donald Norman Plueger was born Aug. 14, 1920, in Le Mars, the son of Louis and Emma Plueger. He received his education in Le Mars. At the age of 17 at the height of the Depression, he courageously moved to California where he entered Frank Wiggins Trade School, plastering division, with a tuition of one dollar. This was the beginning of his acute foresight into real estate and its development.
He married Lorraine Burkard in 1941. He served in the United States Navy from April 1944 to January 1946. He was honorably discharged after serving on the USS Oxford, APA 189, as Shipfitter Third Class; awarded for the Philippine Liberation two stars and served in the Asiatic and Pacific Theaters of World War II.
He then continued his real estate developments which spread from Los Angeles to Whittier, to Lancaster, to Anza, to San Jacinto and Hemet, Calif.
In 1964 he moved to Hemet, purchased the Record Chrysler dealership at San Jacinto, built the present Chrysler-Plymouth facility at Hemet to which he moved the agency from San Jacinto and became owner-operator. He convinced his brother, Elmer, to move to Hemet and made him a partner. They remained active in the business until Elmer's death in 1981, when the business was sold to Jim Hamza.
Don's hobby was farming at his San Jacinto ranch, having been raised on farms he enjoyed the animals.
In 1964 he joined St. John's Lutheran Church at Hemet and was faithful in his attendance and support. He was an adventurous soul and enjoyed life in California.
Survivors include his daughter, Mary Ann, of Hemet.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Emma Plueger; his wife, Lorraine; brothers Wallace and Elmer; and sister, Erlene McDougall.