Robert A. Plunkett

Robert A. Plunkett

Robert Alva Plunkett, 83, of Pasadena, Texas, and a native of Jena, was called home by our Lord and Savior on August 20, 2020.

He was born on December 7, 1936 in Bear Creek, Louisiana to Robert Clifton and Carrie Mae Plunkett. He grew up alongside his brother James and his sister Shirley in Good Pine.

Robert was a 1955 graduate of Jena High School, where he achieved the honor of Valedictorian, and was given the nickname “The Jena Spike” for his athletic ability on the football field. He was halfback on the 1954 Giants football team, which was the first Jena team to win a district championship.

After high school he attended Louisiana Tech and earned the degree Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts. Though this was a huge accomplishment, marrying his high school sweetheart was what Robert was most proud of during his college years. Robert and Tasca were married on August 17, 1957 and spent 63 years selflessly devoted to one another.

Upon college graduation, Robert and Tasca moved to Dahlgren, Virginia, where he began his career with NASA.

In 1961, when Houston, Texas was selected as the site for the new NASA facility and became the designated Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center), they relocated to Pasadena, Texas so Robert could continue his work. It is interesting to note that the computer department with NASA at this time filled a whole warehouse – now this amount of info can be put into a wristwatch.

As a NASA Software Engineer, Robert worked on the mission to send the first man to the moon on the Apollo 11 spacecraft. He retired from NASA after 39 years of service.

One of the greatest joys of Robert’s life was raising his children, Karen, Janet, and Kenneth with his beloved wife. From coaching Kenneth’s baseball teams, to watching his daughters, Janet and Karen, perform on the high school drill team, he never missed a single event.

He was humble, servant hearted, witty, and loved to spend his free time on the golf course and watching Houston sports. Robert was happiest when he was spending time with his growing family. His grandchildren spent numerous summer days swimming in his pool as he and Tasca served them his famous homemade ice cream and lemonade.

Robert’s life was not his own, as he lived to serve the Lord and his family. He was a member of South Main Baptist Church in Pasadena for over 30 years and enjoyed being involved in his Sunday School department. Robert was a true man of God who led by example and showed Christlike love to everyone he came into contact with.

Robert was greeted in Heaven by his parents Robert Clifton and Carrie Mae and his brother James.

He is survived by his loving wife Tasca; his sister and brother-in-law, Shirley and Jonnie Ray Lafitte; his children, Kenneth Plunkett and wife D’Ann, Janet Moore and husband Keith, and Karen Ingalls and husband Billy; his grandchildren, Amanda Kaufmann and husband Cody, Adrienne Gutierrez and husband Mark, Aaron Taylor and wife Melissa, Andy Ingalls, Megan Berry and husband Hunter, Anna Ingalls, Morgan Mobley and husband Chase, Austin Ingalls, Ethan Plunkett, Annelise Brasher and husband Nathan, and Brandon Moore; and his great-grandchildren, Cade Kaufmann, Chloe Kaufmann, Cora Kaufmann, Charlotte Kaufmann, Eden Taylor, Owen Taylor, Meleah Taylor, Greyson Gutierrez, Lyla Gutierrez, and Benny Gutierrez.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, August 31, at South Main Baptist Church in Pasadena, 4300 E. Sam Houston Pkwy S. Pasadena, Texas.

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