Douglas K. Plambeck
Douglas K. Plambeck, age 70, died of pancreatic cancer on March 31, 2020.
He was born in January 1950 to Julia and Hans Plambeck in Corvallis, Oregon, in the midst of an unprecedented snowstorm. He died at the start of an unprecedented pandemic. Doug grew up in Corvallis, where he was a newspaper carrier for the Corvallis Gazette-Times for many years before leaving home to attend the University of Oregon. He spent his junior year at Nyenrode Business Universiteit in the
Netherlands and traveled (including to East Berlin) as part of his coursework. He earned a B.A. in transportation from the University of Oregon and an M.B.A. in accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He met Carol Radford during a business trip to Washington, D.C., in 1977. It was love at first sight, followed by a cross- country relationship of just four months before he asked her to marry him. (The phone bills were getting expensive). Eight months later, they married, and it was one of the happiest, most mutually supportive marriages the world has ever known. Doug and Carol settled in Tualatin, Ore. where they brought up their children and have been active members of the community.
A certified public accountant, Doug worked for Ernst & Ernst in Tacoma, Washington, for several years before returning to Oregon. He then spent 37 years at Portland General Electric, mentoring many interns and employees along the way. In 2009, PGE named Doug the company's Volunteer of the Year.
Doug will be remembered not only for being a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, but also for his years of tireless service to the community. He was incredibly dedicated to making his community a better place for all, and he has left quite a legacy.
He devoted much of his life to advocacy for affordable housing. In 1993, he helped found Tigard-based Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) and served as board treasurer until his death. The nonprofit organization began by purchasing rental properties and—with volunteers and donated materials—weatherizing and updating them, eventually becoming an active developer of affordable housing (including specific projects for seniors and veterans). CPAH expects to break ground in 2023 on its newest project, Plambeck Gardens, in Tualatin. CPAH's Board of Directors voted unanimously to name it after Doug.
Doug's active involvement with the Washington County Democrats spanned 40 years, and he served as the county party's leader in Tualatin. He enjoyed attending the Democratic National Conventions of 1984 (as an alternate delegate) and 1996 (as a delegate). His political activism dated to his early teens, and he proudly volunteered for Bobby Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1968.
In what was left of his free time, he gardened prolifically, coaxing life from the earth. Many friends benefited from the food he grew and from his baked goods, as well. He also cared greatly about family history and genealogy, and he kept in touch with family and friends in Europe through written letters over decades. He extensively documented family history and reserved generations of letters and photographs.
Doug loved his native Oregon, and he enjoyed many trips to the coast and Central Oregon, as well as to Mt. Hood for skiing. He also loved to travel abroad. After his retirement in 2016, he and Carol visited several countries in Europe, took a memorable trip to China, and made several visits to London to see their daughter and granddaughters.
Doug is survived by his wife, Carol Plambeck of Tualatin; his sister, Janice Williams of Seattle; his daughter and son-in-law, Elisabeth and Mitchell Walk of Baltimore; and his son and daughter-in-law, Andrew and Caroline Plambeck of Portland. His four grandchildren, Otto and Linus in Portland, and Elsa and Rosalie in Baltimore, also miss him dearly. We are saddened that his fifth grandchild, Hugh, born only a month ago, will not know his grandpa until they meet in heaven.
A long-delayed memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at Living Savior Lutheran Church, 8740 SW Sagert Street, Tualatin.
Doug would be very grateful if memorial donations were directed to Community Partners for Affordable Housing, P.O. Box 23206, Tigard, Oregon 97281.