Local first responders say goodbye to one of their own
By Sabrina Bates
MVP Regional News Editor
On Sunday morning, the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department reported on its Facebook page the loss of one of their own – long-time team member Marty Plunk. As is reflective of the family spirit, members of the first-response community circulated the news, offering sympathy, memories and a profile picture of Plunk’s badge with a thin blue line through it.
“It is with great sadness we report the death of one of our own. … Captain Plunk’s dedication to and the love for the citizens of Weakley County was beyond reproach. We love and will greatly miss Marty. Rest easy Captain, we have the watch from here,” the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page noted.
Plunk started his sheriff’s department career on Nov. 11, 1999. He died Saturday, Nov. 12 at 52 in Germantown after heart complications led to a lengthy hospital stay and eventually impacted other organs.
While at the sheriff’s department, Plunk served in various roles – dispatcher, patrolman, investigator and eventually he became captain of the Investigations Division.
“Marty was a blessing to me. He was one of the best, if not the best, investigators I have ever worked with. He didn’t forget anything and he knew everybody, even the vehicles people drove. He’s gonna be missed by a lot of people,” retired Weakley County Sheriff Mike Wilson said. Capt. Plunk served the bulk of his law enforcement career with Wilson.
Plunk’s far-reaching impact could be seen all across Facebook Sunday as community members and neighboring departments offered their condolences.
“We are overwhelmed with sadness and send our condolences to the Weakley County Sheriff’s Office and the family of Captain Marty Plunk. He was a great officer, friend and will be forever missed by all that knew him,” the Martin Police Department noted.
Members of the Dresden Fire Department echoed those sentiments.
“The members of the Dresden Fire Department are saddened by the loss of CID Captain Marty Plunk. He will be missed by many! Prayers for his family,” the Dresden Fire Department shared.
Former Weakley County Sheriff’s officer and jail administrator Jim Phelps noted fond memories serving with Plunk.
“I have great memories of patrolling Weakley County with Marty Plunk back in the day. He was compassionate when needed. I remember searching frantically for a person who had threatened to end his life. We searched everywhere we could think of. Marty asked if he had a special place he liked to go to, and we were told of a pond near Kenton. We sent Gibson County SO there but sadly it was too late. Marty was so frustrated that we didn’t find him in time. On the other hand, if you were up to no good, he would chase you to the ends of the earth. He was a good law enforcement officer, husband, father, and friend. Simply put, he was a good man. Yes, it was a life well lived. I love you Marty Plunk. RIP,” Phelps noted.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the news on the passing of Weakley County Sheriff’s Department Captain Marty Plunk. Please keep his family and the department in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” members of the Air Evac Lifeteam 31 (based in Martin) noted.
“We would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Captain Marty Plunk, Weakley Co. Sheriff’s Department,” the Union City Police Department noted.
Visitation is set from 4-8 p.m. at Dresden First Baptist Church, 490 Morrow St., on Friday, Nov. 18. Plunk will be escorted into Dresden by members of law enforcement from George A. Smith and Sons Funeral Home in Jackson on Friday afternoon with the procession leaving Jackson at 2 p.m. Visitation will resume at 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Dresden FBC. Burial with Police Honors will follow in Sunset Cemetery in Dresden.
Pallbearers are active and retired members of the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department and include Wilson, Retired Chief Dep. Mark Black, Sheriff Terry McDade, Lt. Neal Cantrell, Inv. Eric Smith, Inv. Mason Wortham, Deputy Steve Fulcher and Deputy Gavin Elam.
Plunk was born in Union City on June 1, 1970, to Trella Jean Prince Plunk and the late James Henry Plunk. According to his obituary, “Marty was born with a congenital heart defect that required numerous open-heart surgeries throughout his life. Through all of his health problems, he persevered and continued to serve his community in many ways.”
The Sharon resident served with the Sharon, Dresden and Kenton police departments before joining the WCSD. He and his wife Angie married on April 28, 1990. The couple has two children David James “D.J.” Plunk and Courtney Denise Plunk, and one granddaughter, the “apple of his eye,” Mollie James Roberts.
Plunk enjoyed hunting and fishing and said the closest he had ever gotten to God was while in the woods. His faith in God led him to teach his Sunday school class, filling in as a minister in various churches, and he was an active member of First Baptist Church in Dresden, where he served as a deacon and on several committees.
Plunk is survived by his wife; mother; children; grandchild; siblings, Christie Plunk Bostwick (Stacey) and Rusty Plunk of Sharon; in-laws and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the North Chapel of George A. Smith and Sons Funeral Home in Jackson. A complete obituary and condolences may be viewed online at www.GeorgeASmithandSons.com.