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Duane M Plank(1933 - 2013)



Duane Plank passed away at Providence Little Company of Mary Transitional Care, in Torrance, California. He had been battling heart disease for the last 3 years; he was 79.
Duane was born in Palisade, Colorado to Marion Herbert Plank and Vaneda Cecilia Brissio. He spent his teen years in Palisade then excitedly enlisted in the service. Upon his return from duty, Duane and his wife Lupe eventually settled in Manhattan Beach (where they resided for over 4 decades) and raised three children: Tony, Laura, and Chris.
Duane Served in the US Marine Corp, National Guards and Navy from 1949 – 1955. He was most proud of his Sonar man duties on the U.S.S. WILLIAM SEIVERLING DE-441 (part of the Commander Blockading and Escort force) touring through the ports in Japan, Formosa and Korea.
He was extremely hard working. In 1958 he was employed at Litton as an engineer and part of a team that designed, developed, and built the first Flight Test Missile Computer. He then moved onto TRW where Duane again worked in the capacity as an engineer. His contributions were acknowledged for the successful performance of the Lunar Module Abort Guidance System during the Apollo 11 mission. Finally, his last 30 working years would be spent as an aerospace engineer with Hughes Aircraft. Duane was commended in 1985 for his ingenious circuit design, fabrication, checkout and implementation of the Store Control Unit.
He loved camping with his family at Rock Creek in the Northern Sierras. He was an avid fisherman with an extensive tackle box. Most days he could be found in his backyard, lounging and soaking up the sun, reading a good book or listening peacefully to his favorite classical music, while sipping a club martini. Duane enjoyed the very simple things in life, although, being an engineer by trade, he couldn't resist improving upon anything and everything he could get his hands on. His true passion was tinkering. Duane was quite a "Mr. Fix-it" and always had user manuals or flow charts at his fingertips. He possessed an extremely off-beat sense of humor. For example, he didn't like dogs relieving themselves on his property, so he posted a sign in his front yard: "This is NOT Las Vegas. What your dog does here should not stay here!" His favorite shows were South Park and Two and a Half Men.
Duane is preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Lupe (2004). Survived by his 3 children: Duane (Tony) from El Segundo, Laura from Manhattan Beach, and Chris from Manhattan Beach. Daughters-in-Law: Regina (Greene) and Amy (Plotnik); 3 Grandchildren: Phillip, Nolan, and Cameron. Duane is also survived by a hand-full of extended family members residing in Palisade, Colorado.
He is at peace now, re-united with his beloved wife Lupe. "Peace out 'Pops'. We will miss you a lot!"
Out of respect for the very-private man Duane was, no service will be held. Private inurnment. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) located at 292 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10017 or on-line at secure.lava.org



Published in The Beach Reporter on Dec. 19, 2013
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