Wynafred S. ‘Wynkie’ Plunk

Durango resident Wynafred S. Plunk died from complications of pneumonia Thursday, June 14, 2012, in Durango. She was 56.

Known as “Wynkie,” she was born to Wallace and Louise Steele on Sept. 26, 1955, in Athens, Ala. She grew up in Athens and graduated from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus in 1978. She was an accomplished gymnast in high school and college.

In 1978, she married Joe Wade Plunk in Athens, and she and her new husband moved to Durango, where she worked as a PBX operator at Community Hospital and as the front desk receptionist and in circulation at The Durango Herald.

Mrs. Plunk was a volunteer at the Durango Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Mercy Auxiliary at Mercy Medical Center. A founding member of De Colores Civitan Club in Durango, she served on the Volunteers of America Southwest Safehouse Board of Directors for 10 years.

She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Durango.

Mrs. Plunk was honored by KUSA (Channel 9) in Denver as one of the “Nine Who Care” in 1993, and on National Philanthropy Day that year, she was named the “Outstanding Volunteer Leader” for the state of Colorado.

“She turned the curse of multiple sclerosis into a blessing for others through quiet volunteerism,” her husband, Joe Wade Plunk, said.

Mrs. Plunk is survived by her husband of 34 years, Joe Wade Plunk, of Durango; mother, Louise Strange Steele, of Athens; sister, Amy Steele, of Athens; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. today, June 17, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church in Athens. No local services are planned at this time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the VOA Southwest Safehouse, P.O. Box 2107, Durango, CO 81302.