To the Best Brother a sister could have!
Donald George Ploke was the first of five children born to Dorothy and George Ploke, in 1931. They soon moved to Lynwood, California where he enjoyed deep-sea fishing and developed his love of dogs, especially cocker spaniels. He later helped to establish the Las Vegas Cocker Spaniel Kennel Club.
Don served in the Air Force Military Police from 1951 to 1954. After returning from the Korean War, he embarked on a long and successful career in photography.
He began his career at the Herald American News Paper in Compton, California. He was soon recognized by his peers and the community for outstanding photojournalism. He rode with the Highway Patrol as chief photographer of crime scenes and accidents. The Los Angeles Dodgers were quick to offer him a position as head photographer where he worked for several years, touring with the team. During the time he spent in Los Angeles, he photographed and flew on the maiden flight of the Concord, which inspired him to obtained his pilot’s license.
The Las Vegas Sun News Paper brought Don back to what he loved best, photojournalism. His unique ability to capture light as it cascaded down on firefighters sifting through the rubble of the MGM Grand Hotel fire (November 21, 1980) photo, received worldwide circulation. Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Siegfried and Roy, were a few of the celebrities he met and photographed in his career.
Donald G. Ploke was a many-faceted man with multiple interests. In later years, he embraced The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He will be remembered for his kindness, gentle attitude, and his love of animals. He was a loving brother and will be missed by his two surviving sisters, Susan Schweers and Penne Horn.