Thomas Ralph Plata, 69, of Calabash, North Carolina passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. He was glad to be surrounded by his children and close family members who were by his side throughout his final days.
Tom was born January 23, 1952 to Ralph and Charlotte (Barclay) Plata in Fulton, New York. He was a graduate of the G. Ray Bodley High School class of 1969. He graduated from Auburn Community College with his Associate’s Degree, and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Justice from the State University of New York at Oswego. Tom was also a proud graduate of the New York State Department of Corrections Academy.
Tom was a devoted employee of the New York State Department of Corrections for over 30 years. He served first as a Corrections Officer and later was promoted to serve as a Corrections Counselor. Throughout his career, he worked at various correctional facilities in the State of New York including Clinton, Auburn, Georgetown, and Pharsalia. Tom was among the initial developers of the Pheasant Farm Project at Camp Pharsalia.
Tom was married to Anna (Gregory) Plata on October 8, 1994. They met one another through work and later resided together in Pharsalia, New York. The couple enjoyed spending time together traveling. A favorite location to visit was Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where they made many memories together.
After his retirement, Tom relocated to Calabash, North Carolina where he spent as much time outdoors as he could. He loved walking the beach and fishing from the pier in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. He had many good friends in the area with whom he enjoyed watching sports and sharing meals at his favorite restaurants. He was a big fan of a fresh grouper sandwich with a lemon wedge on the side! Tom was also a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in North Myrtle Beach and found great comfort in his faith. He was grateful to have the companionship of his girlfriend Sandy.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, wife Anna, and stepson Ben Gregory. He is survived by his sister Tammy Plata-Santiago (Tony) of San Diego, California; girlfriend Sandy Burns of Calabash; daughter Nicole Plata of Spartanburg, South Carolina; son Christian Plata (Audra) of McFarland, Wisconsin; first wife Denise (Vecchio) Van Cuyck; and stepdaughter Marsha Gregory-Lounsbury (Bill); and grandchildren Brittain and Vianna Lounsbury.
The family is grateful to the medical staff of the Grand Strand Hospital in Myrtle Beach who provided medical care to Tom. Donations in memory of Tom may be sent to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in North Myrtle Beach.
Mr. Plata is entrusted to the care of Lewis Crematory and Funeral Services of Myrtle Beach.