Eileen Handley Plocher

Eileen Handley Plocher

From the time Eileen Handley Plocher arrived in Shelby until her death, the  community was an integral part of her life.  Eileen, a graduate of Ontario High School who then earned a bachelor’s degree at Ohio State University, came to SHS in 1946 to teach home economics.  In her second year, she dated and married fellow teacher Howard Plocher.  Eileen and Howard were a close couple.  Their teamwork was obvious in every aspect of their lives.  During their 58 years together, they raised four children – Susie ’67, Beth ’70, Lisa ’74, Todd ’80 – who blessed them with eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. 

In 1948, Eileen left the classroom to be a stay-at-home mom and then returned a few years later, first substituting and then teaching full-time, initially at Shelby Junior High and then at SHS.  Offering lessons, labs and projects, she taught girl students “how to live.”  Then she decided to offer her expertise to boys, initiating Bachelor Basics, teaching senior boys how to cook, sew and keep a household.  Observes a male alum, “She taught me how to sew and, believe me, even my mother couldn’t do that.”  Eileen continued teaching until retiring in 1984. 

Participating in organizations and having a variety of interests were important to her.  As an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, she served in many positions and was an avid volunteer.  Eileen and Howard were the 1990 recipients of the Jess Rath Christian Volunteer Service Award.  Eileen was also a member of Mother’s Club, Doll Club, Gourmet Club and the Shelby Hospital Guild, where she initiated and co-chaired the annual Festival of Lights.  A talented cook and seamstress, Eileen’s hobbies included quilting, doing bunka needlework, decorating, entertaining and writing poetry for all occasions.  She also enjoyed traveling in the United States and other countries.  At the age of 80, she took her last long-distance journey – to China, which was her lifelong dream trip.

Eileen died in 2006 at the age of 82.  As one student said, “Mrs. Plocher lived her life to the fullest, followed the Golden Rule, and set good examples for her children, her students and anyone who knew her.  She always had a good word and a smile for everybody, and we loved her and will always remember her fondly.  She was a treasure.”  Nominator: Susie Plocher Borgelt ‘67 fffffffffffffff

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