Whitehall-Coplay Press

Thursday, February 20, 2020
Contributed photoFrom left is Tony Plucker, Austin Plucker and Mark Plucker. Austin Plucker is the son of Mark Plucker. Contributed photoFrom left is Tony Plucker, Austin Plucker and Mark Plucker. Austin Plucker is the son of Mark Plucker.

CEMENT WORKERS OF THE MONTH

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by Ed Pany Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Local News

Tony, Mark and Austin Plucker

Tony, Mark and Austin Plucker and former family members have more than 130 years of service at Evansville, the current Lehigh Heidelberg cement plant. They were reared in Molltown, Berks County, and graduated from Fleetwood High School.

Tony was hired in 1989, starting as a feed operator and repairman.

Today, he is a payloader operator, saying, “I move material at the plant each day, which includes 70,000 tires a week. They are used as alternate fuel. Old-timers Richard Hottenstein and Ray Weindt shared their years of work experiences with me.”

Mr. Plucker has been married to the former Mary Heffner for 30 years, and they are proud of sons Colton, Alex and Sydney. Tony is a soccer enthusiast and enjoys time with his family.

His brother Mark started in the labor department in July 1990, right out of high school. Later, he was promoted to repairman. Presently, Mark is a lab technician.

He said, “I work in the physical lab testing cement before shipping. We test eight different types of cement to ensure Lehigh Heidelberg produces a quality product. I enjoy the diversity of the job.

“The lab supervisors are chemist Nick Dovidio and John Disepio, who is in charge of quality control — both fine men,” he added.

Mark has been married to the former Stephanie Schadler for 24 years. They have three fine sons, Austin, Taylor and Jeremy. In his spare time, Mark both hunts and enjoys his sleek Harley.

Mark’s son Austin was hired in 2013. He continues the family tradition at the plant.

Austin started on the labor gang and was promoted to the lab.

He said, “I am a shift analyst testing clinker and cement every two hours. We work swing shifts, so there are technicians on duty 24 hours daily, checking our product.”

Greg Reinert, his mentor, helped Austin refine his laboratory skills.

The young cement worker enjoys both hunting and fishing.

In my discussion with the men, they recalled the old company homes and when men picked up their pay checks from the accountant in the parking lot, rain or shine.

It was an honor to hear the Pluckers reminisce about their family experiences at the cement plant.

Dedicated employees, these are men who carry family pride and a strong work ethic to the plant each day. They continue to produce a product that has helped build America. We hope 2020 will be a safe and prosperous one for the Pluckers and all our friends at the century-old plant.