Kenneth L. Plante, electrical engineer and community volunteer, dies

Kenneth L. Plante, a retired electrical engineer with Westinghouse Electric Corp. who worked on the development of electronic systems for the Navy and Air Force during a career of nearly three decades, died Aug. 22 from complications of a stroke at Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster.

The former Eldersburg resident was 82.

Kenneth Louis Plante was born and raised in Astoria, N.Y., the son of Louis Plante, a delicatessen owner, and Margaret McNeill Plante, a homemaker.

He attended St. John’s Preparatory School and graduated in 1956 from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in New York, with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

He also pursued graduate studies in business administration at the Johns Hopkins University.

In 1956 he joined Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Linthicum, where he worked on electrical systems for the Navy and Air Force.

Mr. Plante developed ocean dynamics sensor systems for Polaris missile submarines and participated in field qualification tests off the coasts of Connecticut and Florida.

He helped pioneer coherent radar jamming technology and became electronic warfare division chief engineer for research and development projects at Westinghouse.

The former Catonsville resident moved to Eldersburg in 1976.

He retired from Westinghouse in 1994.

He was an active member of the Association of Old Crows, a professional organization for those who worked in the electronic warfare industry.

Mr. Plante was active with the Boy Scouts of America as a troop leader, and also helped on camping trips with Girl Scouts. He volunteered with the Carroll County Board of Elections, the Carroll County Branch of Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, Carroll County Historical Society, Carroll County Land Trust and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

An accomplished woodworker, Mr. Plante enjoyed restoring antiques and making heirloom furniture for his children and grandchildren.

He was a former communicant of St. Mark Catholic Church in Catonsville, and after moving to Eldersburg became a parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

His wife of 46 years, the former Carmen Hechmer, died in 2005.

A funeral Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday at his church, 915 Liberty Road, Eldersburg.

Mr. Plante is survived by two sons, Mark Plante of Mount Airy and Raymond Plante of Olney; three daughters, Jeanette Plante of Bowie, Elena Plante of Tucson, Ariz., and Christine Rosenborough of Richmond, Va.; two brothers, Richard Plante of Long Island, N.Y., and Thomas Plante of North Carolina; a sister, Mary Cull of San Diego, Calif.; and nine grandchildren.

—Frederick N. Rasmussen

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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