John, a native of Witherbee, NY is Essex County, graduated from Moriah Central School in 1967, and the Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in Syracuse in 1968. He entered the United States Army in 1969. After serving two years and a tour of duty in Vietnam, he became employed with the Buck Funeral Homes in January of 1972 and subsequently, he purchased the funeral homes in 1984 with his wife Carol and moved to Norwood from Norfolk. They have two children, Brian S. and Christopher J.
John has been active in the church, fraternal and service organizations. He was a member of St. Andrews Catholic Church in Norwood for 23 years where he was a eucharistic minister and a member of the finance council. Prior to being communicant of St. Andrews, he was a member of the church of the visitation in Norfolk where he was past president of the parish council and a lecturer. He is currently a member of the K of C, MSGR, Francis Conners Council #11544 of Norfolk and a 35 year member and past president of the Norfolk Lions Club. He is a member and past president of the St. Lawrence County Funeral Directors Association and a member of the National Funeral Directors Association. He and his wife, the former Judy Porter of Plumbrook Road, Norfolk, now reside in Colton. They are parishioners of St. Patricks Church in Colton. John enjoys fishing, golfing and cooking.
Brian Plonka, son of John and the late Carol Phinney Plonka, graduated from Norwood-Norfolk Highschool in 1993. He attended Canton College and graduated in 1995 with an associated degree in mortuary science. He served his residency with Buck Funeral Homes and became a licensed funeral director in 1996. He has worked with his father since then. He is a member and past president of the Norfolk Lions Club, a member of St. Lawrence County Funeral Directors Association, a member of St. Lawrence County Snowmobiling Association and a member of the Cranberry Lake Mountaineers Snowmobile Club. He enjoys hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, golfing, and attending NASCAR races. He is married to the former Jessica Haggett of Norwood on October 20, 2007 at St. Andrews Church in Norwood and on August 15,2008 they had there first child, Olivia Ann Plonka.