Former Oneida County Executive John "Jack" Plumley has died at the age of 87.

Plumley served as County Executive from 1983 to 1991.  He also served on the County Board of Legislators from 1972 to 1980.

Just a few weeks ago, Plumley was on hand to see the unveiling of the renovated John D Plumley Complex at the Rome Campus of Mohawk Valley Community College.

County Executive Anthony Picente has released the following statement on Plumley's passing:

“Eleanor and I are extremely saddened by the passing of Jack Plumley,” said Picente. “He was a dear friend and our hearts go out to the entire Plumley family who we have known for many years and have shared many wonderful memories with.

“While I worked for Jack his entire time as County Executive, our relationship was much more than just that. He was a father, brother and mentor all wrapped into one. Jack was a great leader, a legendary story teller and his integrity knew no bounds. He was a man who never wasted a day in his life.

Picente has ordered all flags at county buildings to be lowered to half-staff in Plumley's honor until the completion of his funeral services.

State Senator Joseph Griffo also issued a statement on Plumley's passing:

Today we mourn the loss of Jack Plumley, an icon of Oneida County who cared deeply about his community and its people. Jack was a man of true integrity and character, who never wavered in his convictions and the values that made him such a proud father, an accomplished business owner and a dedicated public servant.

From his days as Oneida County Executive in the 1980s, to his friendly presence at the family hardware store he operated in his lifelong hometown of Camden, Jack Plumley was never afraid to let you know where he stood on an issue and what he believed in. I first developed a friendship with Jack as I was starting my career in public service as a young staff member under Rome Mayor Carl Eilenberg, and Jack remained a good person to talk with while I served as Rome Mayor, Oneida County Executive and then State Senator. Jack was always willing to offer advice and be candid, in both criticism and encouragement, and getting a pat on the back from Jack really made you feel good because you knew you earned it.

Now, when you look at the success of his children, it really is a tribute to the positive attributes both Jack and his wife, Helen, possessed throughout their lives. This is a sad day and a tremendous loss for our community, and we express our deepest condolences to Helen and the Plumley family. But Jack was a proud Irish-American who genuinely embodied the spirit and cherished ideals of his heritage, and I’m sure St. Patrick will now be watching over this good man.


Dave Smith, WIBX
Dave Smith, WIBX

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