Woman who donated tree to city dies within weeks of her husband

December 13, 2005|by TIFFANY ARNOLD


The same day the Christmas tree was lighted at Public Square in Hagerstown, when little girls and boys hoped Santa Claus would appear, Carol Plum yearned to see her husband, the man who used to spray the tree's limbs with Miracle-Gro.

John Plum, 48, was suffering from an infection and was too sick to attend the tree lighting ceremony. He died Dec. 1 at Washington County Hospital.

Today, friends and family are mourning Carol Plum's death.

Plum, 48, of Boonsboro, died Sunday - less than two weeks after her husband passed away.

Family members believe she had a heart attack Sunday morning. She was pronounced dead at Washington County Hospital after doctors were unable to resuscitate her, said her sister, Janet Lewis.


"Her heart was broken for her husband and the stress she was going through trying to be strong for her daughter was more than she could handle," said Lewis, 62, of Thurmont.

Plum leaves behind two daughters, two sisters, a brother and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father George V. Mong Jr., and brother George V. Mong, III, who died earlier this year.

"It seems like a nightmare that we should all wake up from, but we'll never be able to wake up from," Lewis said.

Longtime friend Christi Dutrow said she was with Carol Plum the night before she died. She said Plum was able to set aside the grief for her husband after she learned that Dutrow was also dealing with the death of a family member.

"Carol was with me at my house Saturday evening until midnight," Dutrow said. "As long as I've known Carol, she's always been there for me."

Dutrow, who worked with Plum at CitiMortgage in Frederick, described her as a funny, "die-hard Republican" who loved "George 'Dubbya.'"

"She had this funny laugh, like 'tee-hee-hee-hee,'" said her supervisor Helen Foster. "She would always throw out this line from 'Larry The Cable Guy,' 'That's funny right there.'"

Plum was very proud of the 30-foot blue spruce that she and her husband gave the city, Foster said.

"She drove past the tree every day, before and after work," Foster said.

Plum attend the tree-lighting ceremony without her husband, who was being treated at Washington County Hospital for an infection. Plum told The Herald-Mail that he was listed in critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit.

Family members said Plum had a hard time dealing with his death.

"We knew she was going to have a hard time without him, but we didn't know it was going to be this bad," said her nephew, John Reese.

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