Peter Plastow was born on Sept. 21, 1930, to Charles Edward Plastow and Dorthea Frederica Leese in Orlando, Florida. As part of an Army family, he traveled extensively during his early years, returning to Florida during his high school years and graduating in 1950.
While still in high school, Pete ran a small ranch of 300 head of Santa Gertrudis cattle, his first job as a cowboy. Pete joined the Marines at the outbreak of the Korean War, returning to Florida and attending the University of Florida after completing his service. He transferred to California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he earned a degree in animal husbandry. This is where he met and married Patricia Ann Henry from Santa Barbara, California. After Cal-Poly, it was back to the cattle business and Pete worked ranches in Florida, Texas, Colorado, California, Montana and Utah.
In the early 1960s, Pete’s father started an exhibit design and construction business in northern Virginia and Pete joined the family business, taking along his wife and their three boys, Jim, Bill and Mark. Pete created exhibits, models and dioramas for the Smithsonian, National Geographic and other museums. When the New York State Museum in Albany was planning to move to a new location, he accepted a job as production supervisor for the construction of the exhibits in the new museum. The project was completed in 1976. By this time, Pete and Pat had added three daughters to the family: Suzy, Tina and Missy.
After eleven years in New York, Pete decided to leave the East Coast and move west to the Moab area. He was ready to turn his favorite pursuits—painting and sculpting—into a vocation. He resided in Castle Valley and spent his days researching, painting and sculpting in his studio.
Pete Plastow was a self-taught painter and sculptor of the West who drew from years of experience as a cowboy, ranch foreman and herdsman. Pete was featured in the Cowboy Artists Calendar, Western Horseman, Art of the West, Southwest Art, Utah Highways, and Canyon Legacy Art. His works are in the collections of the Springville Museum of Art, Utah, Grand Junction Art Center, Colorado, North Central Texas College at Gainesville, and Institute of Art, Albany, N.Y. His work is in private collections in the United States, England, Europe, Spain, China and South Africa.
Pete and his wife, Pat, were married for 60 years. Pat passed on Sept. 21, 2013. In 2018, thanks to Google, he was lucky enough to meet and marry Rosalie Gilroy from Alexandria, Virginia. Rosalie loved him enough to join him in Castle Valley, where he was blessed to end his days in her arms in complete and total happiness.
Pete was torn away from his “Little Honey” on Jan. 22, 2021, due to complications from COVID-19. He was 90 years young.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Patricia Ann Henry; and son, Mark Plastow. Pete is survived by his wife, Rosalie; sons James Plastow (Joyce) and William Plastow (Linda); his daughter-in-law Bonnie Plastow; his daughters, Suzy Gordon (Kent), Tina Andersen (Scott), Missy Conklin (Bryan); and his 30 grandchildren and over 50 great-grandchildren. His “bonus children” are Maureen McHugh (Douglas), Laura Johnson (Grant), Michael Minarik (Howie), Patrick Minarik (Anita), and Susan Minarik Delgado and four bonus grandchildren.
Graveside services will be held on Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. at the Sunset Memorial Garden Cemetery in Moab with live streaming on the Spanish Valley Mortuary Facebook page. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.spanishvalleymortuary.com.