Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bill Travis “Cactus Pete” Plater

Bill PlaterBill Travis “Cactus Pete” Plater, 86, of Marion, passed away nine days short of his 87th birthday at 10:45 p.m., Friday, August 1, 2014 at the Marion VA Medical Center.

He was born on August 10, 1927 in Vienna. He was the son of William Garrett and Ruby K. (Travis) Plater. He married Susan K. (Payne) McGill on December 28, 1991 in Anna. She survives of Marion.

He was a US Navy Veteran of WWII and served in the Army Counter Intelligence Corp during the Korean Conflict.

He was a graduate of Southern Illinois University- Carbondale. Following graduation, he worked for the St. Louis Globe Democrat as writer and staff artist.

He was one of the original staff of WSIL TV when it went on the air in 1953. He was art director for the station and two years later became the on air character “Cactus Pete”. He hosted that show for sixteen years and also played “Ruffles the Clown” and “The Cartoon Man” and was emcee of the afternoon variety program “Studio Show”.

Leaving TV, he established Plater Printing Harrisburg and ran the business for 18 years. Following this, he and his wife established Graphics Galore, a sign and trophy shop in Marion, which they operated for 8 years. In semi-retirement, he and his wife originated a promotional product business “The Idea Shop” on the internet and in Marion. In his spare time he enjoyed reading different newspapers, drawing, painting, gardening and yard work.

Survivors include- Wife Susan K. Plater of Marion; Daughter Darci Plater of Belleville; Son William Kelly Plater of Harrisburg; Step Daughter Cynthia Ward and husband Darren of New Berlin; Step son Bryan McGill and wife Melinda of Benton.

He is also survived by four step grandchildren: Jacob Norris of Benton, Murphy, Lenox and Rogan Ward of New Berlin. Sister Mary Ann Chenoweth and husband George of Anna. Brother in law Philip Payne and wife Rosemary of Macedonia. Niece Kathy Hefele of Houston, TX and cousin Wanda Slack of Vienna.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service will be held at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at Blue Funeral Home in Marion. Rev. Dave McReynolds and Mark Fisher will co-officiate. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until time of service, Tuesday at the funeral home. Military rites will be performed at the funeral home by the Herrin VFW and American Legion Posts with assistance from the Illinois National Guard.

Memorial donations are suggested to the American Lung Association and will be accepted at Blue Funeral Home, 1704 North Court, Marion, IL   62959.

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