Constance B. Plummer, 87, musician, bridge player

April 21, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Constance Burch "Connie" Plummer, an accomplished pianist, civic volunteer and an avid bridge player, died of lung cancer Thursday at her home in Guilford. She was 87.

A 1936 graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, she had studied voice and piano and composed many songs throughout her life.

"She would get a thought about a song and jot it down," said Risque Wilson Plummer, a retired lawyer and her husband of 63 years. "She would get the notes down on sheet music, and then she would write the lyrics."

Nearly 50 of Mrs. Plummer's songs are copyrighted, although none are published. On a 25th anniversary cruise, Mr. Plummer had the ship's orchestra play one of his wife's melodies. The band was so taken with the tune that it became part of its repertoire for many years, Mr. Plummer said.

Mrs. Plummer, whose family lineage dates to Maryland's Colonial days, attended Notre Dame Preparatory School and made her debut to society at the 1934 Bachelor's Cotillion in Baltimore. She was the sister of the late Francis B. Burch, who served three terms as Maryland's attorney general.

After graduating from Peabody, she attended Strayer's Business College. Before her marriage in 1939, she worked for several years as the executive secretary for the Merchants and Miners Transportation Co., a steamship line. While raising her children, she often assisted her husband in his law practice.

During World War II, while her husband served overseas in the Navy, she became a captain in the American Red Cross. She later volunteered at Union Memorial Hospital and for Catholic Charities.

Listed in the 1974 edition of Who's Who Among American Women, Mrs. Plummer was a member of the Women's Club of Roland Park, L'Hirondelle Club, the Baltimore Country Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution, serving at one time as the state delegate to a national convention.

In the 1960s, she taught music at the Calvert School.

A member of the American Contract Bridge League, she was a bronze life master. More than 50 years ago, she devised a bidding system that she and her husband used successfully in regional and national tournaments.

"We were bridge partners for many years and played in many national championships," Mr. Plummer said. "We appeared three times in the American Contact Bridge League's magazine."

Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the chapel of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

In addition to her husband, survivors include a brother, John W. Burch of Wayne, Pa.; two sons, Risque Wilson Plummer Jr. of Baltimore and Richard Randolph Plummer of Pensacola, Fla.; and two grandchildren.

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