Mr. Mainstreet Burt Plehal dies

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 3, 2001

The man known to many as Mr.

Saturday, February 03, 2001

The man known to many as Mr. Mainstreet died Friday. Burt Plehal died at St. Mary’s Hospital following an illness.

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He is survived by his wife Esther; three sons, Jim of Washington, D.C., Tom, Cascade Ind. and John, Washington, D.C. and six grandchildren.

Plehal came to Austin in 1939, and served as the vice president of Austin State Bank. After 27 years, Plehal left the bank to pursue other endeavors, according to his wife Esther. He went on to be an independent financial advisor, real estate developer and entrepreneur. And he was the only man "to have and carry a four-page calling card," Esther recalled.

"His influence has been far reaching," she said. "I’ve been getting calls and cards from people I didn’t even know he knew."

Indeed, Plehal’s influence can be seen throughout the community. An active member of Austin Businessmen Association, Plehal owned several businesses and helped to develop the Main Street North area, Esther said.

He also was responsible for development along 18th Avenue NW and owned property there. He developed North Main Street Apartments and was the maintenance person there, Esther said.

But Mr. Mainstreet was more than just a business man. He also sat on the advisory board for Paramount Theatre. As a supporter of public television, he served as an advisor to the KSMQ board.

Plehal was active in establishing student housing for students of Riverland Community College, Esther said.

A staunch Republican, Plehal served as the chairman for Mower County’s Republican Party.

Plehal was an elder for the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin and was also involved in Kiwanis and Rotary.

"He used to tell people that he hadn’t missed a day of school or work since the third grade," Esther said of her late husband’s dedication to all he did. He continued to work up until the onset of his illness.

Plehal enjoyed helping people, Esther said. His hobbies included golf, bowling, fishing, antiques and photography.

Services are pending with Clasen-Jordan Mortuary.