DOWNTOWN — Ann Mae Markin Plepler, longtime music teacher of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, died Oct. 22 at Saint John’s Health Center during surgery following a heart attack. She was 85.

Plepler grew up in Worland, Wyo., the daughter of Anna Bosch and Charles George. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music from Ottawa University in Kansas, where she specialized in piano and voice.

In 1953, Plepler married first husband John W. Markin and moved to Denver, where she spent several years hosting a local music education television show for children. The couple relocated to Santa Monica in 1956, and Plepler began her career as a “music specialist” for Santa Monica schools, family members said.

“She was very thorough and meticulous in preparation,” said longtime supervisor Richard Wagnon. “A lot of teachers put together things by the seat of their pants, but she did not. She was always very much in demand, and endeared to all.”

Added colleague and friend Bonnie Lockrem: “She was wonderful. She always had another trick up her sleeve.”

After 44 years of teaching, Plepler was laid off by the district, but later recruited and paid by the Santa Monica-Malibu Parent Teacher Association to continue her work, family members said.

Following the death of her first husband in 1994, Plepler later married longtime friend and fellow SMMUSD violin teacher Sherman Plepler, to whom she was married at the time of her passing.

Plepler is survived by her husband; nieces Carol Luther and Nancy Sittner; and cousin Connie Eastman. The memorial service will be held Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery, 1847 14th St.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Plepler’s memory to the SMMUSD’s Elementary Music Department, 1651 16th St., for equipment, materials, and supplies.

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