William H. Plageman, Jr.

William H. Plageman, Jr.

Member Number 706


Ancestor:  Alexander Jackson, Sr.


June 13, 1943 - April 1, 2016


William H. Plageman, Jr.

On April 1, 2016, after a valiant five-month battle with cancer, William Plageman, prominent Bay Area attorney, passed away peacefully in the hospital with his family beside him.
Bill was born in San Francisco, but the family settled in Stockton where he met his future wife of 48 years, Margaret Peters Plageman, who lived around the block when they were kids.
Bill attended UC Davis where he majored in Anthropology and was a member of Theta Xi Fraternity. He went on to graduate from Boalt School of Law in 1968 and enjoyed a 47-year career as a highly regarded real estate and estate planning attorney. For many years he worked as a partner at Thelen, Marrin, Johnson, and Bridges. At age 50 he ultimately established his own law firm in Oakland—Plageman and Associates, now Plageman, Lund, & Cannon. He earned a national reputation in estate planning and was selected as one of the "100 Super Lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area" every year for the last 10 years. He was also an elected Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). And in the Santa Cruz area, Bill was admired for his creative solutions to long-standing land use negotiations.
In addition to his professional life, Bill volunteered for 31 years with the Bay Area Tumor Institute where he served on many committees as well as being the General Counsel for the organization. He was also an active member of the Oakland Yacht Club and Commander of the Oakland Sail and Power Squadron. He loved sailing on the Bay with friends on his boat, Fair Lady.
Bill's interests were many. He was passionate about music and played piano by ear—blues and jazz, his favorites. He was an avid collector and loved treasure hunting at flea markets and collectible shops. Tied to his interest in anthropology, Bill became a genealogist and reconnected with his ancestors and living relatives in and around Shiner, Texas. He was planning to write a book on his family when he retired. Bill was a proud member of "Austin's Old 300," descendants of Stephen Austin's group of original settlers in Texas. But Bill's favorite place in the world was Santa Cruz where he loved to relax and walk on West Cliff Drive. Hawaii was a close second. Wherever he went, he found the best donuts in town (hot ones)!
Bill cared deeply about his family. The love of his life, Maggie, was not only his wife but also his confidante, best friend, and partner in his many interests. He adored his two daughters, Elizabeth (spouse, Michael) and Laura (spouse, Ammon) and his granddaughters, Oona and Maeve. He is also survived by his brother Larry (spouse, Kathy), sister Barbara Venturacci, and many nieces and nephews. Bill was preceded in death by his sister, Mitzi Reaugh.
Bill retired in October 2015 and unfortunately entered the hospital a few weeks later. His many friends and family wish he had been able to enjoy a longer retirement, and they will miss his wit, gravelly voice, dry sense of humor, mischievous smile, and love of life.
The family suggests donations in Bill's memory to the Bay Area Tumor Institute or the Pancreatic Cancer Network.
A "Celebration of Bill's Life" will be held for family and friends, in Alameda on Sunday, May 15, 3:00-6:00, at the Oakland Yacht Club, 1101 Pacific Marina.