Over 60 Years, what a Great Ride!
Kansas City, MO, USA – November 25, 2020: Clarence “Clancy” Plummer has worked for Renner Garage Door for over sixty years. Throughout Clancy’s career, he sold garage doors, openers, patio doors, sun lights, and pretty much all items that then, Renner Supply Company, offered. In addition to sales, Plummer managed the inventory of patio doors and the company’s installation techs. He also mentored and trained sales personnel.
In 1961, Clancy was working as a shipping clerk for a paper company and Gene Renner “stole me away with an offer of almost $3/hr.” Plummer had to supply his own transportation and insurance, but Renner paid for gas. Plummer spent the rest of his career with the Delden Manufacturing and Renner Garage Door family.
Clancy recalls, “I was with the startup of the company. We had a 500 sq. ft storefront on Truman road with a basement to keep the garage doors. Two installers, Gene, and basically one and a half clerks to write up orders. We did less than $10,000 a month in sales in the beginning.”
Plummer has been a contributing member to numerous associations, organizations, and activities throughout his storied career.
Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City: Clancy was a spike, which is a member who has recruited 50 new members. He was also Social Chairman for a couple years and president of the Spike club. Plummer states, “That club brought a lot of new business into Renner.” Dawn Allen, Director of Membership / Events for HBA of KC said, “Clancy was always such a bright spot in all of our days at the Home Builders Association.” “Clancy would always plan his visits when he knew we were serving a treat. Whether a meal, a snack or just donuts. Clancy is such a ‘gem’ in this world. I am so happy that he will be enjoying his retirement, but we will miss his visits,” Allen added.
Breakfast at 8 Club: This is a networking club that meets every Wednesday for breakfast (surprise!) Members talk about their businesses and how they can help each other with opportunities. Clancy was president a couple years and served in many other roles. Bringing in new business!
Coach: He coached his daughter, Lisa in softball and basketball in her younger years. Clancy remembers, “She turned out to be such a fine athlete that I didn’t have to pay for any of her college since the University of Missouri gave her a scholarship.” “I also coached my son, Steve and we found out he was meant for school, not athletics,” he joked!
International Brick Collectors Association: Of course, he was president of this a couple times too. Plummer collected named bricks on his sales trips for years. He has amassed a patio and sidewalk full of them and his basement walls, over three thousand in all.
Clarence Plummer was born and raised in De Soto, Kansas. He went to De Soto High School, played football and basketball, and was awarded a scholarship to Emporia College for his physical aptitude.
Clancy states, “I think I majored in the wrong thing the first semester because I had way too good of a time. My buddies and I decided to forget school after the first semester, and we joined the Marines to fight for our country over in Korea.”
In the Marines, they were all ready to fight the Koreans but by the time they finished basic training and got on the ship to go over, the government signed the Armistice and they got redirected to Japan. Plummer spent 18 months in Japan serving his country. He thankfully made it back on the GI Bill and graduated in Business with emphasis on retail.
Clancy has said, “Marrying my loving wife, Carol, was probably the best decision I ever made. She took care of the kids while I was away 3 days a week traveling for the company and was the best cook ever.”
In retirement, Clancy plans to keep collecting bricks, spend time with family, support KU Basketball, the Kansas City Royals and of course, the World Champion Chiefs.
Clancy’s children had some things to say as well, regarding their dad as a father, mentor and professional. Steve Plummer, Lisa Stoppenbach and Lance Plummer:
Steve is grateful to Delden and Renner for giving him some work growing up. Steve ultimately became a chemical engineer. He did really enjoy the company picnic back in 1983, where he hit a home run to win the game!
Lisa’s remembers so much about Delden/Renner – from the early days when rollers were delivered to Delden in barrels. “Dad would bring home these barrels and we would get inside them and roll them down the hills around our house. What a hoot – we were the most popular house on the block when new barrels would arrive!” She believes her and her brothers were fortunate to work at Delden counting hardware bags, then she was promoted to work on the track, and got to build some doors too. “Everyone was so nice in the production area, and of course Dad knew everyone and would walk through to check on us and everyone loved him. They all had something to say to him.”
Clancy would leave every Tuesday and come home every Thursday night. Lisa remembers that when her dad returned, he would entertain them with stories of life on the road. From where he ate and the movies he saw, to the lumberyards he visited. That is actually, when he started his brick collecting.
Lisa also recalled her dad being invited to the National Home Builders Association meetings in Las Vegas or Houston. “He was able to take Mom and they both had such a great time! Dinners out, planned events and meeting a lot of very nice people. Mom looked forward to these events all year,” she added.
Lance is thankful to Gene and Freida Renner. He also expresses his appreciation for Denise Dahms later in life, Gene and Freida’s daughter and current president of the company. Lance stated, “one of the goals of a parent is to provide a better life for their children than they had. Dad’s steady employment with paychecks throughout his career gave them the financial wherewithal to get us kids through college and off to our own successful careers. The company set us up as a family to be successful.” “Of course, no small part of that was that dad was a hard worker with a great sense of humor and tons of friends. That has been a model for us kids to aspire to,” he added. Lance had various summer jobs at Delden and kind of always thought that he may end up working there. Lance recalled that it was nice thinking that if he needed that kind of help, then he very well may have been able to ask for it. “I’m also glad Steve remembers that home run, but it was one of many in my career,” Lance kidded.
Clancy concluded by saying, “Renner has been a great company to work with. Being part of a private, family run operation has many advantages. Working with great people to get high quality garage doors to home builders and the general public is really a great job. Having fun with you all over the last 60 years has made for a rewarding career.”
Denise Dahms states, “Clancy was a hard worker and a priceless employee. We couldn’t have gotten to where we are today without him. And he is a wonderful uncle to me.”
Left to right, back to front: Lance, Steve, Carol, Lisa and Clancy