William McGee Ponder
May 5, 1921 – January 22, 2018
Longtime Monterey Peninsula resident, William Ponder passed away on Monday January 22. He was 96 years old.
William (Bill) Ponder was born in 1921 in Caldwell, Texas. He was the last surviving child of fourteen. He was the star athlete of Silsbee High School in football, basketball, baseball and track. Some of his records may still stand. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1940, was trained as a commando, and served on the Battleship, USS Mississippi in the North Atlantic and in the Pacific after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Bill fought in almost all of the major battles of the Pacific Theater, rising to the rank of Chief Boatswain's Mate after being transferred to the Attack Transport, USS La Salle.
During the war he met the love of his life, Juanita, in San Francisco. They married in Monterey on December 20, 1943 while Bill was on a three day pass. Bill left to continue his service in the Pacific war, not to return for eighteen months. Such was the life a wartime marriage. Bill was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946 after serving during all of World War II. After leaving the Navy Bill and Juanita lived in San Francisco where he worked as a self employed butcher, owning the Royal Pine Grocery and Meat Market at 828 Irving St. They owned a Shell gas station at 19th Avenue and Lincoln St. Their three children were born in San Francisco. In 1959 the family moved to the Monterey Peninsula where they started the B&J Grocery and Meat Market, on Lighthouse in Monterey. As times changed Bill became an auctioneer. This led to beginning both new and used furniture stores in "New" Monterey and Seaside, culminating in Furniture Square on Pacific Street in downtown Monterey. In early "retirement" they opened a jewelry business, the Jewel Box in Carmel. Bill was an avid golfer and horseman who also loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. Juanita passed away in 2010. His family and friends will always fondly and lovingly remember Bill.
His three children and six grandchildren survive Mr. Ponder. Tim; who is married to Laurie and lives in Dallas TX, they have two daughters Jennifer and Jackie also in Texas. Kathy; who is married to Myron and lives in Cupertino, CA. They have two sons, Cameron and Clayton also in Cupertino. James; who is married to Mary Ann and lives in Aromas, CA. They have two sons Chris and Tommy who live in Arizona. Services will be held at The Paul Mortuary Chapel in Pacific Grove, CA on Saturday, February 10th. Viewing will begin at 1 pm with service to follow at 2 pm.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Saturday, February 10, 2018
William McGee Ponder
February 11, 2018
No one ever took such care of an RV! I am the older son of Ray and Carolyn Millard (above) who lived across the street from Bill and Juanita since 1985. From the time we moved into the neighborhood, Bill and Juanita were frequently on the road for long periods in their RV. Then, later, probably hoping that there would be one more trip, Bill spent endless hours working on the large motor home. I have no doubt that it's still in excellent condition today, ready to roll! For the few years that I lived on Dry Creek Road, and during the many years since then when I visit my parents, it was an everyday occurrence to walk out of the house, look across the street and say, "Hi Bill!" to the neighbor with the big smile and a big wave. That's how I'll always remember him. Happy Trails, Bill and Juanita!
Ray and Carolyn Millard
February 10, 2018
In July 1985 we made our final military move to 520 Dry Creek Rd, across the street from Bill and Juanita and Pepper. Thus began many years of wonderful visits across the fence, up and down the street, in their front yard and at their dining table. We especially enjoyed hearing Bill talk about his Navy days...he was very modest when describing his years at sea but in our view, Chief Ponder was a sterling example of a member of the Greatest Generation. We got to know all three of their children and grandchildren and were amazed at the many family photos that covered every wall in their house. You could see and feel the love in the whole family. We saw them every day and sometimes felt that we were watching over them as the years passed. We miss our dear friend Bill and his beautiful wife Juanita. May they rest in peace together.
February 8, 2018
Blessings to the family. Many years ago, my late grandmother, Johnnie B. Lindsey, served with gladness as housekeeper to the Ponder family. I recall assisting her in putting sheets on the big round bed, so much fun. My thoughts and prayers to your family as you grieve the loss of a wonderful servant. God Bless.
February 4, 2018
In 1970 my family moved to Dry Creek Road across from the Ponder family. Theirs was always a very active household. Mr.Ponder was a very fine, Texas gentleman and so adored his wife and children. I will always be grateful to both Bill and Juanita for the kindness and support they provided for my late mother. All the best to the Ponder family.
January 26, 2018
Our thoughts are with all of you at this difficult time, We are so very sorry for your loss. Lynn and Roserie