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Hoffmeister Colonial Mortuary

6464 Chippewa Street, St. Louis, MO

OBITUARY

Mary Josephine Ponder

February 9, 1946July 11, 2019
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Mary Jo Ponder, fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, July 11, 2019.

Mary Jo was the beloved wife of the late Frank "Skip" Ponder, Jr.; cherished mother of Anne (Dave) Heilig, Mary Ellen (Lance LeComb) Ponder, Mike (Lindsey) Ponder, and the late Matthew Ponder; loving grandmother of Madeleine Heilig, Rosalind LeComb, and Hazel and Emma Ponder; dear sister of Dolores Roesch, Jackie (the late Dick) Semar, Ed (Peggy) Roesch, Kathy (Ken, Sr.) Kresyman, and Sue (Jim) Hammerschmidt; sister-in-law of Mary (John) Brutcher, and the late Judith (the late Jim) Nigh; fun aunt, great-aunt, cousin, and a trusted friend to countless people.

Visitation will be Sunday, July 14, from 4-8pm at Hoffmeister Colonial Mortuary 6464 Chippewa Street 63109. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, July 15 at 11am at St. Simon the Apostle Catholic Church 11011 Mueller Rd. St. Louis MO 63123.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Heartland Hospice, a senior care facility of your choice, or blood donations to your local blood bank will be greatly appreciated by the family.

Please leave your favorite memory of Mary Jo for her family to cherish at the "Add a Memory" link below.

  • FAMILY

  • Edward Lester Roesch, Father
  • Mathilda Margaret Werkmeister, Mother
  • Frank Myles Ponder Jr., Husband
  • Anne (David) Heilig, Daughter
  • Mary Ellen (Lance LeComb) Ponder, Daughter
  • Michael (Lindsey) Ponder, Son
  • Matthew Ponder, Son
  • Madeleine Heilig, Granddaughter
  • Rosalind LeComb, Granddaughter
  • Hazel Ponder, Granddaughter
  • Emma Ponder, Granddaughter
  • Dolores Roesch, Sister
  • Jacqueline (the late Richard) Semar, Sister
  • Edward (Margaret) Roesch, Brother
  • Katheen (Kenneth Sr.) Kresyman, Sister
  • Susan (James) Hammerschmidt, Sister

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, July 14, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Monday, July 15, 2019
  • Rite of Committal Monday, July 15, 2019

Memories

Mary Josephine Ponder

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Joy Quante

July 14, 2019

Mj, your love & guidance on everything from motherhood to simple & not so simple life challenges to being my fiercest prayer warrior have been such a constant.

St. Simon was a wonderful place to raise my kids but the biggest reason was because of you. You loved each student as if they were your own & you advocated for them like no one else was. I always felt secure knowing my kids were at a school where you were there to look out for them. You instilled in our kids & in us the importance of service & generosity & that love should never be conditional. Mj, you didn’t just preach the importance of living a faith filled impactful life, you lived it...even after so many trials could have left you bitter, your faith never wavered.

As much as I already feel your void I am certain you have a front row seat in heaven. While my heart breaks for Anne, Mary Ellen & Mike & their families ...I am so grateful you are no longer suffering & reunited again with those you have missed for so long!

Mj, your impact on the Quante family is beyond measure ...the best way to describe it is a few days ago we were referencing Mrs. Ponder as a saint && the kids suggested we contact the Pope to see if he could make that happen. ❤️

We love you Mj & thank you for always loving us so much! Hugs ❤️ Joy

Pat Tornatore

July 14, 2019

I enjoyed many conversations with MaryJo, sharing memories of Matt and my brother. She had the patience of a saint with her kiddos at St. Simon and modeled a beautiful life for them. I was honored to know her and Skip; our daughter Gina received special love from Michael and MaryJo while at St. Simon. Life is lovely and challenging all at the same time. MaryJo was a warrior and can lay down her shield having fought the good fight. Rest In Peace forever together, Matt, Skip & Mary Jo. ❤️

Beth Bartolotta

July 14, 2019

What an angel Heaven has gained this week! Rest in the arms of our Lord, Mary Jo, and enjoy a reunion with Skip and Matt.
You have been such a blessing to me, to my family, and to our world while we had you here. As a model of faith and virtue, you were a teacher to us all. Love, prayers, and gratitude to you and to your family for sharing you with us!

Eileen Sinwell

July 13, 2019

MJ I was devastated to hear of your passing. You were such a strong person with so much understanding and compassion for every you came in contact with. Thank you for all the support you gave me during my daughters illness. Lexi loved you so much and loved helping you at school whenever you needed her. You helped her through some tough times. Rest In Peace my friend and know that you will be missed.

Barbara (Schroll) Kline

July 12, 2019

I attended Bishop DuBourg with Jo. We spent a lot of weekends together talking and being silly teenagers.
Later, after I had married and my husband was sent to Vietnam ,
Jo would always call me to spend time together so I wouldn’t be lonely.
Through the years we tried to keep in touch. I would try to look at Facebook and see what was going on with Jo. Sorry to say I haven’t talked to her for a couple of years. I know you are at peace
now. You were always such an amazing person and friend.
Rest In Peace, Jo.

Sharon Lenger

July 12, 2019

MJ~ you were one of my dearest friends. I will always refer to you as my "2nd mama." God truly blessed my life when he brought me into yours! I am a better person for my time spent with you. You will always have a very special place in my heart!

Anne, Mary Ellen, and Mike~ your mom loved each of you and your beautiful children more than life itself! Please be assured of my prayers and love during this very difficult time!

Patricia Sheredano

July 12, 2019

Sweet Mary Jo. I will always remember her kindness towards me. Always a warm ,” hi, Patty!”. From her when Mary would take me to her house for a bridal shower or some other Ponder event my dear friend Mary never failed to invite me to attend with her.
Now, we all know; Mary Jo is where she’s been wanting to be for quite a while. She’s with her dear Skip watching over their families now. What more could she ask God for? Pain free Peace is hers .

Tom Dapron

July 12, 2019

Dear Mary Jo, I am so sorry I did not tell you this here, and long ago face to face. You have always been a model human being & most importantly, a model Catholic Christian woman. Woven into your being were so many virtues seen thru your authentic love and kindness to all. I recall the time you spoke only kind words and came to the defense of a Man at St Simons, by sharing your witnessing his compassion for a Boy he had tearfully consoled.

You always exhibited alignment to our Blessed Mother in an era when young ladies are flooded with bad and frequently horrible examples of what it means to be a the kind of woman that Jesus wants them to be. The lives and generations of families that have and will live more joyful and rewarding lives because of your example and grace, the number of destructive life mistakes that will never happen, the number of young men that will pursue women of faith as their wives, because of your examples to them as young boys, the number of women that will serve Jesus with fervor, and the number of people who have and will continue to keep the faith because you gave them a daily glimpse of heaven are all immeasurable.

But, if you COULD somehow measure the number of lives and degree of heavenly impact you have had, it would equate to an overflowing treasure box of Gods eternal love. I wish we were all there sharing with you the moment Jesus told you - “Wonderful job my good and faithful servant. I have a special place in paradise prepared especially for your beautiful soul”.

Thank you Mary Jo for the gift of your life, for showing us Jesus in the flesh, for the inspiration and love you availed to our children, which will live in their behavior and choices through the generations. Thank you for carrying on the tradition of the Dominican Sisters that taught me at St Simons in the 70’s. They all thank you for carrying the spiritual torch and being their hands and tongue so far beyond their physical presence.

Phil Sutin

July 12, 2019

My condolences to the family.

Mark and Debbie Emmerich

July 12, 2019

Anne, Mary Ellen, Mike & Family,
We are truly saddened to hear about your Mom.
We have wonderful memories of our families being neighbors for so many years. When our home was completed, your Mom & Dad were some of the first to welcome us to the neighborhood. We became friends easily & loved their wonderful sense of humors.
Fun family memories of Country Hill, St. Simon softball, stops for long chats while out on walks, to catch up on family & neighborhood news & much more.
It seems like a gazillion years ago that you three were growing up right alongside our three.
We will remember your Mom as a kind, considerate, caring friend & neighbor with a warm smile & a fun laugh that made her eyes crinkle.
We know she will be missed & remembered fondly by many. Her leaving has left a sad void in your lives, but her health struggles are behind her now & she is at peace alongside your Dad & big brother.
You are in our thoughts & if you need us for anything at all, you know exactly where we live.
Love you all, Debbie & Mark❤

FROM THE FAMILY
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Biography

Mary Jo Ponder, fortified with the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, July 11, 2019.

Mary Jo was the beloved wife of the late Frank "Skip" Ponder, Jr.; cherished mother of Anne (Dave) Heilig, Mary Ellen (Lance LeComb) Ponder, Mike (Lindsey) Ponder, and the late Matthew Ponder; loving grandmother of Madeleine Heilig, Rosalind LeComb, and Hazel and Emma Ponder; dear sister of Dolores Roesch, Jackie (the late Dick) Semar, Ed (Peggy) Roesch, Kathy (Ken, Sr.) Kresyman, and Sue (Jim) Hammerschmidt; sister-in-law of Mary (John) Brutcher, and the late Judith (the late Jim) Nigh; fun aunt, great-aunt, cousin, and a trusted friend to countless people.

Visitation will be Sunday, July 14, from 4-8pm at Hoffmeister Colonial Mortuary 6464 Chippewa Street 63109. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, July 15 at 11am at St. Simon the Apostle Catholic Church 11011 Mueller Rd. St. Louis MO 63123.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Heartland Hospice, a senior care facility of your choice, or blood donations to your local blood bank will be greatly appreciated by the family.