We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Anderson-Ragsdale Mortuary
William Bryant Ponder was born on February 21, 1927 in Greenville, Texas to the union of Benjamin F. and Pauline Ponder. He was the youngest of four siblings. Throughout his life, William B. Ponder was intimately known as Buck, Uncle Buck, William, Brother Ponder, Mr. Ponder and Dad. William’s older sister Bennie Mae (deceased) were both raised by their parents in Baytown, Texas. Buck attended George Washington Carver High School and went on to attend Jack Yates Junior College in Houston.
In 1944, William’s family moved to San Diego so his father could continue work with an oil refinery company. Buck attended San Diego City College and in 1945, he enlisted in the US Airforce. This sent him to live in northern California where he would meet the love of his life, Mary Louise Parker. Two years later, in Sacramento, Buck and Mary met again. In 1949, they were married.
Buck and Mary settled in southeast San Diego where they lovingly raised five children; William S. Ponder, Patricia M. Allison, Barbara A. Day (deceased), Mary A. Ponder and W. Faye Ponder-Price. After being honorably discharged from the United States Airforce, Buck became employed at North Island Naval Air Station, owned by the Department of Defense. The Naval Air Station is known as the “Birthplace of Naval Aviation”. For 38 years, Mr. Ponder worked in building 94, repairing jet plane engines on the Coronado peninsula of San Diego Bay until he retired in 1982.
Buck’s parents, Benjamin and Pauline were married for 65 years. Like his parents, his marital union with Mary also lasted 65 years until his wife’s home in January of 2015. Both Buck and Mary were pillars of their family and their community. They owned and operated a residential board and care facility for 30 years. They were dedicated members of their church and very active in social organizations to improve our society.
Mr. Ponder was a deacon and elder at Christ United Presbyterian Church of San Diego, where he also served on the usher board and was the Superintendent of Sunday School and the Men’s Fellowship. Mr. Ponder also participated with the finance and building committees and in 1999 he was honored by Christ United Presbyterian Church as Father of the Year.
Brother Ponder was a 33rd Degree Mason in the San Diego Consistory #91 as well as Worthy Joshua in the Heroines of Jericho. He joined the Golden West Mason Lodge in 1972 and served as Worshipful Master in 1976. He also served as the Worshipful Master in 1992 in the Gibraltar Lodge #58. He also served as treasurer for this lodge for 10 years.
Bro. Ponder was on the Grand Lodge Committee for Black History. He also joined the Ada B. Cleveland Chapter #71 O.E.S. P.H.R.A. and served as Worthy Patron in 1980 and 1984. Ponder was a member of the American Legion and belonged to the Veterans of Foreign War Dennis T. Williams Post 310. He was a member of the George Stevens Senior Center and AARP where he continued to enrich the lives of others.
Even up until the age of 95, Buck continued to enjoy a vibrant and active life and had amassed a number of frequent flier miles as he resided in both San Diego, CA and Houston, Texas. He regularly attended church in San Diego and Houston, but remained an avid San Diego Padre and Charger fan. He also became a fan of HBCU football and attended games throughout the fall. Buck sailed the Mexican Riviera, enjoyed visiting Las Vegas and river boats in New Orleans.
Over the course of his life, Mr. William B. Ponder quietly showed dedication to his wife, his family and service to his community. In addition to his children, William B. Ponder leaves 10 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and friends who mourn his passing but have hope in his new life with Christ.
May Brother Ponders’ good works be viewed as a demonstration of his love and commitment to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Mr. Ponder; a great father, excellent example and friend will be greatly missed by all.