James Athones Ponder was born February 8, 1941 in Putney, Georgia to the late Arthur Lee Ponder and Willie Mae Ponder. He attended the public school of Dougherty County.
At a very early age, he started working for Albany Journal folding newspapers. He worked his way up the ranks ultimately running the printing presses. Pursing his dream to be a printer, he left Albany in 1959 for the promise of a job at the Florida Times Union Newspaper. When those hiring learned “Thones” was black, he was told the job had already been filled. With his dream dashed, he was forced to take on odd jobs; first working as an orderly at a nursing home, and a short cook at Jacksonville largest military base, Cecil Field Naval Air Station.
He then followed in his Daddy’s footsteps and began working for the railroad in 1967. He started out as a dishwasher and as it was his custom not to be satisfied with mediocrity, he worked his way to become a chef. He worked in the portion from 1973 until retirement in 2002. James was an avid Golfer and enjoyed watching the Florida Gators. On April 15, 2000 he was united in Holy Matrimony to his beloved, Valencia Y. Simmons.
James quietly answered the Master’s call on Saturday, February 8, 2020 and went home to with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was preceded in death by his parents. Arthur Lee and Willie Mae Ponder; son, James Alonzo Ponder; sister, Arthur Lee Williams; and three brothers, Eugene Ponder, George Ponder and John Henry Ponder.
He leaves to cherish his memories, his caring and devoted wife, Valencia Simmons; children, Lorenzo Ponder, Sr. (Jackie) and Shawana Ponder; sister, Zola P. Henly (Robert) of Dothan, AL, Annie P. Blassingame (Albert) of Macon, GA; Jacquelyn P. Griffin (Milton) and Patricia P. Porter (Kary) all of Albany, GA; brothers, Clifford Ponder of Macon, GA and Willie Frank Ponder of Albany, GA; mother-in-law, Elnora Davis (Birty); grandchildren, Akeem Ponder, Kareem Ponder, Lorenza Ponder, Latifah Ponder, Zaymeka Ponder, Lazita Ponder, Lorenzo Ponder, Jr., Javell Ponder, Loquade Ponder and Jordan Miller; great grandchildren, Kingston, Keyon, Keyzon, Harmonie, Lyrick, Kareem Jr. and Lalone; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Sarah L. Carter's Funeral Home Northside is serving the family.
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