Bernard Ponto, 88, of Shawnee, Kan.

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2005

Bernard Ponto, 88, died peacefully on April 13, 2005 at The Sweet Life Care Center in Shawnee, Kan. A memorial service was held on Saturday, April 16 at Shawnee Presbyterian Church.

Bernard was born in Charles City, Iowa. He married Elna Hammond on April 9, 1939. In 1940 they moved to Chippewa Falls, Wis. where he began employment with Dairyland Power Cooperative as diesel engine mechanic. In 1951 he was transferred to the power plant in Twin Lakes, Minn. and they moved to Albert Lea. The last few years with Dairyland he was the plant superintendent. Bernard took pride in his 41 years of employment with Dairyland, retiring in 1981.

Bernard was a member of the Masonic Lodge, the Lion’s Club, the Barbershop Chorus and the First Presbyterian Church of Albert Lea where he served as both a Deacon and an Elder. He was an active member of the Y’s Men’s Club. He and his family volunteered many hours at the YMCA Camp Marine, the Y’s Men’s Christmas tree sales and the Y’s Men’s root beer stand at the county fair. In retirement he continued his volunteer work with Meals on Wheels, senior citizen Ride Services and the Albert Lea Audubon Society. His work with engines transferred to his interest in cars and garden equipment. He also enjoyed refinishing and building furniture. He and Elna enjoyed camping and traveling.

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In May of 2004 Bernard and Elna moved to Shawnee, Kan. to be closer to family. They joined the Shawnee Presbyterian Church. Attending church was a very important part of his life. Holidays and being together with family gave Bernard much pleasure and many fond memories.

Bernard was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Ruth Ponto, a brother, Marvin, and a daughter, Barbara, her husband, Richard Johnson, and their three children, Julie, Loren and Corinne.

He is survived by his wife Elna, son, Richard Ponto and his wife Marilynne from Farmington Hills, Mich.; daughter Joan, and her husband Lanny Bachtle of Shawnee, Kan.; daughter, Joy Yeater of Shawnee, Kan.; daughter, Ruth Ann and her husband Kirk Foley of St. Claire Shores, Mich.; ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren: Sarah and Greg Suskovic, Elizabeth and Alex of North Mankato, Minn.; Mike Ponto and Doug Faulk, of Minneapolis, Minn.; Kristen and Damien Illum, Brooke and Amber of Olathe, Kan.; Mike and Denise Bachtle, Colin of Shawnee, Kan.; Lisa Bachtle of Shawnee, Kan.; Jason Yeater of The Woodlands, Texas; Joshua and Paige Yeater of Charleston, S.C.; Jessica and John Jordan, Les and Gene of Pearisburg, Va.; Peter Foley of Traverse City, Mich.; and Matthew Foley and Kellie Foster of Sterling Heights, Mich.