Verda Ponder, 91 years old of Merrillville, Indiana, passed away Saturday, December 10, 2022. She was born March 25, 1931, in Livingston, Kentucky to Fred and Grace (Large) Ponder.
Verda taught us to slow down and enjoy life. She relished a good burger and fries, a cup of coffee, and chocolate ice cream. She would often say, “The sky looks pretty today,” even when it was overcast. She loved a good Hallmark movie, but nostalgic comedy shows were among her favorites; she always chuckled when Lucy and Ethel got into trouble and yelled at Barny Fife for being so stupid. She beamed as she took her homemade cookies or handcrafted holiday cards to others in her residential program, so proud of what she had accomplished. She loved birds and butterflies and anything else that was gentle, delicate, fragile.
Verda taught us not to take ourselves too seriously. After a doctor explained to her, as she was dealing with dementia, that her brain was like a computer, she would often say, “I’m glad I have a computer brain, but it is frustrating when it doesn’t want to work!” She loved to play bunco at the senior center, and she especially loved ‘winning’ the booby prize! She sought the happiness of everyone around her, even at her own expense. When asked what she wanted to do, where she wanted to go, she would search for the answer she thought would make you most pleased.
Verda taught us to always be up for an adventure. She smiled as she would recall going on expeditions with her brothers, hiding in their car under a blanket as a child. She lived her best life on a road trip to Dollywood, blasting the country greats like Dolly, Loretta Lynn, and Porter Wagoner on the way. She didn’t get to see Dolly herself, but Verda was thrilled to watch Dolly’s Family Reunion show in the park. She also enjoyed exploring Holland, Michigan, Winona Lake, and Indianapolis, and after each vacation she would say her favorite parts were eating out and staying at a hotel.
As much as Verda loved to go on adventures and stay in a hotel, she equally loved to stay at home and watch shows with her roommates and staff. Ninety-one years is a long time, and in that time, she captivated the hearts of all who knew her, but we did not have enough time with her. We mourn her greatly because we loved her greatly.
Verda was preceded in death by her parents, and a brother, Louie Ponder. She is survived by many extended family members.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Kosanke Funeral Home (new location), 309 S. Main Street, Kouts, Indiana, with a funeral service beginning at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Kouts.
We didn’t know, Verda until later in her life and quickly found out how sweet and accepting she was. It’s a joy to have memories of her at our Thanksgiving table quite a few years and to be involved in parts of her life in small ways. -Steve & Linda Feezor, and Stephen