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Mary Lee Ponder

January 23, 1954 — October 18, 2023

Mary Lee Ponder

We are sad to announce the passing of Mary Lee Ponder (Van Hart) (Strunk) (nee Rothring) on October 18th, 2023. After a long illness, Mary is at peace.

Mary was the daughter of the late Robert and Rosemary Rothring and was preceded in death by her ex-husband Jerry Van Hart. She is survived by her daughter Lisa Van Hart (Jonathan), her sister Peggy, and Pam and Gary Van Hart (Zachary, Adam, Molly) and many dear family members and friends.

In memory of my beloved sister, mentor, and best friend who goes before me to light the way:

I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says:

"There, she is gone!"

"Gone where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, she is gone!" There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:

"Here she comes!"

And that is dying...

- A 19th Century Funeral Sermon –

In lieu of a service, donations may be made in Mary's name to:

ASPCA donate online at:

World Wildlife Fund donate online at:

Hospice Foundation of America donate online at:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital donate online at:

Wounded Warriors Project donate online at:

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Lee Ponder, please visit our flower store.


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