Ethel Bonnie Ponder
Ethel Bonnie Ponder, 107, of Okemah, Oklahoma, went to be with her Heavenly Father on Sunday, October 14th, 2023 in Oklahoma City.
Ethel was born in Tate, Arkansas on March 4th, 1916 to Redmon and Lou Ada Brigance, who raised Ethel and her four siblings, Gracie, Agnus, John Garland and twins Nora and Doral in beautiful southeast Oklahoma.
Ethel married the love of her life, Woodrow Ray Ponder, on January 10, 1934 in Heavner Oklahoma and after some years they moved to Okemah, Oklahoma, where they raised their two children, Jimmie Allen and Hazel Charlene. Ethel, who was known as a tireless soul, worked on the family farm and later spent her years working in retail, including 22 years employment at J. C. Penney and then several more years of retail work in Okemah and Drumright. Ethel, who loved being around people, then began working at the Okemah Senior Citizen Center, where she helped with meals, planning activities and socializing with the guests there.
Ethel loved cooking, working in her yard and garden, sewing and letter writing. She also enjoyed her memberships in the Nautilus Embroidery Club and the Rose Garden Club. She was also a longtime member of Calvary Baptist Church in Okemah where she developed many wonderful relationships.
Ethel was gifted with a gracious personality, infectious smile and a heart full of gratitude that endeared her to most everyone she met. A strong independent woman, with a personality built through surviving the depression, she developed a unique humility that molded a very caring, loving soul. She was extremely proud of her children and loved sharing in every success or hardship. Ethel’s life was a true inspiration for her family, as she taught us all how to endure hardship, how to rejoice in life’s blessings, how to work hard and most of all sharing her love of Jesus. Her Love will be sorely missed!
Ethel was preceded in death by her parents Redmon and Ada Brigance, husband of 70 years Woodrow Ray, siblings Grace, Agnus, Garland, Nora and Dora, son Jimmie Allen, daughter Hazel Charlene, and great grandchild Rachel Elizabeth.
She is survived by 4 grandchildren, Rick and Becky Ponder of Shawnee, Diane and Mike Lakin of Tuttle, David Eary of Norman and Derek and Cindy Ponder of Noble. She leaves 11 great grandchildren, 23 great, great grandchildren and countless dear friends and extended family.
Serving as pallbearers will be Rick Ponder, Derek Ponder, David Eary, Mike Lakin and Daniel Ponder.
Services will be under the direction of Parks Brothers Funeral Home and officiated by Rev. Joe Haydon Hall.
Online condolences may be made at www.ParksBrothersFuneralHome.com.
To send flowers to the family visit. www.pamelaspioneerflowers.com