POND, Richard J., (Dick), 95, passed away peacefully Monday, January 27, 2020 in the professional and compassionate care of the Sturgill Hospice Center in Brooksville, FL. He was born on May 19, 1924 in Massillon, Ohio, a son of the late Albert S. Pond and the late Martha Burson Pond. As a young teen, Dick cooked and served clientele in a local restaurant before going to school. He also worked at a steel mill before working as a manager for a local movie theater. Upon high school graduation in 1943, Dick joined the U.S. Army where he learned cryptography. He was chosen for a secret mission and flown to London, England to be part of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces under the direction of General Dwight Eisenhower, the supreme commander. Later, Dick was given the honor of handling the final message from the German surrender. He was present when General Jodl came to surrender in Rheims, France in May of 1945. Following the surrender, Dick was asked to come to Washington, D.C. for a position in the State Department that spanned 30 years. He was processed for a top secret clearance which led him to communicate in code to various overseas embassies. Dick eventually went to Copenhagen, Denmark where he met and married his first wife. Work offered him opportunities to travel to 17 different countries. His last assignment was in Afghanistan before he retired at age 50 in 1974. Dick said, “The countries I enjoyed the most had the least.” In 1975 he met and married Saundra while celebrating the Steelers Super Bowl IX in 1975 in Pittsburgh. Two years after the birth of their son Jason, they moved to Spring Hill, FL and have remained in the area since. As a retiree, Dick mentored and later served as a coordinator for RSVP Advisory Council, a school volunteer program in Hernando County. He also was the building chairman of First Christian Church in Spring Hill. Later, Dick and his family transferred their membership in 1985 to his beloved Christian Church in the Wildwood, where he faithfully served in different capacities. He enjoyed playing bridge, challenged Saundra to daily Scrabble games, and loved, loved, loved cruising. He and Saundra have been on 50 cruises. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter Suzanne Pond, first wife Sigrid Pond, and brother the late Charles (the late Char) Pond. Dick is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Saundra L. Pond of Spring Hill, sons Eric Pond of Goslar, Germany, Peter (Lynda) Pond of Eugene, Oregon, and Jason (Melinda) Pond of Spring Hill; grandchildren Daniel, Jennifer, Alexander, Kristine, Spencer, Jamin, Kamie, and Rylan Pond; great-grandchildren Joshua, Marvin, Finn, and Roman Pond; as well as several beloved nieces and nephews. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of his life at 2 p.m. on Sunday, February 2, at Christian Church in the Wildwood, 10051 Country Rd., Weeki Wachee, FL. Interment will be private at Florida National Cemetery, a military cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christian Church in the Wildwood, 10051 Country Rd., Weeki Wachee, FL 34613 or HPH Hospice, 12260 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613. To offer online condolences, please visit the website for www.merrittfuneral.com. Inurnment with military honors will be 2:00pm, Thursday, February 27, 2020 at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida.
To send flowers to Richard's family, please visit our floral section.
Christian Church in the Wildwood
10051 Country Road, Weeki Wachee FL 34613
HPH Hospice Care Center
12260 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville FL 34613