Cover photo for Jon R. Pontzius's Obituary
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1939 Jon 2023

Jon R. Pontzius

June 9, 1939 — December 4, 2023

Jon R. Pontzius, 84, of Columbia City, Indiana, passed away at 11:26 am on Monday, December 4, 2023, at Parkview Whitley Hospital. Born on June 9, 1939, in Fort Wayne, a son of Robert W. and Veril (Goodrich) Pontzius, he grew up on a farm in Thorncreek Township and graduated from Columbia City High School in 1957.  He graduated from Wabash College in 1964 with a major in Philosophy.  His post-graduate study was in American History at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was selected for membership in Phi Alpha Theta National History Honorary Society in 1964-65.  Social work at Portland State College in Oregon in 1967-68, where he received a certificate in the Social sculpture.

After living in Elkhart for 25 years, he lived in Thorncreek Township in Whitley County where the farm has been in the family since 1835.  His great-grandfather, Samuel Shoemaker, was the first white child born in Columbia Township.

He was a member of Whitley County Historical Society where he served on the board of directors, Genealogical Society of Whitley County, Whitley County Literacy Council, People Preserving History, Friends of the Library and the Unitarian Church in Fort Wayne.  He retired from Passages, Inc. in Columbia City in 2000.

Reading the New York Times every day was his favorite pastime, but travel, gardening, genealogy research, sculpture and writing were other main interests.  He was also a book collector, having over 2500 volumes on a variety of subjects.

In 1958-59, he studied at the Alliance Frances in Paris, France, and he traveled to Moscow, Russia.  In 1976-77, he traveled around the world to South American, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  In the USA, he visited nearly every county in every state while delivering travel trailers for Morgan Drive Away, Inc.  When his pickup truck was destroyed by a tornado near Louisville, KY in 1996, he returned to social work for ADEC, Inc. in Bristol, IN.

He wrote poetry and several books and essays on his travels and a history of the family farm.  Two of his genealogy books have been in the Allen County Library for more than 30 years.  The main theme of many of his poems, sculptures, and writings was the great positive potential and unity of mankind.  He had designed a collection of more than 3 world flags representing the entire human race, rather than one nation as a group.

Survivors include his brother, Roy (Alice) Pontzius, sister, Ruth Ann Husak; 6 nieces and 6 nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents.

Per Jon's request there will be no visitation at this time.  A memorial service will be held at a later date.  He will be laid to rest near his parents at Blue River Cemetery. Arrangements with DeMoney-Grimes Countryside Park Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. To send his family online condolences, visit www.demoneygrimes.com .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jon R. Pontzius, please visit our flower store.

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