Donald Lee Ponton, born Aug 18, 1944, in Las Vegas, NV. Donald is the 2nd son born to LeRoy Arden Ponton and Alice May Lewis. Donald was lucky to have 2 fathers in his life; Leo Francis Rowan was his dad.
Donald grew up in Las Vegas with his brothers and sister but also spent several years in different locations with his family. He moved back to Vegas in his early teens. He loved hunting with his Uncle Butch and his brothers Warren and James. He loved working on cars and trucks and building dune buggies and working on anything else that had a motor.
Donald enlisted in the Navy before graduating from Western High School in Las Vegas. He was a Seabee during the Vietnam War and served on Midway Island. He was very proud of the Seabee creed “Can Do” and lived his life by that motto. While on Midway Island he had many adventures and a few mishaps, one being, he stepped on a Portuguese man-o-war. Later, while still performing his military duties, he was severely injured and spent 9 months in the hospital, thus ending his military service.
When he returned home from Midway Island, he married the girl he had previously told his brother Warren, when he was 13 years old,” That’s the girl I’m going to marry” Donald and Ellen Diane Lancaster were married on June 10, 1966. Their marriage was solemnized in the St George Temple September 13, 1969.
Donald went to night school to finish his education. He graduated as a master mechanic and master welder while he and Diane had 3 children under the age of 4. Donald and Diane went on to have 6 children, 5 girls and 1 boy right in the middle.
Donald was very proud of his children. He was a great dad and took his young family on many adventures from going on drives down undiscovered roads, to cutting wood, and looking for pine-nuts. His children especially loved getting “lost” so they could eat out of his grub box.
Donald was very proud and bragged often of his 30 grandchildren. He loved living close to them and watching them grow up. He’s very honored to have such fine posterity. He loved and was such a good Grandpa to his 21 great grandchildren. They loved to go see grandpa.
Donald lived a full life and had many memories he loved to share with anyone who would listen. His children and grandchildren were always captivated by his adventures from his youth and military service. The shark story is hands down the favorite.
Donald loved scouting! He helped many young men over his 30 plus years in scouting, to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. He loved anything related to scouting and the outdoors. He lived the scout motto “Be Prepared” and he was always prepared no matter what the situation was.
He had a testimony of the Gospel and loved serving in the Church. He served 2 stake missions in Las Vegas, a mission at Cove Fort and served in the Manti Temple. He loved serving in the temple and had a special love for the baptistery.
One of his favorite callings was the 11-year-old boys in Primary. He taught those young men his love of the Savior and bore his testimony often. He also taught them manners, chivalry, respect for women but above all, to honor their Priesthood.
He was always willing to go camping and be in the great outdoors with the boys, but having 5 girls, he wasn’t above letting his daughters paint his nails and do his hair.
After 32 years, with high security clearance, he retired from the Nevada test site. He wasn’t quite ready to hang up his hat, so he worked at John Deere for 5 years quitting only to move to Kanosh so he and Diane could be closer to their children and grandchildren. He worked for the town of Kanosh which he loved, especially plowing snow.
Donald passed away at the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home in Payson, UT on March 12, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Diane Ponton, Children, Liz Whitaker, Michelle George, Jennifer (Brandon) George, Don (Sandy) Ponton, Reene (Jason) Dixon, Rachel (Ben) Whitaker. Brothers Warren Ponton, James Ponton, Sisters Ginger Dean and Darlene (Buzz). Donald has 30 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 11:00 AM in the Kanosh 1st & 2nd Ward Chapel. The viewings will be held Friday, March 17, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and Saturday prior to the funeral from 9:30 to 10:30 AM, both at the Kanosh Chapel. Interment will be in the Kanosh Cemetery under the care of Olpin Stevens Funeral Home. Online condolences can be offered at www.olpinstevensfuneralhome.com.
Donald Ponton Sr_.mp3