Richard's Story

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Richard C. "Sam" Pontius, 79, of State Road, New Castle, passed away the morning of Thursday, April 13, 2017, at his home.
Born on Nov. 10, 1937, in New Castle, he was a son of John Pontius and Ruth Gormley Pontius Gaiser, and stepson of the Rev. Harold Gaiser.
He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Grace Passeretti Pontius, whom he married on Jan. 18, 1958.
After his high school graduation, Sam served his country in the Navy from 1955 to 1959.
He was employed as a machinist and foreman with Lockley Machine for 13 years, and then in the same capacity with Tanner Plating for 31 years, until his retirement in 2002.
An active member of Eastbrook United Methodist Church, he served as past president of the board, was a Sunday school teacher for more than 40 years and participated in several mission trips, including Honduras and Mississippi.
Sam was a member of the Laurel Football Association and the Laurel chain gang, attending games for 30 years.
Among some of his interests, Sam enjoyed being a beekeeper, gardener and an outdoorsman.
In addition to his wife, Grace, he is survived by three sons, Mark R. Pontius, John P. (Renee) Pontius and Daniel H. (Jackie) Pontius, all of New Castle; two brothers, Robert "Bob" Pontius of New Castle and Kenneth Gaiser of Jamestown, New York; a sister, Janet Henderson of Jamestown, New York; six grandchildren, Tyler, Sam, Amber, Jenna, Diana and Danielle; and a great-granddaughter, Ellie.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his stepfather; and a brother, William Pontius.
Visitation will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Eastbrook United Methodist Church, 2412 Eastbrook Road, New Castle, Pa. 16015.
A memorial service will take place immediately following visitation at 3 p.m. at the church, with the Rev. Loren McQueen officiating.
Burial will be in Briar Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Parkinson Foundation, 575 Lincoln Ave., Bellevue, Pa. 15202; or to Eastbrook United Methodist Church.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the R. Cunningham Funeral Home and Crematory Inc., where online condolences may be offered to the family by visiting www.cunninghamfh.com.
Published on April 17, 2017
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