Chesterton Tribune



Robert 'Bob' J. Ponda, Sr. passes away at age 76

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Robert (Bob) J. Ponda, Sr., age 76 of Union Mills (formerly of Burns Harbor) passed away on March 19, 2020.

He was born on September 10, 1943, to Manuel and Charlotte Ponda (Szostek) in Gary, IN.

On August 3, 1968, he married Gayle Gibson. Robert and Gayle lived in Burns Harbor where they raised their three children.

Bob is survived by sons, Robert Ponda, Jr., Vincent (Michelle) Ponda; daughter, Tracy Cady; sisters, Betty (Bob, deceased) Cleek, Rosemary (Lee, deceased) Bozan, Anna (Jerome, deceased) Caldwell, Charlotte (Rick) Buckingham, Debbie (Ben) Hymes; brothers, David (Kathy) Ponda, Richard (Linda) Ponda and brother-in-law Mickey Gibson. Also left behind are Papaw's precious grandchildren, Robert J. Ponda, III, Elizabeth Richter, Joseph, Nicholas and Marguerite Ponda, Nathan and Matthew Cady. Papaw considered all his grandchildren his pride and joy. He is also survived by four great-grandchildren and many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces and -nephews. He loved all of them dearly.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; the love of his life, Gayle; siblings, Cookie, Angie, Leona, Mickey, Dominick and Angelo.

He attended school at Wirt High School in Miller, IN. Robert worked as an Iron Worker for Local 395 International Steel Workers. Bob also worked for Landmark Signs. During his retirement he worked for Seniors Helping Seniors, he was a grounds keeper for Union Mills Cemetery. Bob was a jack of all trades and helped everyone and anyone in need. Bob was master gardener and kept his family and friends supplied with corn, tomatoes, peppers and onions, etc. He enjoyed going to his grandchildren's baseball games and enjoyed attending his grandchildren's and nieces school functions. He was an avid coin collector, and he enjoyed collecting Hot Wheels cars. He also enjoyed coaching for Liberty Rec Baseball when his kids were younger. In his retirement, he liked to meet his buddies for breakfast at the local truck stops. He will be greatly missed by his baby girl Chica (his Chihuahua).

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Arrangements handled by Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home, 517 Broadway, Chesterton, IN.

Online condolences to the family may be made at


Posted 3/25/2020




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