Cover photo for James Edward Ponto's Obituary
James Edward Ponto Profile Photo
1933 Jim 2024

James Edward Ponto

May 17, 1933 — June 10, 2024


James “Jim” Edward Ponto, Sr., age 91, passed away peacefully at his home on June 10, 2024, surrounded by his family and their love.  Jim was born in Neenah, WI to Aaron E. and Adeline H. (Koerwitz) Ponto on May 17, 1933. After attending school in New London, he met and married Joan Mae Strong at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in 1953. In 1958, the couple moved to Greenville, and Jim designed and built the house where they raised their family-they lived in the basement while the upper levels of the house were finished. Following Joan’s passing in 2020, he continued to live in Greenville-and his home remained a gathering place for his children and their families.

Jim drove truck throughout his adult life until he retired in 1994. He started that career at Northern Transportation, and then became an owner operator and travelled over the road.  He was one of the first drivers for Yellow School Bus for the City of Appleton. Many years, Jim held down two jobs and worked a variety of jobs to supplement the family income.

He extended his love of the road, travel and motorized things to the model train set in his basement. He had a lifelong fascination with train models and was fastidious in his painting of facial expressions on the tiny people he placed in his models. His children remember the ease of buying Jim Christmas presents as a gift card or certificate to his favorite model train shop was always a WIN! He was so gifted in his model creation-using paper machete and his own building skills to create true lifelike representations. He even created a model of the Baraboo circus train. 

Of all the things in his world, family was truly the most important. Jim loved his family and spending time with them.  He taught his grandchildren of his passion for trains, and they often helped him in his model creation. Over the years, Joan would even accompany him on his driving jobs-but more often than not, his jobs only took him away from family for a week and then he was back home to be dad.

Jim is survived by his children: Michael of Edgewood, NM, Linda (Dennis) Micke of Brillion, James Jr of Combined Locks, and Brenda VanDyke of DePere; his daughter-in-law Pam Ponto of Neenah; his grandchildren: Kimberly Van Dyke, Aaron Micke, and Daniel Ponto. In addition, his brother Robert Ponto of Louisville, KY and is also survived by many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Jim was preceded by his wife and partner of 67 years Joan, his son Leslie, Les’ daughter (and Jim’s granddaughter) Samantha Erin Ponto; his daughter-in-law Theresa (wife of James) Ponto; his parents, as well as many other family and friends. 

Many thanks from Jim’s family to the Gindt family for their many years of friendship, love and support. They would also like to thank Moments Hospice-especially Jenny, Tanya and Sophia “his girls” for the loving care they provided these last years.

A funeral service will take place on Thursday June 20, 2024, at 1:00pm at Wichmann Funeral Home, 537 N Superior Street, Appleton. Friends and family may gather at the funeral home from 11:00am until the service begins. Jim will be entombed at Highland Memorial Park at 2:30pm on June 20.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Edward Ponto, please visit our flower store.

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Thursday, June 20, 2024

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Thursday, June 20, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Thursday, June 20, 2024

2:30 - 2:45 pm (Central time)

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