PONDER, Jean

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PONDER, Jean

Age 86 (but also 29), passed away peaceful on May 4th, 2022.

Jean, daughter of Sam and Bertha (Wells) Miller, was born on July 11, 1935, in All View, Kentucky. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, two brothers, Edward and

Elijah Paul (E.P), and son-in-law Tom O'Connor. Survived by two sisters, Barbara Wolfe and Pattie Bippus; also surviving are three daughters, Teri (Rick) Fledderman, DJ O'Connor, Tracey (Scott) Gigli; two granddaughters, Kelli (Mike) Parness and Amanda (Charlie) Fuhrer. Jean was adored by her 6 great- grandchildren who provided years of adventure, sporting events, dance recitals and most importantly, laughter.

Jean graduated from Fairfield High School in 1954. A spirited competitor through and through, she participated in both cheerleading and on one of the first women's basketball teams, all the while keeping her May Day and Homecoming crowns on perfectly straight.

Soon after graduation, Jean married her first true love, Joe Ponder. Together they built a life on faith, family, a strong work ethic and a commitment to chasing joy alongside those they loved so deeply. These shared priorities and an unwavering commitment to impeccably clean homes and cars, great hair and warm banana pudding at all hours of the day culminated in a beautiful, nearly 70 years long love story.

Those years were filled by pouring all that love into their three daughters (and two dogs named Trouble and Heidi). No matter the hobby, phase, heartbreak or celebration, Jean and Joe were there for it all with a wide open heart. Jean was a super-fan in her daughters' lives… she even found a way to support the dangerous sport of baton-twirling for years. This made for a truly happy home… a place where everyone felt secure, steady and loved unconditionally.

As the girls became less dependent on Mom and Dad, Jean opened a new chapter in her life by enrolling in cosmetology school. Jean ultimately decided to start her own business (Britton Beauty Salon). In her shop she used her trademark skills (celebrating all things beautiful, working efficiently and fast and turning happy customers into life-long friends) to build a thriving 30 year career. While Jean would happily do anyone's hair – she did have one steadfast rule: ABSOLUTELY NONE OF HER DAUGHTER'S FRIENDS FOR PROM APPOINTMENTS. She'd heard years of complaining first-hand and knew there was no getting those updos right.

In addition to making people look and feel more beautiful, Jean also had a knack for landscaping and floral arrangements. Gardening was her happy place… she could spend HOURS in those flower beds…and taught everyone she knew how to make the perfect potted, front stoop arrangement. She poured this same love into holidays, fruit trays, home décor and celebrations, eventually becoming a volunteer party planner for everyone in her rolodex.

Jean wasn't just a source of beauty for the family, she was also a source of strength and hope. Never selfish or single-minded, she supported the biggest of dreams. Especially when it came to her 2 granddaughters. From NYC trips to wardrobe wish lists to over-indulgent collections (please NO more snow globes or nutcrackers)… anything was possible with their Mom - ANYTHING. And she got the chance to instill the same big dreams in 6 great-grandchildren.

Jean also loved to share her talent with those in need. While she had an exceptionally soft spot for children and animals, most of her energy went to the elderly at Mt. Pleasant Nursing Home in Monroe, OH. She'd play the piano at mixers, style hair, orchestrate the annual fund-raising auction… but most importantly she'd spend time with people. She wanted them all to know they still mattered and that their life and legacy was important.

Jean's love for people was outmatched by her love for God. She walked in faith every single day and didn't take any of her many blessings for granted. Her prayerful soul was magnetic. Up until her death, she'd get calls from friends and family seeking a spot on her powerful prayer list. And there was room… always so much room.

In 2017, Jean and Joe moved from Lebanon, Ohio, to Noblesville, Indiana, to be closer to family. This gave Jean the opportunity to teach a new generation about the things she loved… gardening, braids, piano, accessorizing, the perfect garnish for your Thanksgiving turkey and most importantly, how to believe in the bigness of your dreams. Jean's family will carry these lessons with them every day. And all the memories will be the best of blessings.

Memorial services will be held Tuesday, May 10th at 3:30PM, Rose Hill Funeral Home, 2565 Princeton Rd., Hamilton, OH 45011.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the following:

Animal Friends Human Society, 1820 Princeton Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45011.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.rosehillfunerals.com for the Ponder family.

Funeral Home Information

Rose Hill Funeral Home & Burial Park - Hamilton