Born May 17, 1931, in Kennett, son of the late Truman and Beulah Milburn Ponder, he was a U.S. Army veteran, having served in the Korean War. He was a member of the Senath Methodist Church, Lions Club, the Senath American Legion, the Masonic Lodge, former member of the Senath-Hornersville school board, served on the Board of Senath Housing, served as alderman for the city of Senath and was treasurer of the County Water District.
On Aug. 5, 1953, in Malden, Mo., he married Dean Smotherman, who survives of the home.
Survivors also include two daughters, Paula Rasberry and husband, Ronald and Penny Hamlett and husband, Boyce, all of Kennett; one brother, Bob Ponder, of Tenino, Wash.; five sisters, Dorothy Johnson, of Jonesboro, Joyce Cook, of California, Eunice Newman, of Senath, Barbara Clay, of Golcondo, Ill., and Judy Brooks, of Fort Gipson, Okla., and three grandchildren, Jason Rasberry and Dustin and Magan Hamlett.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at the United Methodist Church in Senath with the Rev. Andrew Lovins officiating.
Burial was in the Memorial Gardens Cemetery at Kennett.
Pallbearers were Lester Hunter, Gerald Gentry, Gene Slinkard, Bill Holifield, David Harris and Travis Galyean.
Honorary pallbearers were Jon Robinson, Matt Mobley, Will Mobley, Kenny Johnson, Dale Rickman, Tom Chandler, T.Z. Buck, Paul Stout, Mar Don Layne, Bobby Deck, Robert Caneer, Greg Pollock, Bill Anderson, Jon Anderson and C.B. Anderson.
Memorials may be made to the Methodist Church.