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Colonel Kenneth S. Pond

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COLONEL KENNETH S. POND Colonel Kenneth S. Pond, 78, of Wilmington, NC, passed away at home Thursday, October 3, 2013. He was born October 18, 1934 in Raleigh, NC to Mozelle and Clifton Pond. Ken spent his early years in Raleigh and, through family misfortune and tragedy, at the Masonic Orphanage in Oxford, NC, before later reuniting with family in Norfolk, VA. His brother, Gene Pond, predeceased him in 2012. Ken is survived by Miriam "Mimi" A. Pond, his wife of 49 years, their daughter Kendall and her husband Bill Williams, of Wilmington, his son Kenneth "K.C." Pond and his partner Jack Markey, of Washington, D.C., two granddaughters, Emilia and Ava Williams, also of Wilmington, and many beloved relatives. During a highly decorated career that spanned six decades, Ken served our nation as soldier, diplomatic representative, and senior federal executive. From 1957-1987, he was a Company Commander in the Old Guard, the official Presidential Honor Guard. He was an Army Airborne Ranger in Vietnam, Battalion commander at Fort Benning, GA, Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army Command in Vicenza, Italy, and senior Army Advisor to North Carolina's governor and adjutant general. From 1987 to 1994, Ken represented the American Battle Monuments Commission at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy. Later, as the Commission's Executive Director, Ken oversaw operations at all overseas U.S. military cemeteries and monuments. As a fitting capstone to a long and distinguished career, and under the direction of Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Bush, Jr., he was instrumental in the creation of the World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Ken retired from the federal government's Senior Executive Service and relocated to Wilmington in 2004, where he was an Honor Flight spokesperson and volunteer. Ken attended the College of William and Mary, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the National War College, and earned degrees from the University of Nebraska and Georgia State University. His many military awards include four Legion of Merit medals and three Bronze Stars. North Carolina's governor presented him with the Distinguished Service Medal and inducted him into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, and the American Battle Monuments Commission awarded him two Distinguished Service Medals. Ken was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend, mentor, warrior, and a truly great American. He lived life to the fullest and exemplified the "Can Do" American spirit which led him through some of the most historic events of the last century. From humble roots and orphanage life, Ken dedicated himself, with great enthusiasm and great devotion, to his family, our country, and our veterans. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, October 25, at St. Andrew's on the Sound Episcopal Church, 101 Airlie Road, Wilmington. A full honor funeral and interment in Arlington National Cemetery will follow at a later date. The family would like to express its thanks to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice for the comfort and services it provided during the past year. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to the Masonic Home for Children, 600 College St., Oxford, NC 27565. Condolences to the family at www.andrewsmortuary.com
Published in the Wilmington Star-News from Oct. 5 to Oct. 6, 2013
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