John Owen (Jack) Pons
John Owen (Jack) Pons died Saturday, January 4th, at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital at the age of 86 after a brief illness. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on February 18, 1927. His father, however, was a sixth generation Floridian, and his grandfather was the State Treasurer of Florida in 1885. Jack graduated from Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, and later attended and graduated from the University of Florida.He served in the U.S. Army in both World War II and the Korean War.He moved to Tallahassee in 1947 to become manager of Ayavalla Plantation for the next 34 years. Jack then worked for the Department of Natural Resources until his retirement. Over the years he served on many state boards and commissions, and he was known as an authority on land management as well as a sportsman who excelled at hunting and fishing.He wrote and published a book Don't Let the Bear Catch'cha and had just completed another memoir at the time of his death, which will be published posthumously.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 62 years, Mary Reddish Pons, and by his granddaughter, Jacqueline Pons. Surviving family members include his four children, Terry (Jim) Benson and Mary Jac (Kay) Stephenson of Gulf Breeze, Florida, and Jackie (Kay) and Joe Pons of Tallahassee, Florida.He leaves behind seven grandchildren: Dr. Bryant Benson of Conway, Massachusetts, John Benson of Peachtree City, Georgia, Dr. Elizabeth Flinn of Nashville, Tennessee, Kristy Pons of Tallahassee, Kasey Stephenson McInnis of Jacksonville, Florida, Kari Stephenson of Atlanta, Georgia, and Alexandra Pons of Tallahassee, Florida.He also leaves behind four great grandchildren: Emily and Will Benson, Abigail Flinn, and Heidi Benson. He was greatly loved and will be deeply missed.
Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at First Baptist Church of Tallahassee with burial at Meadowwood Memorial Park. Family will receive friends from 6 until 8:00 p.m., Tuesday at Beggs Funeral Homes, 3322 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, FL 32311, (850)942-2929.
Donations may be made to The Foundation for Leon County Schools or to the Leon County Humane Society.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Jan. 6, 2014