Philip W. Pontius
April 20, 1924 – April 8, 2014
Philip W. Pontius passed away peacefully on April 8, 2014, following a brief illness. He was born April 20, 1924, on Easter Sunday, to parents Joseph P. Pontius and Ada Ireland in Keokuk, Iowa. Phil met his wife of 68 years, Janet Irgens, at a noontime dance at Milwaukee State Teachers College where she was a student and he had been sent for Air Force training.
Phil was a pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress (named Stormy Weather) with the 8th Air Force 379th Bomb Group out of Kimbolton, England (He jokingly referred to himself as Pontius the Pilot). After his service in the United States Army
Air Force, he earned his Chemical Engineering degree at Iowa State College (now University) and worked for Union Carbide in West Virginia until he retired.
For about 50 years Phil and Jan were members of the Baptist Temple in Charleston, W.V., until they transferred their membership to Fifth Avenue Baptist Church in Huntington, W.V. One and a half years ago Phil and Jan moved to Elk Meadows Assisted Living in Oakley, Utah, to be close to family. Phil had many interests and hobbies. He continued his father's extensive genealogical work and found many family relatives in the U.S. and the German family ancestors. His interests also included hiking, playing bridge, golf, writing children's sermons, oil painting and charcoal drawing. He also published a book about his WWII experiences.
He is survived by his loving wife, Jan; daughter, Gail (W. Nicholas) Schomaker; son, Jay (Kathy) Pontius; five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law: Marianna Pontius and Virginia Morse; brother-in-law, Bill Cackley; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Eugene Pontius; sisters: Pauline Riley and Joann Cackley; and brothers-in-law: Harold Riley and William Morse.
Funeral services will be held Friday, April 18, 2014, at the Utah Veterans
Memorial Cemetery Chapel, 17111 South Camp Williams Road (Redwood Rd.), Bluffdale, Utah at 12 noon with viewing at 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow in the cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, P.O. Box 1992, Savannah, GA 31402, or the Charleston Baptist Temple Memorial Fund, 209 Morris Street, Charleston, WV 25301. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinhoopes.com.