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PONDS BETTY JANE WILSON WATKINS PONDS 1927-2013 Betty Jane Ponds, of Brookeville, Maryland, passed away peacefully at her beloved home Prospect Hill on February 16, 2013. She was the devoted and cherished mother of Peter Watkins (husband of Anne Holzman), Sara Watkins (wife of David Sears), Timothy Hansen Watkins (partner of Todd Gambill) and Susan Watkins (partner of Jan Deardorff); and much loved and loving grandmother of Amanda Watkins, Billy Watkins, and Thomas Watkins. Betty was born in Washington, D.C. on August 15, 1927 to the late Zobeide Louise (Larrabee) and William Hall Wilson. She was married to Guy Hansen Watkins (deceased) from 1950 to 1975 (divorced) and to Richard J. Ponds, Jr. (deceased) from 1976 to 1998. She graduated from Montgomery Blair High School and the University of Maryland. She was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and runner up to Miss Maryland. Before starting her family, Betty was an extremely popular teacher who integrated her piano playing into her lessons. Betty became an avid equestrian at an early age and rode and foxhunted beginning in her teen years throughout her life. She competed avidly in horse shows as a teen then became a passionate foxhunter with the Redland Hunt and later the Goshen Hunt. She served as the field secretary and social chairman of Goshen Hunt for almost four decades. Betty was also a stalwart contributor to the Medstar Montgomery Medical Center where she served as Chairman of the Woman's Board and donated her time to the thrift shop for over 35 years. She was a long standing member of the Wednesday Club of Sandy Spring. As a child, Betty spent her summers at her grandparents' home on Chebeague Island, in Casco Bay, Maine, where her grandmother would take a barrel of flour over for the summer and the family would eat lobsters, freshly dug clams and homemade blueberry pies. She loved returning to Chebeague and thus her childhood. She will be interred in the family plot there later this year. There will be a memorial service at the Salem United Methodist Church located at 12 High Street, Brookeville, Maryland at 1:30 p.m. on February 23, 2013, with visitation of friends and family at 1 p.m. before the service. The family will welcome all at a reception celebrating Betty's life at Manor Country Club following the service. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either the Montgomery County Animal Control & Humane Society (14645 Rothgeb Dr., Rockville, MD 20850) or the National Audubon Society (225 Varick St., 7th Fl., New York, NY 10014).
Published in The Washington Post from Feb. 21 to Feb. 23, 2013