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Cecil Elwood Pond

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Cecil Elwood Pond Obituary

CECIL ELWOOD POND Cecil Elwood Pond. June 4, 1924-September 30, 2011. After a brief illness, Cecil Pond, 87, of Palm City Florida (formerly of South Bend, Indiana) went home to be with The Lord, peacefully surrounded by the love of his children and family in a Florida hospital. Cecil Pond was the inventor of the modern day riding lawn mower. His ingenuity changed the landscape of suburban America and, in fact, the entire world. Mr. Pond was the inventor, Owner, CEO, President and Chairman of the Board for his company, Wheel Horse Products, a manufacturer of lawn and garden equipment. Cecil, along with his dad Elmer, began producing garden tractors out of their Indiana garage in 1946. During 1954, Cecil experimented with a new design of their two wheel tractor and unknowingly changed the history of lawn and garden history. Mr. Pond was also owner of Skystream Airlines, a small commuter airline in northern Indiana. After many years of living the American Dream, Cecil Pond sold Wheel Horse Products to the American Motors Corporation in 1975. He then began a new venture of owning a winery. Lakeside Winery, previously Molly Pitcher Vineyards located in Harbert, Michigan was the oldest vineyard/winery in Michigan. Mr. Pond also served many years as the President of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO). His life followed a path from rags to riches. From growing up during the depression years to dining with celebrities, kings, princes and The President of the United States, Cecil Pond was a pioneer and trailblazer, who created his own path. After decades of retirement, Cecil Pond became a celebrity in 2000, when author Michael Martino penned a biographical history (Straight from the Horse's Mouth – The Wheel Horse Story) of Cecil's life journey as the inventory of the first riding lawn mower. Unknown to Mr. Pond, his miniature tractors had recently become a very popular hobby. Thousands collect and restore Wheel Horse tractors. There even is a Wheel Horse Collector's Club. Although being remembered by the public for Wheel Horse Products, Cecil was most proud of his family. He was extremely proud of each of them and they were always his first love and priority. He was married for 65 years to the late Betty Alber Pond. They had three children, Gary Pond (Martha Barcus) of South Bend, Indiana, Linda Rea of Spring Lake, Michigan, and Constance Pond Hubbard (Glenn Hubbard) of New York, New York. He leaves 7 grandchilden and 5 great grandchildren. Cecil Pond will always be remembered as a God fearing, kind hearted, generous, and compassionate man of great genius and character. His single life has impacted millions of people from childhood to his Golden years. He lived the American dream to its fullest. Paid Obituary

Published in the TC Palm on Jan. 8, 2012
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