Eileen M. Ponte

Hampton - Eileen Marie (MacDonald) Ponte, 64, of Hampton passed peacefully on Nov. 13, 2012, after a courageous battle with lung disease, with her loving friends and family by her side.

Eileen was born on April 1, 1948, in Somerville, Mass., to John L. MacDonald of Dorchester, Mass., and Rita R. Raftery of South Boston, Mass. Her parents later moved to South Manchester, where they raised five children. It was there Eileen attended St. Francis of Assisi School and Church near her home.

As a child, she enjoyed art and dance, attending Sally Zyla's dance studio. In 1966, she graduated from Memorial High School, going on to graduate magna cum laude in 1971 from Notre Dame College of Manchester, receiving a B.A. in art with a minor in education. Eileen furthered her studies in special education at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, and Rivier College in Nashua. She worked with the Easter Seals Society in Manchester in the field of special education. It was there she met lifelong friends.

Eileen married Mario A. Ponte of Lexington, Mass., on Aug., 11, 1979. The family relocated to Exeter in 1980, where the two co-founded Exeter Jewelers. She later opened a children's clothing boutique, Spoiled Rotten. An additional business venture, Paradiso E. Ponte Interiors, allowed Eileen to apply her love of art and design.

Eileen is survived by her loving husband of 33 years, Mario A. Ponte; her four children, Jessica Klemz of Valparaiso, Ind., Mario A. Ponte Jr., Alia R. Ponte and Nicholas R. Ponte, who loved her without limit. Jessica blessed her with a son-in-law, Douglas Klemz, of Valparaiso, Ind., and three beautiful grandchildren, Reilly L. Chase of Oceanside, Calif., Caellaigh K. Klemz and Samuel D. Klemz, of Valparaiso, Ind. Eileen is survived by her brothers, John MacDonald, Paul MacDonald and William MacDonald; and her stepmother, Judith MacDonald. She was preceded in death by her father, mother and sister, Suzanne MacDonald.

Eileen loved the beach and enjoyed New England summers with family and friends at her summer home in Maine. She loved cooking, reading, sewing, quilting and painting. An extensive traveler, Eileen traveled to many countries, but she enjoyed Italy best of all. Eileen is remembered for her resounding beauty, inside and out, her impeccable fashion sense, her laughter and her love of life..

services: There will be no calling hours. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Theresa Church in Rye on Nov. 20 at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Exeter Cemetery.

Brewitt Funeral Home, of Exeter, is in charge of arrangements. They can be reached at 772-3554 or at brewittfuneralhome.com. Online donations can be made in memory of Eileen Ponte, to the Pulmonary Care Department at Massachusetts General Hospital at http://give.massgeneral.org. Checks may be made payable to Massachusetts General Hospital and mailed to Pulmonary Care in memory of Eileen Ponte at the MGH Development Office, 165 Cambridge St., Suite 600, Boston, MA 02114.

Funeral Home

Stockbridge Funeral Home - Exeter
141 Epping Road  Exeter, NH 03833
(603) 772-0400

Published in Union Leader on Nov. 16, 2012