James Robert Ponichtera Jr.
AGE: 46 • Madison
James Robert Ponichtera Jr., husband of Gena Pogorzelski and father of Harrison James Pogorzelski-Ponichtera, passed away on Monday night. He was 46. Jim was a tremendous life force who will be missed by all, including his mother, Jean Martinez-Nelson, his father James Robert Ponichtera Sr., his stepfather Donley Brian Nelson, and his brother and sisters, Sarah Ponichtera, Amber Wu, Josh Martinez-Nelson, and Elizabeth Martinez-Nelson.
Jim lived with his family in Madison, NJ., and was the Marketing Director, Communications at the national law firm, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, in New York City. Born in Westerly, Rhode Island and raised in San Diego, California, Jim graduated with top honors from San Diego's O'Farrell School for the Performing Arts. Jim earned a BA in Psychology from Yale University, where he was a member of the improv group The Purple Crayon and the singing group Mixed Company. After earning his law degree from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco Jim started his career at the national law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles. In 2000, he joined Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, ultimately becoming head of the marketing and communications department.
Jim was intelligent, sharp-witted, and knowledgeable in countless areas. His interests ranged widely from science fiction to French cooking to game theory to Tae Kwon Do, in which he recently earned a junior black belt. Jim was a cyclist with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training and was a lifelong fan of the Patriots and the Red Sox. Inspired by his son's musical interests, Jim recently learned to play the banjo.
In 1999, Jim found love on a blind date. 177 days and 177 roses later, he was engaged to Gena Pogorzelski. They were married on June 24, 2001. Their son, Harry, was born soon after. Jim was the trunk of a family tree with many branches and an invaluable mentor to his four younger siblings. He had an exceptional bond with his son, Harry, and was a kindred spirit to his wife, Gena. Being a good husband, father, brother, and son were the most important things to him. Gena, Jim, and Harry were the perfect little family of three.
Visitation hours will be 1:30 to 4pm on Sunday, June 8 at Bradley-Braviak Funeral Home, 49 Whippany Road, Whippany, NJ 07983 with a memorial service starting at 4. Private burial will follow on Monday. For more info, or to send condolences to the family, visit www.bradleyfuneralhomes.com
. In lieu of flowers please make donations to either: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training, 14 Commerce Drive, Suite 301, Cranford, NJ 07016 Or St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, PO Box 159, 575 Woodland Ave, Madison, NJ 07940.
Published by Daily Record on Jun. 7, 2014.