James W. Pond was born Feb. 20, 1949, the sixth of eight children of Dean H. Pond Sr., and Irene (Felsheim) Pond of Cody.
He died on Aug. 8, 2019, at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula near his home in Carmel by the Sea, Calif. His domestic partner of 27 years, Will Taylor, had died in November 2018.
After high school Jim studied at St. Meinrad in Indiana before joining the Air Force, where he served in Greenland. He carried mail for the upper South Fork Star Route and worked as a driver and transportation manager in Montana, Wyoming and New Zealand, before becoming a rehabilitation counselor in Reno, Nev., and ultimately a Trager bodywork practitioner.
He lived with Will in San Francisco and Carmel by the Sea, and enjoyed a mountain cabin in Portola, Calif., where he developed a gift for gardening, including plants for health and for his expert cooking. A session of the super-gentle Trager bodywork, performed there in high altitude sunshine, was a truly phenomenal experience.
When their partnership was first formed, Will and Jim organized “a gathering of friends we never met” to introduce their people to each other. Their highly designed soap opera-like Christmas letters were an ongoing treat. Jim loved to travel and had in recent years made cruise trips to the Danube and the Maine coast for lobster.
When effects of diabetes reduced his mobility, Jim focused much of his energy on good food, for which he could always provide recommendations and on bridge, becoming a Life Master of the American Contract Bridge League. Jim’s love for bridge began at an early age under the instruction of Monseigneur Francis T. Penney.
Friends were the keynote of Jim’s life. “The most sensitive man,” one friend recalled him. He greatly enjoyed his 50th high school reunion in Cody in 2017. One of his oldest friends from Cody, John Beck, came to live with Jim in Carmel after Will’s passing.
Jim’s heart was in the Mountain West, especially Cody and Portola, and it warmed in the last seven years of his life by a beautiful and very loving rescue dog named Stella. Jim and Stella’s ashes will be buried together in Cody.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings: Dean H. Pond Jr., Patricia English and Paula Chamberlain.
He is survived by older brother Willard (Obie) Pond of Tacoma, Wash.; sisters Peg Pond Paul (husband George), Pamila I. Briggs and Phyllis M. Claudson (husband Earl), all of Cody; many cousins, nephews and nieces, and Will Taylor’s brother Claxton, sister-in-law Kim and children Austin, Llama and Tully.
Rosary will be at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. Funeral service will be at St. Anthony’s on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at 11 a.m. followed by burial in Riverside Cemetery.
Jim enjoyed traveling, loved and cherished his family and friends far and near. Jim will be greatly missed.