March 27, 1927 - Jan. 15, 2010
Elizabeth (Betty) Jean Ponti, 82, died Jan. 15, 2010, at Walla Walla Odd Fellows from natural causes. She was born March 27, 1927, to John and Michelina (Idean) Destito. She was the second of three children. She grew up on the Destito family farm and attended local schools: Braden Elementary, Walla Walla High School, and later, Walla Walla Community College.
On Aug. 31, 1947, she married Ambrose Ponti, and helped with the work on the Ponti family farm in College Place. She enjoyed her family, baking Italian Christmas pastries, working with her flowers around the house, canning Hungarian peppers, making pepper relish, visiting with her friends and relatives, and the extended family gatherings during the holidays.
She was active in St. Anne’s Altar Society at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, to which she belonged. After divorcing in 1968, Betty worked at St. Mary’s Hospital and, later, Washington State Penitentiary. In 1975, she was honored by the American Business Women’s Association, of which she was a member, and presented with the Business Woman of the Year Award. She also was a Professional Member of the American Corrections Association and an active member of the Walla Walla Child Abuse Council. She retired from the penitentiary on Sept. 30, 1992.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, John Destito Jr. She is survived by her sister, Theresa Laurella and her husband, Sam, Walla Walla; children, Walter Ponti and his wife, Sharon, Walla Walla; Michael Ponti and wife, Kathy, Waitsburg; Karen Ripley and husband, Ken, Spokane; eight grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and cousins.
The rosary will be held at 6:30p.m., Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, in the Chapel of the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home. The funeral mass will be at St. Francis Catholic Church, on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, at 10 a.m. with Father Patrick Kerst, Celebrant. Burial will follow in the Catholic Section of Mountain View Cemetery. Memorial contributions nay be made to the Walla Walla branch of the Children’s Home Society of Washington through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home.