Lieutenant Colonel Philip E. Pons, Jr., U.S. Army, Retired, passed away on September 28, 2023. LTC Pons was born on September 6, 1936, in Brooklyn, NY, to the late Col. (Ret) Philip E. Pons and Muriel (Schworm) Pons. He graduated from Saint Vincent dePaul Catholic School, Newport News, Va., and subsequently received a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1962, an MS from Purdue University, an MA from Webster University, and PhD from Old Dominion University. Following graduation from West Point, he married Dianne Lemak at the Most Holy Trinity Catholic Chapel at West Point. LTC Pons pursued a military career and served in a variety of command and staff positions during his 23 years in the service. Overseas assignments included two tours of duty in Vietnam, serving as company commander in the First Air Cavalry Division and Aide-De-Camp for Commanding General, XXIV Corps. His awards and decorations include Silver Star, Bronze Star with “V” device for valor, five Bronze Stars, eight Air Medals, Legion of Merit, and U.S. Army Airborne, Senior Parachutist badge. LTC Pons said that his highest honor was to serve as an infantry company commander during combat. After retirement, LTC Pons developed a successful management consultancy, and finally shared his great love for education as an Adjunct Professor of Business Development at Thomas Nelson Community College for fourteen years. Additionally, he and Dianne explored the Chesapeake Bay in their Passport ’41 sloop and North America, full-timing in an Airstream for six years.
LTC Pons is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Dianne, and children, Denise (Hunter Hughes) of Virginia Beach; Jennifer of Chesapeake, VA; and Rebecca (Fred) Newman of Williamsburg, VA; grandchildren: Madelene Margioni, Nicolo Margioni, and Erin Burns; great grandchild: Luna Margioni; and sibling, Marguerite (Gary Williamson, deceased) of Marietta, GA.
A funeral mass will be held on October 21, 2023, at 11:00a.m. at Saint Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, 230 33rd St., Newport News, 23607. Afterwards, there will be a gathering from 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m. at the Hampton Yacht Club, 4707 Victoria Blvd, Hampton, VA 23669. LTC Pons’ burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. The date is yet to be determined.
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