Lisa M. Pond
POND, Lisa M. Lisa M. Pond, age 39 of Lacey, WA, died (February 19, 2007) at Jackson Memorial hospital, Miami, Florida while on spring vacation with her family. Lisa was a caring, gentle person who was loved by all who knew her. She will be greatly missed by all, particularly by her family, who are left with a big hole in their hearts. Lisa is survived by her beloved partner of 17 years, Janice Langbehn; their four children, Michael, Danielle, David, and Katie all of Lacey, WA; her loving parents, Nettie and Don Pond of Enfield; her sister and brother in-law, Susan and Tim Chapple of Jacksonville, FL; her brother and sister in-law, Michael and Cathy Pond of Darien; her grandparents Gloria and Francis Campbell of Haines Falls, NY; also Janice’s brother, Skip and wife Kristy Langbehn of VA; and Janice’s sister, Marilyn Langbehn of CA; also a number of nieces and nephews; and her dear friends Kathy and Bob Boween. Lisa was born on October 8, 1967 and grew up in Enfield. She graduated from Enfield High class of 1985. She earned her bachelor degree at University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA and was currently enrolled in the master’s degree program at City University in WA. Lisa’s life was devoted to spreading peace and love. Growing up she was a very active Girl Scout and was a counselor at Timber Trails Girl Scout Camp for several years. She was very involved with her children and their activities. She was the leader of two Girl Scout troops. She was also a very active member of St. Michaels’s Catholic Church in Olympia, WA where among other things she was a teacher in the first communion class and received a volunteer recognition award. In addition to being a very involved mother, an active church and community volunteer, and going to graduate school as a full time student, Lisa was employed full time as a special education teacher’s assistant in the Lacy, WA school district. There will be a Funeral mass, celebrating Lisa’s life, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 21 Simon Rd, Enfield, CT at 11a.m., Saturday February 24. There are no calling hours. Lisa’s family will host a reception in her honor at La Notte restaurant in East Windsor immediately following the funeral mass. Donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at http://www.nmss.org
Published in the Hartford Courant on 2/21/2007
Lisa Marie Pond’s Funeral Mass – 2/24/07 at Holy Family Church, Enfield, CT – Eulogy by her brother Michael Pond
I’m Lisa’s brother Michael and we’re here today to celebrate Lisa’s life. Lisa had a strong faith; she didn’t just go through the motions of Sunday mass. She actually lived her values. She was a walking example of many of the stories we hear in the Gospels that are so hard to live up to – like loving your neighbor – Lisa actually loved all of her neighbors even the ones that weren’t kind to her. She not only turned the other cheek, she would turn the other cheek and smile that big Lisa smile that comes through so brightly in all her pictures with her eyes all squinted up. Lisa and Janice were true life partners, sharing every moment of the past 18yrs together – from Lisa patiently teaching Janice to ski at Mt.Tom in 1988, to starting a family by sharing their home with four very special children. Their partnership was one of love, patience, understanding and total commitment. Janice and their children will miss Lisa beyond words and find comfort in knowing that she walked the life of Christ. There’s a saying that goes “if everyone lit just one candle, what a bright world it would be.” Lisa lit not one candle in this world – but thousands of candles With her bright smile and her loving heart, Lisa spread brightness and love wherever she went. There are the many candles she lit, not just as a wonderful mother to her own four children, but also as a foster mother to many other children who needed help, often waking up to a phone call in the middle of the night that some child was in need, but still managing that permanent Lisa smile – although she did sometimes needed a good cup of coffee first because she really enjoyed drinking coffee. Janice says that it seems as though every night Lisa had a new foster child in the house that she was giving her love to. There are also the hundreds of candles that Lisa lit in the hearts of Girl Scouts – first as a counselor at Timber Trails Girl Scout Camp for many years, where she was known as Lisa Pizza, then as a Girl Scout leader with her own kid’s troops in Washington State. Then there are the many candles that she lit by teaching – with special education students and her students in the first communion class at St. Michael’s church in Olympia. Lisa found a way to reach out to everyone. She even learned sign language so that she could brighten the lives of the hearing impaired. There are the seven candles that she lit as an organ donor – an act that was done not just by casually checking a box on her license but was done with very careful planning through a living will. There are now seven people who will still have life because Lisa wanted to just keep giving of herself even if she died. The candles that we will remember most are the ones that she lit in our own lives. We have so many memories of Lisa brightening our lives in a loving way…one of the things that brightened the days for me and my wife Cathy is when our son Jack used to wake up at 6 in the morning at Cape Cod and Lisa would take him for a power walk in his stroller (and God help anyone who tried to keep up with her) …but I know there are so many more… Lisa’s daughters Danielle and Katie said that their Mom brightened their lives in the way she took the Girl Scouts camping: in a hotel rather than a tent despite the fact that Lisa clearly preferred a tent Her son David said that it really brightened his life when his Mom took him onSpace Mountain over and over and over One of the brightest memories that my Mother has of Lisa is when they took their early morning walks and did Yoga on the beach on Cape Cod – and Janice remembers watching the Cape Cod sunrise with Lisa My Dad’s day is brightened when he remembers the canoe rides he took with Lisa, except of course the time when Lisa swamped the canoe and he ended up in the water – Lisa was a great swimmer so she didn’t mind at all. And my sister Sue remembers when her life was lit when she was feeling very alone in the Air Force in Biloxi, and Lisa came to visit her even though she had an ear infection and was feeling very sick And my aunt Audrey recalls her life being brightened when Lisa, even as a 2yr old, would wake up with a greeting of “morning, morning folks” even as she rubbed her sleepy eyes. Lisa’s brother-in-law Tim’s life and my aunt Mary’s life were brightened and inspired, as we all were, simply by Lisa’s patience, persistence and energy in everything she did. Just this week, our family received many messages from people telling us how Lisa brightened their lives – on the Courant’s website, through email or letters. Just one example is from Lisa’s dear friend Kathy Bowen in Olympia WA Kathy said that on the first day of preschool for Lisa’s son David and her daughter Stefani, all the kids were told to sit down. The kids all huddled together around Lisa except for Kathy’s daughter, who sat off by herself because she was shy – Kathy was feeling bad for Stefani, but before she had a chance to get up, Lisa took Stefani’s hand and brought her to the rest of the group. Kathy said that since then – she’d seen Lisa show that type of concern for many many others. And I’m sure you all have your our own memories of how Lisa touched and brightened your lives – I encourage all of you to join us all at La Notte after this ceremony and share your own stories of Lisa with us In closing I want to say on behalf of so many here today…
- We love you Lisa and we will miss you more than words can say
- Thank you Lisa for brightening the world by lighting so many candles
- And good-bye for now Lisa. We pray that one day we will all see you again in paradise.
Thank you all very much for coming here today to celebrate Lisa’s life with us
Lisa Marie Pond, Memorial Mass – Friday March 2, 2007 – St. Michael’s Catholic Church – Westside Chapel
I asked our long time friend, Jeanne McShane to give the Eulogy at Lisa’s Memorial Mass. Both her Funeral and Memorial Masses where complete capacity – showing just how many lives where touched by lisa and her love both at her childhood home of Connecticut and her home in Washington.
It is an honor for me to speak today in celebration of Lisa’s life. Lisa and Janice have been my friends for 13 years, and my family for most of that time. Many of you have seen the foster parent recruiting bumper sticker asking if you have “room for one more?” Room for One More was not a question for Lisa and it wasn’t a slogan. It was a commandment. A commandment that took precedence over the other 10. There is no question that Lisa honored her father and mother. And with Janice in her life, she rarely had the opportunity to covet anything. She kept holy the Sabbath day and inspired others to as well. But Room for One More is a sacred responsibility that Lisa and Janice embraced.Lisa and Janice met and fell in love while they were attending the University of
Puget Sound. After college, they worked together in a group home for developmentally challenged adults. They were united in holy union in October of 1991. They have been partners in all things, caring for one another and their community of family and friends, and countless children ever since. They provided a permanent home for 5 wonderful children: Rose, Michael, Danielle, David and Katelyn- and a temporary shelter in the storm for many foster children. At Lisa and Janice’s house, there is always Room for One More. In fact, Janice told me that a few weeks ago they had called their foster care licensor and asked to have more children placed with them this summer because they had Room for One More.In the last week, I spent some time with Lisa’s family in
Connecticut. Lisa’s mother, Nettie, and her father, Don, showed me pictures of Lisa growing up. All of her family remembered Lisa with that great grin, the smile that encompassed her whole face. Don told me about canoeing and hiking with Lisa. Together they hiked and canoed all around
Cape Cod every summer. Lisa’s sister Sue told me about Lisa’s boundless energy after a day at the beach on the
Cape; she was always planning their next adventure.It is easy for me to see how Lisa developed her kind and loving nature. While I was in
Connecticut, her family made sure that I felt at home, that I was a part of the family. They made Room for One More. Nettie showed me the room that Lisa shared with Sue. At Lisa’s insistence, the walls were painted a bright pink. When Katie arrived at the Langbehn-Pond home, Lisa was overjoyed to have a little girl to dress in pink. Lisa loved pink so much, that when Katie was about two-years-old, she had to tell her, “Mama, No Pink. I like Lellow.” Lisa allowed Katie to bloom in her own colors. However, Lisa was overjoyed when Katie chose to wear pink again. Room for One More means room for each person to grow their own way.Lisa and Janice provided the room for each of their children to blossom. One winter, Lisa took Michael to ski lessons every weekend. Michael became a better skier than Lisa. Sometimes I joined Lisa for a day on the slopes. Once, we were skiing with Michael after his lesson, Lisa –always up for an adventure–let him pick the trails and he took us down some moguls. He sped down them with ease, leaving Lisa and I in the dust trying not to break our necks on the way down the hill. When David arrived, he was a sick little guy. Lisa and Janice were told that he had no interest in doing anything but sitting in his highchair. Lisa and Janice knew kids need stimulation to grow. Within a few minutes, Lisa had David playing on the floor with whatever was handy. Davey quickly thrived, his health improved and he is always the first one to volunteer to go on an adventure with his moms.
Danielle and Lisa found their connection through girl scouts. Lisa was a Girl Scout as a child, and spent her summers as a counselor at a Girl Scout camp. Danielle has fond memories of going camping with Lisa and her troop. Camping in a hotel instead of a tent!Lisa’s brother Michael gave an elegant and warm eulogy for Lisa’s funeral
Mass. He remembers Lisa for all of the candles she lit for others in times of darkness. In her passing, Lisa made room for 7 more by becoming an organ donor. Lisa was a devoted friend to nearly everyone she met. She was the Girl Scout troop leader for both Danielle and Katie. She taught first communion classes at St. Michael’s church. She often volunteered at the kids’ schools. She took great joy in helping others. Most of all she took joy in being with children.Lisa’s good friend Kathy remembers Lisa from David’s first day of school. Kathy’s daughter Stephanie was in the class. All the kids were huddled around Lisa, because Lisa had that energy that draws kids in. But Stephanie was shy and sat off by herself. Lisa saw Stephanie and went over to her, took her by the hand and brought her into the group, so she was sitting closest to Lisa. Lisa was always looking for the child who needed her the most. On that day, Stephanie found that Lisa had room for her and all the other children in the class. When I was younger and single, Lisa and Janice had me over for dinner at least once a week. One time Lisa said to me, “Jeanne- no matter what I serve, you always say it’s your favorite.” I told her that whenever someone else did the cooking, it was my favorite. But what I meant was I never left their table without feeling well fed physically, well fed emotionally, and well fed spiritually… that was my favorite part of every meal I shared with her. Because at Lisa and Janice’s home, there was always room for me.Lisa and Janice were good partners to each other. They rounded each other out. It is difficult for me to imagine one without the other. Their commitment and love to each other is an inspiration. Lisa’s lasting gift to Janice, her children, family and friends is sitting here today. Lisa was a community builder. She built a community of warm wonderful people with all kinds of gifts, talents, and abilities to surround her family. Lisa’s community of friends, girl scouts, neighbors, school teachers, social workers, and family will be with Janice and the children whenever they are needed. Because Lisa always had Room for One More, there are many of us here today to help her family through the years to come. Lisa’s brother Michael prayed that we would one day meet Lisa again in
Paradise. I am sure we will– Lisa must have been God’s retirement gift to Saint Peter. Because in Lisa’s Heaven, there will always be Room for One More. Please join Janice and her family at Horizon
Elementary School after the service to share your memories of Lisa. Janice and her family invite you to join them when Lisa’s ashes are blessed and interred tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 at the Mills and Mills
Memorial Park in Tumwater. Thank you for being here today to celebrate the life of Lisa Langbehn-Pond with Janice, Danielle, David, Katelyn and Rose and her parents Don and Nettie Pond. Peace be with you.