Shadyside church member known for quiet generosity
By Jerry Vondas
Published: Saturday, May 29, 2010,
Throughout her long life, Dorothy Pontious cherished a gift her parents gave her when she graduated from high school in 1932.
"It was the opportunity to attend Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham University) in Shadyside," said Marlin Mickle of Oakland, a friend and a professor at the University of Pittsburgh.
"Those were Depression years and very few families could afford to send a son or a daughter to college," Mickle added.
Dorothy A. Pontious of Oakland died on Monday, May 24, 2010, in UPMC Shadyside. She was 95.
In honor of her parents, Miss Pontious established the Charles and Ida Pontious Endowed Scholarship at Chatham in 2004 and, two years later, established the Charles and Ida Pontious Distinguished Endowed Chair, also at Chatham.
"She seldom talked about her gifts," Mickle said. "Dorothy was humble when it came to discussing her generosity."
Born and raised in the East End, Miss Pontious was an only child in the family of Charles Storey and Ida Poehlmann Pontious. Her father managed the Graff Pharmacy in East Liberty.
Upon graduating from college in 1935, Miss Pontious held a number of small jobs prior to joining Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
"She was a data processing manager and is credited for automating the company's recordkeeping prior to her retirement in December 1979," Mickle said.
"She was a most dignified lady and an outstanding friend whom I will cherish all my life."
Miss Pontious was admired for her commitment to her church, the Albright United Methodist Church in Shadyside, where she was involved with numerous activities, including the Thanksgiving Day dinner, which was open to all.
Charles Klemz, a cook at Ritter's Diner in Bloomfield, often escorted Miss Pontious to church for Communion. He recalled Miss Pontious' advice and encouragement when he was Scoutmaster for a special-needs Boy Scout troop.
"She was a fantastic woman and an inspiration to the children of our church," said Klemz. They looked up to her, because of her interest in them, and this included my children and grandchildren."
A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. today in the Temple of Memories at Allegheny Cemetery, 4734 Butler St., Lawrenceville.
Arrangements are being handled by John A. Freyvogel Sons Inc.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- That’s a Jeep Cherokee? No retro in 2014 model
- For Steelers defense, it’s all a matter of trust
- Jokinen takes center stage as fill-in for Pens’ Malkin
- Penguins notebook: Malkin to miss 2nd straight game Saturday
- Pitt slows down Loyola Marymount, 85-68
- Steelers notebook: Woodley expects to start Sunday vs. Dolphins
- Peduto puts on mayor hat at Harvard ‘camp’
- Long-overdue memorial to region’s World War II vets opens
- Fans of former conservative radio hosts Quinn, Tennent support toy drive
- Latrobe couple accused of using car trunk to end son’s fear of the dark
- Ex-Pirate Jones close to signing with Marlins