Keeping Tabs: Death of longtime Frisco resident Scott Ponds shocks community
I didn’t know Scott Ponds. We undoubtedly crossed paths many times while dropping our kids off at Frisco Elementary, but to my shame, I didn’t recognize the name when Jennifer Schenk called last week to tell me he had died in his sleep on Sept. 18 due to an undiagnosed heart condition.
Schenk, a Frisco parent and the director of the High Country Conservation Center, helped me connect the dots: Ponds’ 7-year-old son, Gabriel, was in my daughter’s second-grade class. Because she’s comically boy-phobic, Madeleine never mentioned him to me.
Ponds’ is a life that bears mentioning, however. In many ways, the father of three has the archetypal Summit County story: He came to ski, he worked at a resort, he met a gal, they fell in love and had kids, deep roots were planted and things blossomed. But that isn’t the whole story. Ponds was a hard-working and big-hearted guy who was deeply connected to the Frisco community. His loss will be felt across the tightly knit town — by those who knew him as an active parent, by those who relied on him to plow their driveways and especially by those who have small children.
Jen Schenk, the sometimes-scribe behind our Ask Eartha column and a friend of Ponds’, wrote up a brief biography:
“David Scott Ponds was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and attended Berry High School and later the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Scott picked up the guitar at a young age and his passion for music was woven into his entire life. He played in the popular college band Undertow while in Birmingham. Scott moved to Summit County in 1993 to live in the Rockies and learn how to ski. He started working at Copper Mountain as a waiter and bartender during ski seasons and at Copper Creek Golf Course in the summer. Scott enjoyed learning to snowboard and golf. He was also a charismatic radio personality, deejaying at Krystal 93 and reporting Copper’s daily snow conditions.
“Scott met the love of his life, Karen, in 1995 when she needed an on-camera talent for a Copper training video she was producing. Scott proposed to Karen the same year at the top of Rendezvous lift overlooking Copper Bowl, and they married in 1997. Scott worked for Keeplan in the 1990s providing tech support on their real-time ski resort signage, where he developed an aptitude for technology and computers. Scott started his own computer repair business and ultimately launched The Gardener lawn care and snow removal business, which he owned and operated for the past 15 years.
“Their daughter Jayde was born in 2001, followed by sons Jackson in 2003 and Gabriel in 2007.
“Scott was a huge Auburn fan, and Karen and the kids became avid fans as well. The War Eagle chant could be heard loudly every Saturday when the Ponds family hosted friends and family for Auburn football games. Scott was also very proud of his southern heritage and brought the South’s many flavors to Frisco. His famous smoked ribs and brisket were a standard during football games and at the Ponds’ annual Fourth of July neighborhood party. He even bottled his barbecue sauce for friends and handed down the recipe to his kids.
“Scott loved his wife and kids, and focused on his family above all else. The whole family loved listening to Scott play guitar and sing, especially sitting on the front porch during the summer. Both Jayde and Jackson are in the Summit Middle School band, following in their dad’s footsteps. Memorable family adventures include Gulf Shores beach trips and tent camping in the snow at the Grand Canyon.
“Scott was also very passionate about his community and neighborhood, and enjoyed serving on the Mountainside HOA Board of Directors until 2014.”
I wish I had gotten a chance to know him and sit on his front porch. He sounds like one of those people who glue a community together. Such a loss creates a deep void for Frisco, and especially for his family. They need our prayers and our help.
The Scott Ponds Family Benefit Fund (http://gfwd.at/1uNgETe) has been set up to aid the family at giveforward.com. The Ponds family is in need of money to cover short-term living expenses and college savings for all three kids. Scott’s lawn care and snow removal business brought in a substantial portion of the family’s income.
A celebration of his life will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 24, on the lawn at the Frisco Day Lodge.
Remember, early voting for the Nov. 4 general election starts in mid-October. The Summit Daily plans to have its coverage of local, state and national ballot items rolled out before then. In other words, we’ll publish news stories (and a few editorials), then sit back and let you make an informed choice. Though our election stories will appear once in print, be sure to seek them out on our website if you need a reference. We’ll bundle them all in one easy-find space.
We also expect a deluge of letters this election season. We welcome them, of course, but you should know a few things first: Keep letters to 300 words or less, sign them with your name and town of residency, keep them friendly and avoid ad hominem attacks (we won’t run those). Also, when several letters are submitted that make the same point in the same way, we may choose to aggregate them so as not to drive our readers mad. In that case, we’ll be sure your name is published, if not the entirety of your letter. Our intention is to run all of them.
Ben Trollinger is the managing editor of the Summit Daily News. This column, Keeping Tabs, will appear weekly.
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