James R. Ponzio, 68, of Dagsboro, passed away Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, in Beebe Medical Center. He earned an associate’s degree in agricultural science from the State University of New York-Delhi and spent 31 years with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as an environmental conservation officer, retiring in 1999.
During his career, he was appointed as the historian for the Division of Law Enforcement, was an instructor in the Basic Academy and was the recipient of the prestigious “Shikar-Safari Club International Officer of the Year” award. He also spent two years in the U.S. Army Military Police. Upon retirement, he left his beloved Catskill Mountains and moved to a waterfront property on the Indian River in Dagsboro, where he settled into a life of fishing, crabbing, clamming and community service.
Ponzio was preceded in death by his parents, Janet Fetbrod and James W. Ponzio; and his wife, Joanne. He is survived by his siblings, Peter Ponzio, Elizabeth Prass, Susan Fentress and Paul Ponzio. He especially loved his role as “dad” to his children, Donna Nagle, Barb Rockefeller, Brian Clark and Karen Laing. His love spilled over to his nine grandchildren, Stacy, Marci, Nicholas, Carson, Jessica, Nathan, Chad, Joanna, Christopher; and great-grandchildren, Jazmine, Cordell, Jade and Cayla.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, at Saint Matthews-by-the-Sea UMC (www.smbts.org), at Coastal Highway and Dagsboro Street in Fenwick Island, Del. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jim Ponzio Scholarship Fund at NYCOA, P.O. Box 356, Caroga Lake, NY 12032.