Tributes to talented couple who died within six months of each other
- Credit: Archant
The family of a much-loved and well-respected couple who died within six months of each other has paid tribute to them.
Frank and Jean Pond, both of Norwich, died last year in October aged 97 and April aged 94, respectively, following a rewarding life filled with history and culture.
From being gifted musicians to avid researchers of Norfolk’s heritage, the pair not only gained their love of the arts from their parents but also passed on the gift to their two daughters.
Their eldest, Elizabeth King, described them as “interesting and well-known people to many."
The couple first met as children when the two families became close, both because of living near each other and also as Mrs Pond and her siblings took music lessons from Mr Pond’s father.
Mr Pond was an only child born on July 9, 1924, at All Saint’s Green off Queen’s Road. Educated locally, he was granted a scholarship to the City of Norwich School.
He went on to become a social worker and was passionate about helping people with their mental health.
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Like his father, Mr Pond played the cello, a passion passed on to Mrs King. He continued to play the instrument into his early 90s, including with individuals such as Martin Wyatt, the conductor for the resident orchestra of St Gregory's Centre for the Arts. He performed in a number of orchestras across the city.
Mr Pond was also a talented artist and was heavily influenced by the Second World War and events of the Holocaust. His lifelong passion with art began at the age of four when his mother took him to visit the art on display at Norwich Castle Museum.
As a resident at St John’s House care home, he would host a weekly art group and encourage others to draw and paint. He was still painting self-portraits the week before he died.
Mrs Pond, nee Moore, was born on January 20, 1927, at Beaconsfield Road, off Mousehold Avenue. She was the middle child of seven.
She trained to be a teacher a Keswick Hall, south of Norwich, and worked for a brief period in Orpington in south east London, then the Larkman area of Norwich, before taking up a position at Avenue Road School in the city centre. She stayed there until her retirement, working there for 25 years.
Mrs King said: “She really, really loved teaching. She was an incredibly disciplined person who was very organised. This made her a great asset to all of the groups she was involved with.”
Mrs Pond shared her husband’s love of music and was a talented treble recorder player - an instrument she also taught to her pupils.
The couple married during their twenties at The Old Meeting House Congregational Church and went on to celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary of 70 years.
Their first daughter was born in 1952, followed by Kathryn in 1954. The girls had ration books until they were abolished when Kate was just three months old.
Mr and Mrs Pond contributed to many organisations, including the Norwich 20 art group, the Nelson Society, and the Council of Christians and Jews where Mr Pond composed music and played on his cello, in particular for the Holocaust Service held in the city.
Mrs Pond also had a strong Christian faith and was a member of The United Reformed Church, formerly based on Princes Street.
"Although they travelled to various places, including Italy, France, Russia, Dubrovnik, and Germany, they were both passionate about Norwich and Norfolk," Mrs King added
“One of my earliest memories is that of sledging down St James’s Hill when I was around 10, and Kate was eight – that was really lovely. We also enjoyed holidays to the coast as children and those times gave us a lovely sense of freedom.
“They were always very, very supportive and encouraging. And what mum did not know about Nelson, was not worth knowing.”
Mr Frank died on October 17 following a diagnosis of Alzheimer's. His funeral took place on November 16. Mrs Pond died on April 12 from cancer and her funeral took place on May 18.
As well as their children, they leave behind seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and many friends and extended family members.