In Memory of




Obituary for Iris Maxine Pontius

Iris Maxine Pontius, a life-long resident of Bloomington, passed away on August 17 at her home surrounded by family members. At age 101, she was the last of her generation, and leaves behind a wonderful legacy of love, faith, and strong work ethic.

Maxine was born January 23, 1921, to Andy Willis and Charlotte (Lottie) Elmira Crews. The eighth of nine children, she grew up at her parents’ farm on Bethel Lane. The Great Depression had a huge impact on her life, making her ever-frugal and always family oriented. She loved telling stories of those hard times and the fun of having siblings and neighboring friends as playmates. She talked of eating popcorn in the evenings while her mom read to the entire neighborhood from the Grit magazine or adventure stories, including the entire Tarzan series. Maxine’s own love of reading continued throughout her life.

Maxine began working at RCA before the war and retired from there in 1978. She married Wayne Pontius of Unionville in December, 1945, just weeks before he left for basic training. Together they had three children and were married 55 years before his death in 1997. They lived in Unionville and later in Martinsville where they belonged to the First Christian Church. After Wayne’s death, she returned to Bloomington. She was an active member of Bridge Church of Christ for many years.

Maxine loved company. Anyone who came to their house was welcomed with open arms, as long as they were prepared to eat. Maxine was a wonderful cook. Her fried chicken, home-made noodles, and delicious pies were a family legend. She liked to stay busy. For many years Maxine and Wayne had a large, bountiful garden. They gave away far more produce than they ever managed to eat themselves. Maxine also enjoyed quilting the blanket tops she had hand-pieced together, as well as quilting blanket tops others had made.
Maxine is survived by her two children and their spouses, Sandra (James) McLary of Bloomington and Steven (Lou) Pontius of Ft. Myers, FL; two grandsons and their wives; five great-grandchildren; and eleven nieces and nephews and their families.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her eight siblings, and one son Michael who died in infancy.

Her funeral service will be at The Funeral Chapel on Monday, August 22 at 1 pm with two hours of visitation preceding the service. Burial will follow immediately at Unionville Cemetery in Unionville.

The family is very appreciative of the support from IU Health Hospice in her final days. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in her name be given to a charity of your choice.