Cover photo for Thomas Ponich's Obituary
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1929 Thomas 2017

Thomas Ponich

July 31, 1929 — July 2, 2017

Thomas Ponich, age 87, passed away on July 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, NV.  He was born on July 31, 1929 in Red Lodge, MT to Eli Ponich who emigrated from Yugoslavia to the U.S. as a young teen and Mildred Ponich from CO.  Tom graduated from Red Lodge High School in a class of about 12.  He loved learning and was a member of the pep squad.  His deficient eyesight kept him from service in WWII, something he always regretted.

Tom went on to attend and graduate from the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science.  During his college years, he met his future wife, Allyce Frances Bradt.  They married in 1951 and later settled in Yuba City, CA where he worked at the Ullrey Funeral Home.  (He did return to his hometown of Red Lodge years later and functioned as mortuary manager and coroner as needed in emergency situations).  In the early 60s he moved into sales representing various companies in the burgeoning food service businesses in Southern CA.

At age 22, he was initiated into the Order of Freemasons and was active in the fraternal Order for 65 years in a variety of capacities.  Tom enjoyed all the philanthropic work of the Shriners’ Club to which he belonged, including the famous mini-cars that he often commandeered in parades.

Tom was a life-long avid reader, early riser and passionate activist for many causes.  His gift of gab endeared him to many and he was a “good neighbor”.  Tom enjoyed jazz piano recordings and was a great dancer!

Tom is survived by: daughter Liane McDonough, grandson Hale and great-grandson Gavin of Rancho Cucamonga, CA and granddaughter Hillary Clark of Garden City, ID; his son Lane (Toni) Ponich, granddaughters Crystal and Kayla, all of Boulder City, NV.

No services were held.  Family and friends can sign an online memorial guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Ponich, please visit our flower store.


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