Jr. Ponvert

Obituary of Jr. Ponvert

Antonio Ponvert Jr., 76, passed away peacefully on August 14, 2007 at his home in Newport, RI. Raised in Oyster Bay, Long Island, Tony spent summers as a child at his family's sugar plantation in Cienfuegos, Cuba. He was a graduate of The Greenvale School, St. Paul's and Yale, and a member of the elite U.S. Air Force Security Service, stationed in Germany and Libya. In 1962, he moved from New York City to Newport, where he was named the first director of the fledgling Historical and Preservation Society of Newport County. In recent years, Tony continued to work for the Preservation Society, educating visitors with lively and informative tours of the city's finest houses. For many years he was a member of the Spouting Rock Beach Association and the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, where his numerous motor boats - all named Zafra - were moored. He was a proud member of the Newport Reading Room for more than four decades. Tony was an accomplished and knowledgeable fly fisherman, photographer and artist. He knew every inch of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay, and could captain most anything that floats. He had a vast knowledge of art and architectural history, literature, and the best restaurants and bars in every major city across the globe. He was a very funny and dear man; a gentleman in the truest sense of the word - generous, kind, gracious, decent, and unfailingly loyal. He died as he wished - at home in his favorite chair, surrounded by his books, music, photographs, his eclectic collection of gadgets, and by family who loved and comforted him. He is missed and loved by his six children, seven grandchildren, brother and sister, nieces and nephews, his two former wives, and by countless dear friends and acquaintances whose lives he touched and enriched in ways that he never knew. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 25, at Saint Columba's Chapel, Vaucluse Ave., Middletown, R.I., with a reception to follow. All are welcome to celebrate Tony's life and to bid farewell to a man whom we cherished and will dearly miss. In lieu of flowers, kindly send donations to VNS Hospice of Newport and Bristol Counties, P.O. Box 690, 1184 E. Main Rd., Portsmouth, RI 02871.
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