Reverend Lucy Strider Norton Ponder, 98, of Louisville, formerly of Hendersonville, NC and St. Augustine, FL, passed from this life into Glory on May 22, 2019.
Ms. Lucy was born December 13, 1920, to her beloved parents, William Ernest and Mattie Davis Strider in Ashville, NC.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Cleatus Norton of Etowah, NC.; her second husband, A.D. Ponder of Garrard County, KY; 4 brothers, Frank Strider of Hendersonville, NC, William Strider, Jr. of St. Augustine, FL, David Strider of Hendersonville, NC, and Col. Carroll Strider of Tryon, NC.
Ms. Lucy is survived by her loving family: 3 children, Patricia Norton of St. Augustine, FL, formerly of Indian Head, MD, Shirley Sutton (Jervis) of Louisville, KY, and William “Bill” Norton (Brenda) of St. Augustine, FL, formerly of Hendersonville, NC; She was “Nana” to 5 grandchildren, Ben Argo (Bridget), Emily Martin (Nathan), Georganna Flynn (Mark), Adam and Barrett Norton and 9 great-grandchildren.
Ms. Lucy graduated from Hendersonville High School in 1938, returned after graduation to coach the girls’ basketball team and work at the Carolina Theatre where she met her loving husband of 53 years. Lucy married Cleatus “Cleat” Norton on September 10, 1946, after he returned home from WWII as a decorated war hero with a Bronze Star for liberating a POW camp in the Philippines. He preceded her in death on April 4, 1999.
Ms. Lucy was a graduate of Sue Bennett College in London, KY, 1942. Attended Scarritt College for Christian Workers, Nashville, TN for missions. She also attended Duke Pastor’s School and Emory Pastor’s School after being called into the ministry at the age of 40. She was awarded “Woman of the Year” in 1967 by the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hendersonville, NC.
In 1966, Rev. Lucy was called into the ministry and became one of the first women to be ordained by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. She pastored many churches including Edneyville, Fruitland and Bethel United Methodist Churches in North Carolina, Lawson’s Chapel and Mt. Zion United Methodist Churches in Kentucky, and Grace United Methodist Church in St. Augustine, Florida. Long into her retirement, Rev. Lucy served as volunteer Chaplain at Flagler Memorial and Ponce De Leon Care Center. She continued to preach at revivals, retreats and conferences, perform weddings and funerals, and visit simply at the bedside. Wherever she ministered, her life’s work was humble devotion to serving the Lord and others. She shared the love of Jesus and the promise of salvation wherever she went, all throughout her life, even until her very last days. Her legacy will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her. She may be gone but she will never be forgotten.
Memorial Service for Rev. Lucy Norton Ponder to be held June 22, 2019 at 11:00 am at Southern Hills Church of the Nazarene, 12320 Ridgemont Rd. Louisville, KY 40229. Reception to follow after the celebration of her life.
“Hallelujah! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him Glory!” Rev. 19:6-7