Dianna Marie Ponder

Dianna Marie Ponder

Dianna Marie Ponder

Dianna Marie Ponder passed away at age 56, at her home in Southwest Portland on July 12, 2010.

A measure of a life well lived is how well you love and although she left us far too soon, we know she lived and loved well.

Dianna was born on August 30, 1953, in Anchorage, Alaska, to Merlin and Mary Ragsdill. Dianna spent most of her childhood in Medford, Ore., where she graduated in the top one percent of her class in 1971, and attended Southern Oregon College. There she met and married Mike Graham in 1972, and after obtaining an accounting degree and CPA, she moved to Portland in 1981. Their daughter, Merry, arrived in 1987. Mike and Dianna divorced in 1991. Dianna spent many years as an analyst for Legacy Health before being recruited in 1997 to be the founding business/financial manager for NW Acute Care Specialists, a newly formed group of Legacy ER doctors, an organization she diligently and enthusiastically supported until her passing.

Dianna re-met a high school classmate, Mike Ponder, and they blended their families in 1997, becoming active volunteers for a number of causes. Their wonderful but far too brief life together as soul mates was filled with much travel and celebration with family and friends. Dianna's spiritual practice recognized the divine spark in everyone, and she constantly encouraged its manifestation into good works and self-actualization. Dianna was a strong advocate for community, environmental, artistic and peacemaking activities, and tirelessly practiced the values in her beloved Hillsdale community where her involvement with the Hillsdale Farmers Market brought her great joy and plenty of great food.

Dianna is survived by husband, Mike Ponder; parents, Merlin and Mary Ragsdill; daughter, Merry Graham; step-sons, Sean and Evan Ponder; sisters, Christie Claassen and Brenda Perry; uncles and aunts, Loren and Veneta Lesher and Darrell and Emily Woolsey; cousins, Dave and Darlene Shepherd, Dave Lesher, Brad Lesher and Judy Brooke; and nieces and nephews, Heather, Adrianne, Bryan, and Jeremy. The list goes on and on, as once Dianna's path crossed yours; you became part of her family.

Those that knew her know the best way to honor her is to identify a need within your community or in the greater sphere and passionately devote your time, talents, and treasure to that cause. She was an ardent supporter of the work of Southwest Portland's Neighborhood House, and her participation and enthusiasm will be missed. Other ways to continue her good work will be announced in coming months, including ways of supporting the Hillsdale Community Foundation and other local projects.

The family thanks the community, friends, neighbors and colleagues of Dianna for the overwhelming display of love and support during this difficult time. Dianna lived her life inspired by Margaret Mead's philosophyNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Thanks for being part of her committed group.

A celebration of Dianna's life will be held on her 57th birthday, Monday Aug 30, 2010, at 5:00 p.m., on the grounds of Ferguson's Fragrant Nursery, 21763 French Prairie Rd. NE St Paul, OR. Any questions can be referred to Mike Ponder at 503-422-3787.

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