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Debra Lee (Zeiler) Ponder "Nana"

September 17, 1954 ~ January 2, 2024 (age 69) 69 Years Old

Debra Ponder "Nana" Obituary

Debra Lee Ponder “Nana”, age 69 of Wellsville, KS passed away January 2, 2024. Visitation will be 11-1PM, Saturday, January 6, 2024. Graveside services will follow at the Wellsville Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wellsville Kid Matters wrestling program in care of Wilson’s, PO Box 486, Wellsville, KS 66092.

Debra Lee Ponder was born September 17, 1954 in Lincoln, Nebraska, the daughter of John Wallace and Virginia Marion (Parker) Zeiler. Her father was in the Navy and she grew up in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. In her teens she moved to Belton, Missouri and lived there until 1976 when she moved to the Gardner-Edgerton area. In 1986, she moved to Wellsville, where she made her home with her two sons. Debbie worked for High-Line Plastics in the time before moving to Wellsville and in 1986, took employment with Honeywell Aerospace and Avionics, formerly, BendixKing in Olathe. She worked there for almost 38 years and had plans to retire in March.

While working at BendixKing, Debbie met Keith Gregory Ponder and on November 4, 1989, they were married in Olathe, Kansas. They shared 34 years of marriage before her passing.

Debbie, known to most who knew and loved her as “Nana” was the definition of the word in every sense imaginable. She loved her grandchildren, helped to raise them and they were the most important thing in this world to her heart. No one was prouder, loved with more intent and purpose and gave of her time to them, than Nana. To be loved by her was a privilege and a gift. She was fun, funny, loved the Chiefs and Royals, watching her favorite soap operas, collecting Beanie Babies, unicorns, Barbies…she loved anything and everything, Eeyore. She loved flowers and hummingbirds and cardinals. She loved her yorkies, Missy and Jake #2. Holidays of all manner were the most important to her and she gave graciously and thoughtfully to her family. She knew how to hold, comfort and take care of a baby and welcomed every child that wanted, a space in her heart and in her home. Nana was a true matriarch. Her absence will leave an indescribable void in the lives of her children, her two grandchildren, her husband and the countless kids, young and old, that had the privilege of being loved by her.

Debbie is survived by her husband, Keith “Papa” Ponder of the home; son and daughter-in-law, Cory and Kasey Cunningham of Wellsville; son, Dustin Cunningham of Ottawa; granddaughter, Morgan Rae Cunningham of Wellsville and grandson, Asa Henry Cunningham of Wellsville; brother, Steven Zeiler (Diane) of Cape Coral, FL; sister, Linda Zeiler of MO; brother, Mark Zeiler of CA; Michael Zeiler (Melody) of MO; daughter-in-law, Benji Mitchell; granddaughters, Malory Gretencord and Murphy "Merva Jean" Hanks and great-grandson, Colt Lee Gretencord; mother-in-law, Barbara Ponder of Fairway; sister-in-law, Melanie Banks of Overland Park; sister-in-law, Alison Charlesworth (William) of Springfield, MO; many other children she considered her own grandchildren; and countless nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, and siblings, John, Wendell, Daniel, Zoe and Christopher.

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Graveside Service
January 6, 2024

1:00 PM
Wellsville Cemetery
West Stafford Terrace
Wellsville, KS 66092

January 6, 2024

11:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Wilson's Funeral Home
607 Main Street
Wellsville, KS 66092


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