Alton Lavoy Halle (Ponch) age 77 of Hartington, Nebraska died on Monday, November 28, 2022 at his residence.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at the Hartington VFW Club. Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Hartington.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Joe Lanphear, Lyle Lanphear, Chris Lanphear, Ellen Bonertz, Jerry Dickes, Merritt Pulkrabek, Kim Spudic, Molly Borstad, and Gina Jeffries.
Ponch was born on June 9th, 1945 in Crofton, NE to Donovan LaVoy and Charlotte Christine Halle. He grew up in Yankton, SD and attended Yankton High School. Ponch served in the United States Army in Korea from 1963 to 1968. While in the army, Ponch became ill with the mental illness, Schizophrenia and was flown from Korea to Denver, Colorado for treatment. His diagnosis was severe and it was months before he could return home. He lived with his sister Mary Ellen Lanphear and family on their farm before moving to Hartington.
Ponch had worked at Ed’s Café in Hartington and at Wells Fargo as a guard. Ponch then worked as a desk clerk for Kochi Motel. He also worked as a county surveyor in Cedar County for several years. After working several jobs, Ponch found his passion, training and breeding elite German Shepherd service dogs. For many years he was sought out in that field as a consultant.
Although his illness prevented him from having a family, he was a mentor and great support to his friends and family, who trusted and respected him. He loved children and his nephews and nieces were especially close to him. He also became friends with the Fleming family in Hartington and enjoyed spending time with the Fleming children. He attended church where Bob Fleming was pastor and Ponch would on occasion give sermons. He liked reading the bible and read it in its entirety at least three times.
Ponch loved to write poetry and had at least one poem published. He also enjoyed talking politics, especially with brother-in-law Merritt. Although they had different political views and sometimes discussions could become heated, they never left the debate angry. A few years ago, Ponch was involved in an accident and a life was taken. Ponch never fully forgave himself, even though it was found to be a no-fault accident. Ponch was so grateful that the people of Hartington reached out to him with a kind and forgiving response, which helped him deal with this tragedy much easier.
Ponch never missed a family gathering as his family was very important to him. Our entire family respected and loved Ponch for his kindness, intelligence, gentle soul, and that he was a “bit of a tease”.
Ponch is survived by his three sisters, Shirley Pulkrabek of Yankton, SD, Donna, (Joe Copley) of Loveland, CO, and Carol, (Jerry Dickes) of South Sioux City, NE, several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Mary Lanphear, brother, Charles Halle, brothers-in-law, Merritt Pulkrabek and Lyle Lanphear, sister-in-law, Mary Beth Halle, nephew, Shannon Dickes, and nieces, Beverly Lanphear and Laura Brandt.
Ponch will be greatly missed by his friends and family.