Our mother, Evelyn Bly Dunbrack Pontes, was born in the mountains of southern West Virginia on a beautiful Easter Sunday in 1926. She was born in her parents’ house in an area called Riverside in the town of Marlinton in Pocahontas County. She was the second child and the only girl born to her parents, Forrest and Nellie Dunbrack. She dearly loved her three brothers, Crede, Everett and Jimmy. She survived all of them, living to the age of 89. On October 26, 2015, she rejoined them and her parents in Heaven.
Evelyn loved to travel, and she started her journey by leaving home at the age of 16 to work in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Baltimore, Maryland, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. She left home at the height of World War II and, at first, worked in the defense industry, as a kind of “Rosie the Riveter.” Later she worked as a waitress. After the war, she traveled west to Oregon. Later still, she would travel south to California where she owned the Black Cat Café on the 101 near Willits. In the late ‘50s and early ‘60s she followed her husband, Manny Pontes, around California where he worked on large construction projects. Not content with California, she followed him to live in Pakistan, The Netherlands and Thailand. Later she settled in Santa Clara, California, and worked as a waitress.
In her life, she would marry three times and give birth to four sons: Richard, Robert, Joseph and Ronald. Young Robert was lost shortly after his birth, leaving an everlasting mark on her memory. Her love for her sons was unlimited.
In 1983 she decided to settle down and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where she lived with her sons, Ron and Joe. She retired from her waitressing work and focused her energy on caring for her sons, which was not an easy task.
Our mother was the finest woman we will ever know. In her life she touched many people and left an indelible impression of a hardworking person, full of life, love and compassion. As we got older we came to realize things about her that we had not appreciated as teenagers or young men.
Our mother was full of wisdom and love. She stood by us through hard times and good and never wavered in her support. If not for her, we would not be who we are today. Our debt to her is eternal. She will forever remain in our hearts.
With eternal and
Ron and Joe Pontes