Well-known retired farmer Robert “Robbie” Howard Pond of Stuttgart, Arkansas, passed from this life on May 18, 2020, after a courageous battle at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Charismatic, fun-loving, and gregarious, Robbie lived life to the fullest and would do anything to help a friend or stranger in need. Notorious for his impromptu “routines,” Robbie had a way of making you laugh at the same joke or story, no matter how many times you heard them.
A true son of the Grand Prairie and life-long resident of Stuttgart, Robbie was born May 30, 1951 to James “Jimmy” and Dana (Woodall) Pond. Despite running away from elementary school, he graduated from Stuttgart High School as a member of the epic Class of 1969. He “studied” business at Arkansas State University where he was a member of Kappa Alpha before returning home to work with his father and brother on the family farm (after brief stints as a roughneck on the oil rigs and a lifeguard at the country clubs of East Texas). A farmer for over 40 years, Robbie loved the smell of the soil as it turned under the disc of a freshly worked field and his favorite time of day was just before sunset after a hard day’s work.
A lifetime member of FUMC Stuttgart, Robbie’s sanctuary was being with God in His creation in the great outdoors. He began commercial duck hunting with his father at age 15, served as President of the McCollum Hunting Club at Big Island for 25 years, and was a longtime supporter of several wildlife conservation organizations. More than anything, Robbie enjoyed sharing his passion with others and took countless individuals on their first and last successful deer, turkey, and duck hunts. A fixture at Oaklawn Park, Robbie was also a thoroughbred horse racing enthusiast and owner of Robert Pond Stables where his horses were mostly long-shots – always his favorites.
Following in his father’s footsteps and with a deep sense of commitment to his community, Robbie was a Director of the Board of Farmers and Merchants Bank for more than 23 years, until his passing. He served on numerous committees during that time, remaining focused and dedicated not only to agriculture, but to the community at large, including business interests, educational endeavors, and expansion of the bank across the state.
Most of all, Robbie cherished and entertained his family. He and his wife Judy (Terry) Pond were married 39 years. His insurmountable legacy is also carried on by his daughter Leah Foster and children Aiden (17), Emerson (13), and Finn (11) of Hot Springs; son Blake (Ann) Pond, and children Caroline (3) and Ben (17 months) of Little Rock; daughter Ashley (Dustin) Capps and daughter Hallie (5 months) of England, AR; brother Kevin and sister-in-law Ann (Gray) Pond of Stuttgart and nieces Adriane Hayes (Sam, Anna, and Walker) of Raleigh, NC and Lauren Ferguson (Patrick) of Oxford, MS; and mother-in-law Burnell Terry of Conway.
To be respectful of family and friends amid the coronavirus pandemic, there will not be a traditional visitation, but those wanting to pay their respects may do so from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22 at Turpin Funeral Home in Stuttgart.
A memorial service open to all will be held Tuesday, May 26 at 2 p.m. at the outdoor chapel at Lone Tree Cemetery in Stuttgart.
For those wishing to leave a memorial, please consider First United Methodist Church of Stuttgart, the Museum of the Grand Prairie, and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society at pages.lls.org/ltn/gat/littlerk20/TeamRobbie.
Please go to www.turpin-co.com to sign the online guestbook.