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Twynette Linda Ponds BeachemFebruary 2, 1962 ~ February 5, 2017 (age 55)
“Hey baby,” was often Linda’s greeting. “How you doing?” She would ask despite her situation. And in the course of the conversation, she would try to make you laugh. Corny humor, a line from the dozens played years ago, or whatever came to her mind, she would put it out there. Always in love, for she never wanted to hurt anyone. Pain was something Linda knew too well to wish it upon someone else.
What she wished upon others was a bountiful blessing of birthday and anniversary greetings, congratulations and thank yous. Linda was a friend to many people throughout this community. And she made it her duty to remember and recognize those friends on their special occasions. In fact, if you didn’t want to be reminded of your birthday, it was best not to ever let Linda know the date.
Three days before the Lord called her from the pain of this earthly world to her heavenly rest and reward, Linda received countless birthday phone calls and over 100 greetings on facebook—a testament to her beautifully generous, loving spirit. (OK, so Linda didn’t “do” facebook, but Jeremy—her beloved only child—put her birthday on blast and family and friends responded.)
Mrs. Twynette Linda Ponds Beachem of Panama City, Florida was born February 2, 1962, to Elizabeth and the late Lawrence Ponds, Sr., in Jackson County, FL. Known by her middle name, Linda, the only girl in the family, was very much a daddy’s girl and enjoyed a precious bond with her mother. Although she was the middle child, sandwiched between two brothers, being the only girl brought her attention many in her birth order don’t usually receive.
After moving to Panama City from Bonifay in the early 1970s, Linda and her family joined St. John Missionary Baptist Church, where her father was a deacon. She accepted the Lord at an early age and was actively involved in the youth activities at church and school. She formed many lasting friendships and enjoyed a reputation as a “good girl” among her friends’ parents. On more than one occasion, parents allowed her friends to go somewhere if Linda was going, too. One of her closest friends from youth church through adulthood—more than 40 years—is Angela Peacock Speights, with whom she talked just about every day. Linda loved to talk. She wore out a number of cordless phones over the years.
A 1980 graduate of Bay High School, Linda was a proud tornado who kept up with many of her classmates over the years. At Bay High, she was a member of the yearbook staff and Civic Club. After high school, she attended Gulf Coast Community College where she actively participated in clubs. Also, she served as secretary of Kappa Omicron Tau Sorority, sponsored by the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Gamma Gamma Chapter.
She was crowned Miss Ebony Essence in 1983 in Panama City’s first Ebony Essence Beauty Pageant. In addition to her studies, she wrote and shared poetry with family and friends. After college, she went to work at WMBB News Channel 13 until her health sidelined her at an early age.
In 1985, she was blessed with a son, Jeremy Danta’ Ponds. He was her heart. Perhaps no mother was more proud of her son than Linda was of Jeremy. She delighted in his accomplishments and traveled to support him until her health prevented her from doing so. On long road trips, she was known to keep the driver alert by singing spirituals and hymns. She loved to sing and praise the Lord. In 1992, Linda married Wayne Beachem. They enjoyed a unique relationship filled with humor and love. Sometimes their love language was more like Fred and Esther (Sanford & Son) than Cliff and Claire Huxtable, but their quarter of a century relationship stood the test of time.
Those who knew and loved her most dearly were not prepared for the Good News of Linda’s home going on Sunday. Though she had suffered and had had several close calls, the days before her departure were relatively good days. She had enjoyed the birthday greetings, a delicious Captain’s Table meal and fellowship with family. Oh, yeah, one of Linda’s great loves was food, especially those things not on her diet. Family and friends alike had to watch out and not get caught in a promise to bring her something that she shouldn’t have. “A little bit won’t hurt,” she would say. Or, “Now, I have been doing real good,” and flash her trademark, bright-eyed smile.
Linda will be missed by many, including her husband, Wayne Beachem; son, Jeremy Ponds; loving and devoted mother, Elizabeth Hall Ponds; brothers: Eugene Cooper (Odenton, Maryland) and Lawrence Ponds, Jr.; stepchildren: Malcom Beachem, Teresa Beachem, Daniya Beachem and Nikia Beachem all of Panama City, FL; and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, sister BFFs, and other relatives and friends.
Visitation will Friday, February 10, 2017, 12 Noon until funeral time at 2:00 PM, at Saint John Missionary Baptist Church, Panama City, FL.
Interment will follow in the Hillside Cemetery, under the directions of Christian Memorial Chapel of Graceville, Florida.