William Bruce Pontious, beloved son of Don and Gloria Pontious of Waterford, was born March 26, 1963, in Manchester. Bill passed peacefully in his sleep from a heart condition that he was unaware of on July 30, 2014, in Denver, Colo.
Besides his parents, he leaves behind a brother, Donald Pontious of Antioch, Calif.; sisters, Deborah Kotecki and her husband, Greg, of Ledyard, and Diane Pontious of Waterford; a nephew, Bill Kotecki and a niece, Sophie Kotecki, both of Ledyard. Bill, known to many as "Pont," also leaves behind many lifelong friends and his entire family of brothers and sisters in law enforcement.
Bill grew up in Waterford attending the Waterford school system and graduating in 1981. Early on, his second grade teacher remarked that Bill was the most interesting child she had ever had the privilege to teach, and she hoped to live long enough to see how he turned out. She would have been very proud.
He attended Groton Bible Chapel from infancy, going through Sunday school, the Awana Club, and attending many fun-filled weeks at Camp Berea in Bristol, N.H. It was there that Bill discovered his love for the outdoors, hiking Mt. Washington in his early teens, waterskiing, camping, canoeing and swimming across Newfound Lake, where he earned the coveted and rare "black band." Bill built a strong relationship with the Lord during this time, forging a foundation that contributed to his compassion and integrity as an adult.
Bill graduated from the Connecticut Police Academy on June 8, 1984, which set the stage for an honorable and valiant career in law enforcement that spanned over 30 years. It included service with three separate police forces. He served five years for the City of Groton, before accepting a position with the Los Angeles Police Department. Bill was assigned to the Harbor Division and later transferred to Hollywood where he frequently patrolled by bicycle. It was during this time that he was featured in a nationally televised episode of the popular TV series "Cops". Bill had many entertaining stories of his service while on the L.A.P.D. but rarely talked about his courageous experiences during the L.A. Riots in 1992. This time in his career undoubtedly solidified his bond in brotherhood with his law enforcement family. Drawn by the majestic Rocky Mountains and outdoor sporting activities, Bill transferred to Colorado's Aurora Police Department on July 25, 1994, where he remained until his death. His first year on the force, Bill was named "Rookie of the Year" and several other commendations followed.
To say that Bill enjoyed life to the fullest is an understatement. Bill packed 200 years worth of living into his 51 years of life. He loved the outdoors and spent every moment he could on "epic" bike rides through the mountains of Colorado and Utah. For Bill, no mountain was ever high enough, no challenge too great to attempt. He also loved to hike, paddle board, rock climb, and rappel into canyons. He was snowboarding long before it was popular and was asked to leave many mountains because his "crazy surfboard" was scaring away the other skiers. Bill was an ardent sports fan who loved the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and UConn Huskies. Bill attended many games all over the country and had many spirited conversations with his friends and family about his teams. In 2002, he went to New Orleans and watched the Patriots win their first Super Bowl. In 2007, Bill was in the stands cheering for his beloved Red Sox the night they won the World Series over the Colorado Rockies in Denver.
Bill followed the band U2, even traveling to Ireland to see them in concert. He had a great respect for the dignity that U2 showed to the fallen police officers and first responders of 9/11. In 2009, Bill trained for and completed his first Ironman competition in Tempe, Ariz., followed by a Half Ironman in Providence the following year. Most people would refer to Bill's style of riding as "Endurance Racing," but for Bill, it was not uncommon to ride 50 to 100 miles every day, even riding his bike to and from work.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, Bill participated in the Tour de Force, riding his bike from Boston to Ground Zero or Ground Zero to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The Tour de Force honors the victims of 9/11 by keeping their memory alive through cycling events that raise funds throughout the year to benefit the families of police officers who were killed in the line of duty, making the ultimate sacrifice. Bill was passionate about this charity and rode throughout the year with teams, delivering checks to families to honor their fallen loved ones.
Bill was the coordinator for the western branch of the Tour de Force. This year's ride in September will be dedicated in his honor and has been named "The Bill Pontious Memorial Ride."
Bill had many very close and lifelong friends. Bill's bond with his law enforcement brotherhood was unshakable. He was witty and always had a quick comeback; was usually the life of the party; and held strong views about many things. Bill will be sadly missed by so many wonderful people, but he would want us all to get on our bikes and ride on!
A Celebration of Life memorial service for all will be held in his honor at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, at the Groton Bible Chapel, 66 Toll Gate Road, Groton. Burial, in Jordan Cemetery, Waterford, is private with full honors from the Groton City Police Force befitting the valiant police officer that he was.
Memorial gifts may be donated in Bill's memory to Camp Berea, 68 Berea Road, Hebron, NH 03241, with Bill's name on the memo line, or to the Tour de Force, PO Box 395, Washingtonville, NY 10992.
Articles featuring Officer Pontious' cycling tributes:
A CBS interview with Office Pontious can be seen here as he is a part of the Tour De Force Ride to honor a fallen Limon Officer----> http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/04/16/metro-officers-hop-on-bikes-to-honor-fallen-limon-colleague/
Aurora Police Department
Wednesday, July 30, 2014