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Planetarium Machinist, Cary Ponchione: 1941-2014

Photo courtesy of Lisa Ponchione Meniketti
Photo courtesy of Lisa Ponchione Meniketti

June 18, 1941-January 10, 2014

Cary passed away at his El Cerrito home after a brief but difficult bout with cancer.

Anyone who has watched the Foucault pendulum at the California Academy of Sciences, or anywhere else in the world, has seen Cary’s work. Cary was a planetarium technician, machinist, and superintendent for the instrument shop at the Academy from 1969 until his retirement in 2003. Cary was respected for his astute ability to design and build complex electronics and machinery from scratch. In retirement he and his son continued creating pendulums for museums, universities, and businesses around the globe.

At work Cary was famous for catering huge staff parties. He was also an avid volleyball player, participating in leagues in Golden Gate Park, El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, and on the beach in Cancun, Mexico.

Cary was an alumnus of Oakland Tech High (’59) and lived with his parents, Mario and Mary in El Cerrito on San Carlos Ave. until he married his high school sweetheart in 1961. He and his wife lived in Albany briefly (before their house was torn down to build BART) and moved to Richmond St. around 1965. Sometime in the late 1980's his front lawn hosted a full size replica of an elephant seal for a few months until it got moved to the Marin Mammal (rescue) Center.  He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Linda; daughter Lisa Meniketti (Marco) and Bryan (Tangerine) as well as grandchildren Julianna, Hailey & Miguel.

A memorial service will be planned for the near future.

This obituary by submitted by Lisa Ponchione Meniketti

Tangerine ponchione January 14, 2014 at 09:32 PM
RIP Dad!!!! Thank you for being such a wonderful Man, and although you have only been gone for a short time, we miss you so very much. We love you with all our HEART and I am so very proud that I had the honor to be your daughter in law and to have you for as long as I did. the honor was all mine. I wish... I just wish...... miss you DAD and I LOVE YOU!!
Alexandra Pangelina Ramirez January 15, 2014 at 01:50 AM
My deepest most heart felt sympathy for his family . You are in our thoughts and prayers . He was one of the greatest men I have ever known . He will be deeply missed . Forever in my heart Cary . My heart is with his wife linda , daughter Lisa , Marcos his son Bryan , Tangerine , Miguel , Hailey , Julianna . We have been blessed to have you all apart of our family . He will deeply be missed .

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