Alice Carol Sullivan (Carol Ponder) was born on October 6, 1950 in Washington, DC. She was the only daughter of Milburn James Ponder and Alice Ophelia Ponder. She was raised in Hyattsville, MD with her two older brothers Milburn James Ponder, Jr (Milby) and Wayne Paul Ponder. Her early years were spent playing with her friends in the neighborhood and trying to keep up with her older brothers. She attended Ivy Randall School of Dance in Takoma Park, MD. While there she thrived in baton throwing and it was also there where she fell in love with dancing. Something she would do the rest of her life. Carol also loved to help her mom and dad at their restaurant. It was over those years at Ponder’s Luncheonette that her love for cooking really took off.
While at Northwestern High School, Carol excelled in the classroom and in theatre. She always shared her fond memories from her Senior Class play of “Brigadoon” and in the Glee Club. It was also during her time at Northwestern, where she met the love of her life. She had seen him around a few times but once they officially met during the 1967 State Finals basketball game at Cole Field House… The rest they say is history. Tommy and Carol would spend the next 50 years together making a lifetime of memories. They were also a testimony of a marriage that could endure anything.
Thomas and Carol were married on October 27, 1973 at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Rockville, MD. Together they had three children; Alice Carrie Sullivan, Thomas Quinlan Sullivan, and Patrick Michael Sullivan. More than any other accomplishment, Carol was proud of her family. Anyone who knew her, knew her family by default. She was quick to tell anyone and everyone about what her kids were doing and how proud she was of them.
Our Mom was also very big on making special memories for her children. Each of us were blessed with our own special “memory days” growing up. They could be anything from skipping school to go shopping or a special one on one lunch date. Mom would continue these memory days with her grandchildren as they each have special memories of their time with Grandma. Mom’s favorite time of year was our Summer beach vacations down to Ocean City. These traditions that she started 45 years ago are as strong as ever within our own families and we have her to thank for that.
As her children got older, she was blessed to become a mother once again to Chris Jackson, Carissa Cherry and Lindsey Halley. In 2000, she became a Grandmother for the first time. Over the next 16 years, she was present for the birth of all eight grandchildren and always had special names for them. Whether it was Grandma, Gma, Grandma Bay, Grandma Carol, Grandma CC, or Grandma Ceese…. Each of her “Great Eight” held a place near and dear to her heart. The Great Eight include Christian Franklin Jackson II, Cameron Thomas Jackson, Caylin Alice Jackson, Callie Anne Sullivan, Patrick Thomas Sullivan, Thomas Michael Sullivan, Kennedy Quinn Sullivan, and Ava Grace Sullivan.
After college, Carol worked at Harry Diamond Laboratories until the arrival of her first child. Motherhood was her calling and she insisted on raising her children at home. In doing so for a short time she also became the neighborhood babysitter. These we some of the best years for her children. Having their mom there everyday to teach and mold them into the people they are today was priceless. It would be a lemonade stand one day and slip and slide the next. She taught the kids how to play sports, read, write, sing, and dance. She was our everything during the 1980’s…
Eventually Mom didn’t need to babysit anymore and so she started teaching. Carol worked as a substitute teacher in Prince George’s County for several years. In 1990 Carol’s father had a stroke and so she added caregiver to her resume. This also meant trying to find a new career that was close to home with flexible hours. Carol found that career working as an optician in the Bowie area over the next 25 years. Like her husband she would always adjust her schedules as to not miss any baseball game, soccer game, wrestling match, ROTC competition or Pom Pon event. Mom’s motto was always “I wouldn’t miss it for the world!” She absolutely loved working so close to home. Her eyes would light up whenever one of her children would stop by to visit. She was quick to put up her “Gone to Lunch” sign and take us for a soda or slice of pizza. Looking back those memories were also lessons on how to be a great parent. She never stopped teaching…
On May 16, 2022 Alice Carol Sullivan passed away. She was visited all day long by her family and loved ones. She went peacefully just as her God had planned. We take great pride knowing that as soon as she left this earth she was reunited with her husband, brother, and parents in Heaven.
We take great solace knowing that she was at complete peace in her life. Her Legacy has been etched in stone and is seen throughout her family. We consider ourselves so lucky to have had her as a part of our lives. She was a beloved daughter and sister, devoted wife, loving and proud Mom and Grandma. Our world has lost one of the Great One’s!
Mom, we wanted to personally thank you for everything you have done for our families. Your traditions carry on. Your memory days carry on. Your legacy is etched in stone. We also take comfort knowing you and Dad will be watching over all of us. You are forever in our hearts…. Love your Family!!!