TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Melvin Earl Ponzi

August 25, 1934 - January 30, 2016

Mel Ponzi passed away peacefully at his home on January, 30th 2016. A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday February 4th, 2016 at 7:30 pm at Central College Church in Westerville Ohio.

Mel graduated from Painesville Harvey High School in 1952. He attended The Ohio State University and was a member of the marching band from 1952-1954. He then went on to become a member of the United States Army Band at West Point Military Academy from 1955-1956 and performed throughout Europe with the 7th Army Symphony from 1956-1957.

Mel was employed as both a Sales Professional and District Manager for Drummond American for 30 years where he garnered numerous awards and was recognized as a leader in the field of Industrial Selling when he retired in 2004.

He was one of the founding members of The Ohio State University Alumni Marching Band in 1973. He was an active member of the alumni band, the HyperActive band and was instrumental in the creation of the annual Alumni Band Golf Outing which raised funds for the marching band. He was also responsible for gathering and organizing Alumni Band members to play aboard the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer. Mel spent many, many years leading fund raising efforts for both the Alumni and Marching bands. In addition, Mel was also a member of the Westerville Community Concert Band, Scioto Valley Brass and Percussion Company, and Central College Church Orchestra. He was a Mason, a member of Blendon Lodge 339, and was also a member of the American Legion Post 171.

He is preceded in death by his first wife, Cindy, and his parents, Joseph and Eleanor and sister-in-law, Jane Clippinger. He is survived by his wife, Betsy, sons Joe (Kristin) Ponzi of Westerville, Brian (Julie) Blankenship of Dublin, sister Donna (Russ) Yeats of Florida, Brother In Law Conrad (Linda) Clippinger of Defiance, Nephew U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Scott (Renae) Clippinger, Nephews Tom Yeats of Painesville, Kevin Yeats of Florida and grandchildren Peyton and Riley Blankenship and Elsie Ponzi.

In Lieu of flowers donations can be made to Ohio Health Hospice 800 McConnell Drive Columbus, Ohio 43214 or Marching for Waters Legal Fund at www.marchingforwaterslegalfund.

Mel was a member of the marching band in 1952 and 1953. He played sousaphone and marched in K-Row. In 2009, Mel received the Script Ohio Award for service to the marching band, alumni club, and university.