MYRTLE BEACH—Capt. Douglas Floyd Ponischil, 99, passed away peacefully on May 15.
He was born on Oct. 20, 1920, to Floyd Francis Ponischil and Yvonne Douglas Ponischil in Galveston, Texas.
He graduated from Ball High School with the class of 1936 and was also a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the second graduating class of 1940.
Douglas sailed for Lykes Brothers Steamship Company on various vessels and was the captain of the S.S. George L. Baker from 1945-1946, which sailed to Pearl Harbor during World War II. He was called back to active duty during the Korean War and served as a lieutenant and public information officer in the United States Navy.
At the age of 24, Douglas was the youngest skipper in the Maritime Service to hold masters papers, which allowed him to skipper a ship of any tonnage on any ocean in the world.
Douglas met his wife Jean Kendall in New York City and raised three children in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was very active in the Charlotte community, volunteering at Charlotte Catholic High School, The Mint Museum and The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.
Douglas loved the cultural life of the Queen City; literacy, theatre, opera, and most of all, the symphony.
He was predeceased by sister Aimee Ponischil Dooley and brother John Kit Ponischil, both of California.
He is survived by son Mark Douglas Ponischil (Karen) of Charlotte; daughter Susan Ponischil Seagroves (Rick) of Myrtle Beach; son John Kendall Ponischil (Tamara) of Denver, Colorado, and by his grandchildren Tyler, Stuart and Kendall Seagroves. Douglas is also survived by his first cousin and best friend, Bill Douglas of Galveston, Texas.
Special thanks to Ula Smith for her extraordinary love, care and support of Mr. Douglas.
So many thanks to the staff and caregivers at Myrtle Beach Manor. Their kindness and care was outstanding. Sincere gratitude goes to the trustees of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor in the City of New York for their support during Captain Ponischil’s life.
A private burial will take place at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorials may be made to The Charlotte Symphony (www.charlottesymphony. org/support/) in honor of Douglas Ponischil.
“Let go the starboard anchor.” Rest in peace.