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Seamond, a Light Keeper’s Kid


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Seamond Margold Ponsart Roberts died on Dec. 13, 2023 in Pineville, Louisiana. at age 83.

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Seamond Roberts when she was a little girl, at ...

Seamond was named a manufactured name because she was a daughter of the sea.

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Seamond Margold Ponsart Roberts.

She was born on May 1, 1940 in New Bedford where her parents, Octave Jules Ponsart and Emma Cornell Ponsart, were then keepers at Dumpling Rock Lighthouse, Seamond’s first address. In all, she lived in three different lighthouses through the age of 17: Dumpling Rock Lighthouse in South Dartmouth; Cuttyhunk Lighthouse on Cuttyhunk Island; and West Chop Lighthouse in Vineyard Haven.

When Seamond turned 17, her father had to medically retire and thence began the first day of the rest of her life’s adventures.Moving from Martha’s Vineyard to California, she graduated in 1958 from Mission Bay High School in Pacific Beach, Calif. She never got to college but instead became a housewife to three different Navy husbands, which caused her to live in different locations in the U.S., including Massachusetts, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, California, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

Later she lived in Louisiana. It was there in New Orleans that, after being divorced for a bit, she met her fourth — and last ever — Navy husband, David Roberts. He was a Navy hospital corpsman from a base in New Orleans where she was barracked. Late in life, Seamond joined the U.S. Coast Guard as a cook and later on a yeoman and military court reporter. Getting through boot came when you are 37 years old is not only a miraculous thing to get done, but unbelievably crazy, too.

She stayed in the Coast Guard for 14 years, eventually stationed on Governor’s Island, N.Y., an island right off Manhattan. It was a thrill to experience all that New York City had to offer, less than one-half a mile away. During all this time she did medical transcription as a hobby and part-time job. Upon finishing being a Coastie and coming home to “real life” again, she resumed — and never ever quit doing — medical transcription.

She and her husband survived Hurricane Katrina, while living in New Orleans during August 2005. But they lost everything and started over in a new location: Pineville, La. She continued to do transcription with her last employer, Pinecrest Supports and Services in Pineville, La., which she insisted was the best job she ever had.

In 2013, she was fortunate enough to finally publish her life story of lighthouse living: Everyday Heroes: The True Story of a Lighthouse Family. This is still available at Amazon.com. If you are interested in her many childhood lighthouse adventures, you ought to read it.

She was the widow of David A. Roberts of Pineville, La. She was also predeceased by her son, Norman Andersen Jr.

She is survived by her daughters, Lorna Margaret Pierce and her spouse LuAnn McNitt of Bradenton, Fla., and Gloria Aline Smith Coder and her spouse Robert Coder of Upland, Calif.; five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; and many, many lifelong friends and some old and new lighthouse friends from Facebook who are from all over. She was the sister of the late Bette Helen Newton Andersen and Kenneth Cornell.

As anyone who ever met her knows, Seamond loved reading (to the extreme) and writing letters (and her book), meeting new friends and keeping up with old friends, too. She loved pets, cats, dogs, chickens, guinea pigs, birds and even once upon a time a white pet mouse named Pinkie. She enjoyed art as a past time in her later years.

And so, Seamond crossed the bar. The bad days were sure bad enough, but since there were so many good days (like 99.9% of the time) what the heck. She had a good life for sure — and I should know as I, Seamond Roberts, wrote all this myself.

Goodbye to all my family and friends. Thank you for listening to me and for being so dear to me. I hope to see each of you in our next life’s further adventures.

This story appeared in the Jan/Feb 2024 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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