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Obituaries – December 13, 2014

Ronald William Pounds

Ronald William Pounds, a winter resident of Ajijic since 2008, died Saturday, December 6 at the age of 71.

Born January 13, 1943, in Chicago, Illinois, Pounds graduated from Harlan High School in 1961. He attended Wilson Junior College and Chicago

Teachers College (now Northeastern Illinois University) before he was drafted into the U.S. Army.

He served his country from 1966 to 1968, during which time he was stationed in San Francisco and then Vietnam. After his honorable discharge,

Pounds returned to Chicago and began working in the computer industry. His computer programming skills led him to jobs at Standard Oil Company, Montgomery Ward, and Washington National Insurance. Using his knowledge of financial planning, he also wrote weekly articles on insurance matters for the Chicago Defender.

As a young man, Pounds was always involved in community organizations such as the Systems Programmers Society and South End Jaycees in Chicago. He met Lillian Carter in May 1968 at the Guys & Gals Lounge on the dance floor. The couple married August 7, 1971.

In 1975, Pounds was recruited by the Schlitz Brewing Company which brought him and his wife to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After Schlitz, he worked at Wisconsin Gas and retired from the City of Milwaukee in 2008.

Throughout his time in Milwaukee, Pounds continued to immerse himself in the community, as a founding member of MICRO (Minorities In Computer Related Occupations), a non-profit organization that raised scholarship funds for college-bound students in the Milwaukee area.

Pounds served as a member, vice president and eventually president for the 100 Black Men of Milwaukee. Part of his role was to mentor young African-American men. He enjoyed this work so much and saw such a need for more role models in the community that he expanded his mentoring; first at Homestead High School in Mequon, then Madison High School and eventually offering mentoring workshops to young men and women in the juvenile justice system. He believed that by participating in the lives of young people and by giving them a positive role model, they could become productive, contributing citizens.

In 1987, Pounds and his wife took a life-changing voyage to Egypt. During their two-week stay, he embraced the true history and meaning of Eastern African culture. Upon his return, he helped start a local chapter of ASCAC (Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations) called Ka-tawi.

The local chapter held regular study groups to educate the Black community about its true cultural roots.  To deepen his commitment, Pounds also joined NBUF, the National Black United Front, an organization that focuses on fighting for reparations.  

Pounds shared what he learned with the community by writing and publishing four books, including “From Boys to Men,” a guide for mentors that celebrated the history of African people to help steer young people back towards their roots.  

Forever the enthusiastic hosts, the Pounds enjoyed gathering their friends and family together for a party, regardless of the occasion. So legendary were their Super Bowl parties that they were featured twice in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Pounds was diagnosed with colon cancer in May 2014. He leaves behind his wife of 43 years, Lillian; daughter, Jamila McCallum; son-in-law, Brian McCallum; mother, Johnnie Mae Winston; brother, Al Pounds; sister-in-law, Linda; sister, Cheryl Pounds; nephews, Charon Carter and Eddie Oglesby; niece, Aisha Ruther; and a host of cousins and friends.


H. Daniel Altmire

H. Daniel Altmire died November 21 in the Lake Chapala home he moved to 19 years ago.

Altmire was born August 7, 1926 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At the age of 17 he joined the U.S. Army Air Force, becoming a first lieutenant and flying a B-29 Bomber in World War II. After the war, he attended George Washington University and received a degree in engineering.

Altmire worked overseas for many years, including spells in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  He later received a Master’s in psychology, and spurred by a love of gardening, took courses and became a master gardener.

Altmire loved music and dancing.  He shared his passion for travel with his family, taking them to many parts of the world.

Altmire loved the time he spent in Lake Chapala and returned the generosity and kindness to the country that adopted him. Every person and animal that came across him walked away with a touch of his kind spirit.

He is survived by his loving wife Lisa, daughter Heather, sons David and son Dan and their families.