Pauline Annie (Klun) Jontes was born November 17, 1927, in DeLand, Florida to John and Josephine (Medved) Klun. When she was in high school the family moved to Samsula, a farming community where many other Slovenians had settled. She graduated from New Smyrna High School in 1945, and two years later married the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Jontes. They lived in Samsula on the same property for the remainder of their lives.
As a young girl Pauline sold grapes and other fruit from her father's DeLand orchard, learning the farm business at an early age. After marriage, she worked alongside her husband on their Samsula farm. When Bob started working at Cape Canaveral, Pauline took over the day-to-day operations of managing the farm. Over the years they grew a variety of vegetables, from bell peppers and black-eyed peas to sweet onions and kale. While they were the first in the area to own and operate hydroponic greenhouses where they grew tomatoes and cucumbers, their “Jontes Farm” sweet corn harvest became a legendary annual event. Customers would line up at the farm each morning waiting for the sweet corn crop to be picked, eager to get theirs before the corn ran out. With son, Steve, they were well-known and respected for the quality and freshness of their vegetables, and they would drive each week to deliver produce to Albertson’s Plant City warehouse and local vendors after Pauline had negotiated that week's prices. Pauline took pride in the farm store, decorating it from her memorabilia and collections of glassware, license plates, and antique toy tractors.
She went back to school and graduated as an LPN from Daytona Beach Junior College in the early 1970s, working at Halifax Hospital and as a private duty nurse. She was a lifetime member of the Samsula Woman's Club and S.N.P.J. Lodge 603. During the late 1960s and early 70s she took photos for the Daytona Beach News Journal.
Pauline loved flowers and gardening, and she was a great cook, finding many creative ways to serve the vegetables from their farm. She and Bob loved dancing to big band, and polka music, and enjoyed going to the S.N.P.J. and Polish Club dances. The photo above of the young Pauline was the one Bob always carried, calling her his "movie star."
She is predeceased by her husband of 67 years Bob, parents John, Josephine, and sister Helen (Jensen). She is survived by her three children Robert Jr., Steve, and Carol Jontes Strack (Fred), three grandchildren Robert III, Scott, and Frederick Strack II, and five great-grandchildren; nephews Chris and Roy (Judy) Galbreath, Stan (Gayle) Jensen, and nieces Marcy Galbreath and Julie (David) Jensen-Lauser.
Because of the Covid virus, Pauline's service will be confined only to her family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Samsula Woman's Club (P.O. Box 1635, New Smyrna Beach, 32170) or S.N.P.J. Lodge 603 (423 N. Samsula Dr., New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168).
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