Raleigh ‘News & Observer’ Editor Praised for Her Work Dies at 54

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A former award-winning journalist for The News & Observer who won praise for editing a series about an unborn baby’s surgery has died.

Kathy Williams Ponder was 54. The newspaper says she retired in May and died Thursday in hospice care.

Ponder worked at The News & Observer since 1999 as an editor for issues including religion and medicine. She earned 2001 Associated Press honors for a series about a couple whose unborn baby underwent successful surgery.

Ponder also documented her adoption of her own Russian-born daughter in 1994.

In her 30 years in journalism, Ponder also worked as a reporter and editor for TV Guide and for newspapers in Texas, Virginia and Idaho.

She leaves her daughter and a son. Her husband died in 2005.

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