Mildred E. Pence was born on November 28, 1932, at Gorin, Missouri. She left this world on December 2, 2020. She was the youngest child of Franklin Snider Erickson and Ora Howard Erickson. Mildred married her high school sweetheart,Don Pence, on November 4, 1951, at the Methodist Church in Gorin, Missouri. In 1953, Mildred and Don established their home west of Memphis, and lived the rest of their lives there, taking great pride in their farm and family.
Mildred attended the Cedar Grove School in rural Scotland County, walking a fair distance to meet the bus to the school and then back home, and was the fastest runner in her class during grade school. She was very active in the Cedar Grove 4-H and, among other things, became an accomplished seamstress through those activities and the lessons from her mother. She was able to design and sew her own wedding dress, several bridesmaid dresses, matching square dance outfits, and clothing and accessories of all types for every member of her family. In 2019,
Mildred contacted family members and old friends to round up materials for a 4-H display at the Antique Days. It was a project she took on with gusto and seemed to grow with each person she reconnected with.
Having spent her entire 88 years in Scotland County, Mildred graduated from Gorin High School in 1950, and she was a faithful member of the Memphis United Methodist Church as long as her health allowed. She was very involved with activities there, including meal preparations for groups at the church, and bible school. As a Gorin graduate, the annual Gorin Alumni Banquet was a highlight of every October.
When the kids were all in school, Mildred commuted daily to Kirksville to attend Kirksville College of Cosmetology and became a licensed hair dresser. At the same time, she and Don built a new house on their farm, using plans she designed and drew, and a neighbor, Les Prather, as the builder. This new home included her beauty shop, The Country Cut and Curl, which she then operated for many Mildred also was employed outside of the home in earlier years at a bank in Memphis and in insurance sales with her husband. In addition to involvement with a wide variety of their kids’ activities, Mildred and Don were active members of the Kalico Klickers Square Dance Club at Bloomfield, Iowa. She also travelled many miles on the back of Don’s Honda Goldwing, seeing several states and sights.
Since Don’s death on February 9, 2017, Mildred continued to live on the family farm, in spite of many health issues, and with the constant care and attention of Mitchell and Kathy Pence. Being a farmer and keeping up with the day-to-day activities there were her pride and joy. Continued heart issues and a fall in her home on October 2, led to her final health challenges, and resulted in hospitalizations at Columbia and Memphis, and finally at the Scotland County Care Center in November, 2020. Needing health care in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic posed severe and unknown obstacles, and no doubt hastened her death, with its isolation and restrictions on the time her family and friends could spend with her. Her family is grateful for the guidance and care received from the administrators, doctors, nurses, therapists, and all healthcare workers in Scotland County. Seeing familiar faces in the facilities was some comfort for Mildred when family and friends could not be with her.
Preceding her in death are, her husband, Don, her sister, Beulah Davis (and her husband, Robert), and her brother, Harley Erickson (and his wife,(Janet), her brother-in-law, Jim Monroe, her sisters-in-law, (Don’s siblings) Dalee Droege, Jean Armstrong, and Leanna Jo Garrett.
Mildred and Don have three children who survive: Phyllis Allsbury and her husband, Richard, of Jefferson City, MO; Eric Pence and his wife, Karen, of Ashland, MO; and Mitchell Pence and his wife, Kathy, of Memphis, MO. They also have six grandchildren: Landon Pence and his wife, Alyssa, of Kirksville, MO; Melia Pence Breed and her husband, Mack, of Kansas City, MO; Laura Pence, of Myrtle Beach, SC; Alaina Allsbury, of Jefferson City, MO; Lane Pence of Memphis, MO; and Adam Allsbury, of Jefferson City, MO. And, Mildred’s two great-grandchildren, Harper Devin and Ryan Carol, are the daughters of Landon and Alyssa Pence, of Kirksville, MO, one sister, Vera Monroe, of Memphis, MO along with several nieces, nephews, and she enjoyed keeping up with all of them through the years.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Gorin Cemetery Association, the Memphis United Methodist Church or the charity of your choice in care of Payne Funeral Chapel, 202 E. Madison St., Memphis, Missouri
Funeral services were held at 2:00 P.M. at the Payne Funeral Chapel on Sunday, December 6, 2020 with Pastor Mary Lou Toft officiating.
Interment followed in the Gorin Cemetery at Gorin, MO.
Online condolences may be shared with the Pence family by logging onto Payne’s website at www. paynefuneralchapel.com