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Mary Ann Pence

Mary Ann Pence, age 93, of Aurora, passed away on Saturday, October 6, 2018, at Memorial Community Care.

Funeral Services will be held 10:30 A.M., Thursday, October 11th at Presbyterian United Church of Christ in Aurora. Rev. Bruce Bradley will officiate. Interment will be in the Aurora Cemetery. No Visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to P.E.O., American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Association or the Local Backpack Program. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.

OBITUARY: MARY ANN PENCE

Mary Ann Pence was born in Aurora, Nebraska, on August 18, 1925, the daughter of John T. and Olive M. (Hibbs) Sullivan. She shared a loving relationship with one brother, Donald E. Sullivan. Her loving, gracious spirit soared peacefully heavenward on October 6, 2018.

Mary Ann graduated from Aurora High School in 1943. She attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO and also worked at the base in Harvard, NE. On June 16, 1946, she married R.M. “Bud” Pence, also of Aurora. They were blessed with three children: Deborah, Nancy and Douglas.

Mary Ann was the oldest surviving member of the Presbyterian United Church of Christ in Aurora, formerly the Federated Church, where she was confirmed at the age of 15. She was a valued member of the choir for many years, where she shared her lovely soprano voice and her wonderful sense of humor. She was also an active member of the Women’s Association. Mary Ann and Bud renewed their wedding vows here on their 50th wedding anniversary in a beautiful ceremony.

Mary Ann was a member and past President of PEO Chapter AC, and became a 50 year member in 2004. Her PEO Sisters will miss her greatly. She was an avid and talented bridge player for many years, and also enjoyed delivering “Meals on Wheels” with her husband. She loved people and caring for others.

Mary Ann was the co-founder of Lake Mary Ranch Camp, a summer camp for boys and girls, near Central City, NE in 1965. She participated in all aspects of running the camp for 7 years, where she worked with 50 children per week, 8 weeks a year. She and Bud provided a wonderful environment for many children, not to mention enjoyable employment for their three children! She also loved and was very involved in helping Bud start the Nebraska Football Camp at Lake Mary Ranch Camp from 1967 to 1973, during the Devaney/Osborne era. Mary Ann was a Go Big Red football fan along with Bud and she attended all home games and many away games.

She loved to travel, anywhere! One of her biggest joys was being Bud’s co-pilot for many years, and logged over 2,500 hours. She and Bud were fortunate in seeing so much of our great planet. Favorite destinations included Estes Park, CO, Breckenridge, CO, and Cotter, AR. She loved spending many Januarys in Palm Springs, CA with her brother & sister-in-law, attending the Bob Hope Desert Classic for many years and having her children and grandchildren visit there also. She enjoyed visiting her daughter, Nancy and family in Williamsburg, VA and daughter, Debby and family in Ft. Collins, CO. Mary Ann especially loved their many Nantucket Clipper cruises in New England, and the Mississippi River States. They formed lasting friendships in several different countries, Belgium, Germany and Brazil through being ambassadors for the Friendship Force organization.

Reading was a favorite pastime for Mary Ann and she especially enjoyed books about the Civil War. She loved and was always proud of her family, no matter how small or large the accomplishment. She loved being a homemaker, loved the first snow and the first fire of the season. She loved dancing and all the Glenn Miller songs. She had a remarkable sense of humor and really enjoyed giving and receiving funny cards. But most of all, she loved and adored her husband Bud, her loving partner for 72 years.

Mary Ann is survived by her husband, Roland M. Pence of Aurora; son, Douglas (Carolyn) of Aurora; two daughters, Nancy (Ken) Nelson of Williamsburg, VA and Deborah (B.J.) Johanningmeier of Fort Collins, CO; 6 grandchildren, Nichole Graham, Beau Nelson, Duane (Cheyann) Donnell, Kate (Chris) Nelson Vazquez, Derek Pence and Courtney (Tony) Pence Vcelik; 5 great-grandchildren, Cayden Vcelik, Addy Vcelik, Soleil Nelson, Dodie Donnell, Joseph Vazquez and Jonathon Vazquez; step great-grandchild, Peyton Griffin. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Evelyn Sullivan of Long Beach, CA and many nieces and nephews and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John T. and Olive M. Sullivan, brother, Donald E. Sullivan, sister-in-law, Margaret Peggy Benson and step-grandson, Ryan Johnanningmeier.

During her last several years of declining health, she never once uttered a complaint about anything. Her bravery was immense and spoke so much of her character and inner strength. Her family would like to thank her many dear friends for their love and support and the steady care and devotion of the entire staff at the Memorial Community Care Center.

The family would like to express our love and deep gratitude to our Dad, who loved and cared for her completely, with heart and soul and spunk, and unwavering devotion. Mary Ann leaves a legacy of love and happiness and the joy of helping others, and ALWAYS looking on the sunny side of the street! We rejoice in loving her as a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. We celebrate her life; a life fully lived indeed. And we rejoice in knowing that her Heavenly Father now welcomes her with kindness, love and everlasting peace; what a wonderful addition she will be to that Heavenly Choir!

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