Wayne Pence Feb. 24, 1938 – May 20, 2018

Wayne Pence

Wayne Pence, 80, of Onslow, passed away peacefully at his home on May 20, 2018 with his family and best friends by his side.

His funeral service was held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Oxford Junction. Visitation was held on Friday, May 25 at Lahey and Dawson Funeral Home in Oxford Junction from 4-7 p.m. Burial was at Pence Cemetery, rural Baldwin with Military Honors.

Wayne was born on February 24, 1938 on a farm outside of Oxford Junction to Merton and Lena (Propst) Pence. He married the love of his life Carol Edwards on June 15, 1975 in Hubbell, Michigan. Wayne honorably and faithfully served in the United States Air Force for 22 years, he was a Vietnam Veteran. He was a member of the Wyoming American Legion Post 0259 and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Oxford Junction. 

During his time in the service, he helped develop the first over the horizon radar that was implemented in the Cold War as well as the first navigational system that would later become GPS. During the Vietnam Conflict, he was sheep-dipped and sent to Laos for three tours under a civilian passport.  He was stationed at a Lima site and among other responsibilities, given orders to train the locals in guerrilla warfare.  At the time, he knew the US was getting ready to pull out of the area and realized if he did this, it would not end well for the villagers.  Instead, he helped them with their farming and participated in their ceremonies.  He provided the village with much needed supplies building projects and even sponsored two children for public school whose families could not afford to send them.

After he retired as a Master Sergeant, he managed the Onslow Telephone Co-Op for 14 years. He could never quite shake his wanderlust and eventually went back to traveling as an operations manager for Nortel where he installed fiber optic networks for Microsoft in the western US, China and other areas of Asia.  He lived his retirement to the fullest, traveling the world with his wife, Carol, spending time in his garden, playing with his grandsons and fishing with his two best friends.  He loved nothing more than enjoying laughter, music and stories with his family and friends.  His wife, daughters and grandsons were the center of his life.

Those left to cherish his memories are his wife Carol, daughters; Michelle Vorwald of North Liberty, Melissa (Christopher) Antcliff of Cedar Rapids, two grandsons Zander and Logan, a sister Cleo English of Rockford, Ill. and two nieces.

He is preceded in death by his parents, a son Brian and a brother Glen “Bud” Pence.

Memorials may be directed to his family in his honor.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.laheys.com.



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