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Richard Paul Pence


ichard Paul Pence was born on January 15, 1923 to L. Dorsey and Mary (Setty) Pence. He passed away on February 24, 2018 in Sarasota, Florida surrounded by his loving family.


He was a resident of Bradenton, Florida with former residences in Akron and Columbus, Ohio. He was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a member of Masonic Lodge 684, Upper Arlington, Ohio; Scottish Rite 32nd degree, Columbus, Ohio.

He graduated from Ohio State University, and retired from General Motors Acceptance Corporation. He was later employed by Bank One in Akron, Ohio. He was formerly a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Akron, Ohio and is currently a member of First Presbyterian Church, Bradenton, Florida.


He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Carolyn (Rhoads) after 51 years of marriage and leaves a son David and grandson Aidan, of Golden Colorado, and a daughter Anne, and granddaughter, Mary, of Baltimore, Maryland.


Richard joined the Army on February 2, 1943 in Columbus, Ohio at the age of 19. He served as Squad Leader for the 63rd Reconnaissance Troop in the European Theater of Operations in World War II. His job was to lead his squad of approximately 10 men in gathering information about strength, disposition and probable intentions of the German army. His tour of duty also took him through the Rhineland, Central Europe and finally Germany.

Behind enemy lines on a daily basis certainly would have put Richard and his men in continuous dangerous situations. On April 23, 1945 Richard was driving his jeep with his men and ran over an underground mine. He recovered from his wounds and received the Purple Heart on April 21, 1945.

Awards and Decorations

Being in the position of Squad Leader reflects the kind of character and leadership qualities he possessed. Richard was honorably discharge on April 22, 1947 at the rank of Sergeant. At the time of his discharge Richard was eligible to wear the Purple Heart Medal, two Bronze Stars, Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with tthree Bronze Service Stars, the World War II Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal.


A Celebration of Life service will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 from 1-2 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Bradenton, Florida. A graveside service with military honors provided by the United States Army is still in the process of scheduling, but will take place at Washington Cemetery in Washington Court House, Ohio. Please check back with us for further scheduling details.

Special Acknowledgements

The Pence family would like to thank the staff of caregivers at The Pines of Sarasota for the loving care they gave to Richard while he was in their care. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to The Pines of Sarasota.

Friends, family and veterans who served with Richard are invited to share a memory and sign his guestbook below.

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  • Rob A. says:

    Thank you Sir for your service and sacrifice. May you rest in peace. My condolences to your family.

  • Jim Rudolph says:

    After meeting his son Dave, hearing stories about his life, and especially reading his Army discharge documents, I wish I had met this man. He was part of Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” They saved the world from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Then came home and went to work, raised their families. Rest in Peace Mr. Pence.

  • Joseph Kikume says:

    Thank you for your service and my condolences to the family.

  • Jimmy Rudolph says:

    Thank you Mr. Pence for your service and your sacrifice. My condolences to the Pence family.

  • Patty Lopez says:

    What an amazing man; you come by “amazing” naturally Dave. I so wish I could have met your father, however – I do see him in you and in Aidan.

    By now your father and mine have met and are sharing stories. My mother and your mother have met, and are sharing stories, too.

    So glad you and Aidan are in my universe!

    Here’s to your Dad, a true hero! And to you and Aidan!


  • Alan Lewis says:

    Thank you for your service and my condolences to your family.

  • Drew says:

    Thank you for your service to our country. May you Rest In Peace good sir! Love and condolences to the family.

  • Diana McKnight says:

    With deep appreciation for your father’s service to our country. Thinking of you, Dave, with love.