The family of Perry J. Pence sadly relays the news of his passing on Tuesday, September 28th, at the age of 86. He was born to Paul and Pearl (Smith) Pence on October 14, 1934. Mr. Pence was also preceded in death by a sister, Patricia Harner and a brother, Phillip Pence.
Perry was a 1952 graduate of New Carlisle High School. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, was honorably discharged and became a 1960 graduate of Purdue University on the GI Bill, where he received a BA of Science. After graduation, he studied for and received his Professional Engineering License.
In 1956 he married Nancy Kleinrichert who survives. He is also survived by his five daughters, Ann Marie, Barbara, Mary, Martha and Paula, 17 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
Perry began his career as an electrical engineer working for the Bendix Corporation. He eventually became restless, however, and accepted a position with the international firm, Lyons Associates, Inc. in 1968. The Pence family lived in Okinawa and Thailand as Perry traveled extensively throughout Asia working on government contracts for the firm during the Vietnam War. When Perry and his family returned stateside in 1971, he continued his electrical engineering career working for Miles Laboratories in Elkhart, Indiana.
In addition to his love of travel, Perry was also passionate about and excelled at playing cards. Growing up on a farm, card games were the primary source of entertainment and euchre was king. He mastered the game over his lifetime and passed on the skill to many of his children and grandchildren with much patience and love. He was also an avid bridge player, chalking up numerous tournament victories.
Perry had a great love of the outdoors, which included an acre garden, countless hours with his beloved chainsaws cutting firewood and time in the woods at Papakeechie Lake where he and his wife self-built their lake cottage; an oasis for family and friends, especially for the grandchildren.
Perry was a gentle giant. A big, strong man with a big, tender heart. He had a wonderful dry wit, could fix anything and outwork anyone. He loved life and took it on, thrilled by the challenge and the gift. Above all else, He considered his faith in and love of God his greatest treasure. His pearl of great price, his compass for life.
He was a long time parishioner of Corpus Christi Church, South Bend where he worshiped his God.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 2822 Corpus Christi Drive, South Bend, IN 46628, where a rosary will be prayed just prior to the Mass at 10:30 a.m. Kaniewski Funeral Homes, South Bend is handling the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, Memorials are requested to go to the church. To send online condolences, please visit www.kaniewski.com.
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