In Memory

Bill Pence

Bill Pence

William Allen "Bill" Pence, age 68, of Norman, Okla., a member of the Norman High School Class of 1966, passed away August 13, 2016.

He was born January 21, 1948, in Norman, Oklahoma, to Earl Jarrett "Jerry" and Jeanne Marie (Wells) Pence. Bill attended Lincoln Elementary, Central Jr. High, and graduated from Norman High School.

His competitive spirit shined throughout academics and athletics. He ran for student body president in Jr. High and was team manager for basketball and coach Marquardt at NHS. He served as a page in the Oklahoma State Senate during two sessions. This sparked a long lasting interest in politics.

Bill attended OU and joined Phi Delta Theta. He had a paper route, opened a firecracker stand, served as census worker and helped out at Jerry's Mobile Gas.

He was beset with health problems at an early age. He worked for the Highway Safety Department under Gov. David Hall, and later as fund administrator for the Okla. Insurance Commission, until his health forced retirement.

Bill loved fast horses, all competitive sports and any game of cards. Bill never complained about his physical condition. He was generous beyond words in kindness, humor, wisdom, knowledge, immeasurable strength and loyalty to family and friends. Bill was the "Best Uncle Ever!!" to his niece and nephews. He was an amazing man and will be deeply missed.

Bill is survived by his brother, Jim Pence & wife, Kathi, of Norman; sister, Vicki Cox & husband, Danny, of Norman; three nephews and one niece, Jim Pence II & wife, LeAnne, of Norman, Nikki Roderick & husband, Richie, of Keller, Texas, Kenneth Cox, of Moore; and Jeffrey Cox, of Broken Arrow; three great-nieces and one great-nephew, Isabelle and Tripp Pence, of Norman, and Sidney and Laney Roderick, of Keller, Texas; and a host of friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Jeanne and Jerry Pence.

A Celebration of Bill's Life was held at the Norman Train Depot on August 21, 2016.



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08/15/16 10:56 PM #10    

Karen Jennings (Mobly)

I'm  so very glad I got to visit with Bill at our 50th reunion. He was a great friend & will be missed by all of us.   


08/16/16 08:47 AM #11    

Mike Holland

Bill was truly a ray of sunshine always offering smiles and making us feel special wherever he went. And he never lost that wonderful ability to connect and spread cheer in spite of his hardships.  The world is a better place because of Bill, and we were lucky to share his presence and see his shining example of enjoying life. I've known Bill since the first grade at Lincoln.  It was fortunate that we saw him at the 50th once again.  He will be sorely missed!

08/16/16 09:26 AM #12    

Barbara Orth (Boggs)

Being listed in alphabetical order in several classes at NHS, often put me in front of Bill. He was a master at whispering ornery comments about our teachers, while I would be the one giggling and getting in trouble. He made us all smile and touched each of our hearts. What a great legacy to leave. 

08/16/16 11:19 AM #13    

Greg Taber

It was great to chat with Bill at the reunion.  Even when it had been a while, too long, he always somehow made you feel like a good friend.  That probably comes from somewhere deep, as these many comments show.

08/16/16 03:25 PM #14    

Bobby Davis

I knew Bill since the 6th grade and talked too him just 2 weeks prior to his death. He called me every year on my birthday. I never heard him once complain about all his medical conditions in all these years. He was always so positive. I will miss him a great deal.  RIP my friend.

08/16/16 04:35 PM #15    

Judy Pannell (Elkins)

Love the stories!  Thanks Steve, Kathy, Barb, and Kay.  I especially like the visual of Bill walking in a thunderstorm to see his girlfriend (Kay) in the 4th grade.  A sweet guy, even then.

Bill and I became friends in high school, probably because our brothers were such good friends. 

I too enjoyed catching up with Bill at our 50th reunion.  He will surely be missed.

Mike Johnston, you said it well, "Bill was one of the best of us."  Maybe THE best.

Maybe Bill will inspire each one of us to be better.


08/17/16 11:04 AM #16    

Jack Taylor

So sorry to hear about Bill.  We visited at the recent class reruion. I knew Bill since junior high and I was always impressed by his courage and great spirit. He will be missed.

Jack Taylor




08/17/16 11:21 AM #17    

Darlene Ernest (Burner)

Such sweet comments about Bill, all well deserved.  He was truly one of a kind.  I think we all knew all along how special this guy was.  Even though life dealt him some pretty hard blows, that smile was always there.  He certainly left a positive impact on many people.  Maybe that is his legacy.

08/17/16 03:40 PM #18    

David Harper

Hopefully, I will be able to post this wonderful picture from "A Pictorial History of Norman and Cleveland County," 1995.  It was a "special project" of the Norman Transcript.  I love this picture for many reasons; and, one of the best is of the healthy, happy winner, Bill Pence.  And, he was always a healthy, happy winner... wasn't he?  Bill and I were friends before grade school.  His family lived next door to my aunt Ruth and her family.  As I recall, it was a duplex right across the street from the old church that of recent years was a second hand furniture store.  My memories of Bill are all the same.. He was just a selfless person, full of life and happy.  A bright guy that didn't try and beat you up with it.  Talking with Bill was about "you" unless you could some-how turn the table on him and get him to talk a little about himself.  At least, that is how Bill was with me.  What a great smile.  You visit with Bill and you leave feeling good.  We should all try and hang on to that part of Bill that was so special and keep it as our own.  Enjoy the picture! 

10/12/16 10:17 AM #19    

Carol Hickman (Haynes)

Bill was such a dear friend for 56 or more years. All the comments reflect how so many people thought the very best of Bill. As many mentioned, Bill was such a positive force in his friend's lifve in spite of the struggles that he had to deal with for most of his life. Yet, not a single person can report of any complaints from Bill about his physical hardships. Talk about positivity! Bill was the very essence of that word. He always was interested in everyone and left everyone with a few good laughs and a smile. What a wonderful legacy to leave with all who loved him. We already miss you my friend! Until we meet again, may you run with perfect legs and spine and enjoy the wind in your wings! Love you Bill.

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