Clare County Review & Marion Press Obituaries

Obituary: Allen Franklin Medendorp Pence

Allen Franklin Medendorp Pence, of Marion and formerly of the Kalkaska area, passed away on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at his home with family by his side. He was 75.
Allen was born on November 15, 1948 in Pontiac, Michigan. He was abandoned and eventually adopted by a couple that would abuse him throughout his formative years. Allen overcame these and a multitude of emotional and physical obstacles to become a protective husband, father, grandfather, loyal friend and someone that would give all he had to help anyone in need. His greatest wish was to have a family of his own.
Allen was thankful for the people that offered help to him along the way and spoke of them often. The Sneary family that took him in to save him from an abusive home as a young boy, became his family at heart, and their children became his “brothers and sisters” forever. His cousin, Ginny and her husband, Jack, took him in and fed him as a young teen, when they were just a few years older than him. Ernie and Mildred Mitchell later took him in as one of their own and showed him how to be an upstanding person. He would later marry their daughter, Jane Mitchell. Many other people who made an impact on him along the way were all spoke of often as his saving grace.
Allen was a 1966 graduate of Marion High School, and later would attend Ferris State University after his nearly 6 years of service in the United States Army in the Vietnam War. He returned home with injuries and scars, both inside and out, two Purple Hearts, along with several other service medals and decorations. His service and sacrifice further instilled his respect and commitment to honor those who served. Allen and Jane started their family in Reed City, Michigan, where Allen began his post-war civilian career in construction. They soon followed the oil field boom to Kalkaska, where they would raise three daughters of their own, and later took in a young teen boy, who became a son to them. There were many more kids welcomed into Allen’s home over the years for a weekend or for a lifetime, he would give help in any way he could. Allen’s career later moved on to tractor trailer and hot shot driving, where he often would take his children and grandchildren along to see the country and learn to appreciate truck stop foods.
Allen loved being a camp cook at horse trail camp and in Canada with the fishing in-laws and friends. He loved to cook, feed and provide for his family and friends. Hours were spent looking for extra special recipes for holiday meals. He was happiest surrounded by family. He always prepared the Thanksgiving turkey and the accompanying feast, which was always over the top! All were welcomed to the table and invited to hold hands and join in a “remix” of the Lord’s Prayer. Allen was the master of sarcasm and puns; he could quote spaghetti western or action movie lines at the most inappropriate of times, just to make you laugh. He loved a good trucker song or talk radio to open his mind to new thoughts and ideas. Allen overcame so much to break the cycle and move the next generations to greater things. He will be remembered as a legend in the Pence family and will be sorely missed by all that loved him.
Allen is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, M. Jane Pence; daughters, Heather (Richie) Pence-Levine, Jessica Pence, and Sara (Colton Kelly) Pence; son, Michael; grandchildren, Hailey, Tanner, Karma, Lylah, Savannah, Knox, Mack, Amanda, Justine, James, Ryon, Elizabeth, Duane, and Danielle; brothers at heart, Ellis and Eric; sister at heart, Kathy; sister, Jan; nephew, William; nieces, Donna and Mary; sister-in-law, Diana; nephews, Larry, Dirk, and Ben; sister-in-law, Dede; nephews, DJ, Donald, and Denny; and many other loving family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Charles; brother at heart, Allan Sneary; brother-in-law and close friend, Raymond “Pug”; sister-in-law, Kathleen; father and mother-in-law, Ernie and Mildred Mitchell; and a niece, Dawn.
Although he would never accept the accolade, Allen was a National Treasure, as all US Veterans are. Please think of him and take the opportunity to thank a veteran whenever it may present itself.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2024 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. with a time of service at 12 noon at the Kalkaska Moose Lodge, 2210 M-66, Kalkaska, MI 49646. Military Honors will be provided by the Kalkaska American Legion Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Freedom Builders or Quilt of Valor Foundation
Condolences and memories may be shared online at
The family is being served by Fosnaught-Holdship Funeral Home.

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