Small Town News


Marion Ellsworth Pence 94

Island Park News of Island Park, Idaho

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Marion Ellsworth Pence, 94, of Ashton, passed from this mortal existence on December 25, 2013, at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, from complications resulting from a stroke suffered five days earlier. He went home for Christmas, 53 years to the day after his mother died. A great Christmas Day family reunion was held as he was reunited with his wife, parents, and brother and sister.

He was born July 13, 1919, at the family home south of Ashton, the second of three children born to Elden Ellsworth and Janetta McGavin Pence. Growing up, Marion always worked at farm jobs throughout the year. He learned to handle horses to help with the thrashing and to help bring the winter's wood off the Ashton hill. He graduated from high school in 1936. He then went to work on the Island Park dam and harvesting hay in Island Park.

He spent many years working for Fremont County building, maintaining and snow-plowing the county roads. He made many friends during the long winters as he plowed them out of their farm homes throughout the valley. Following his retirement from the county, he worked for the Forest Service, using his skills on heavy equipment to build forest roads, fight fires, and clear lands to prepare them to be reforested. He retired in 1990.

Marion met the love of his life, Wilma Madsen, and they were married in 1947, in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. They lived all of their life in Ashton in the home they built. Wilma passed on in 2004, after 57 years of marriage. Marion continued living in the family home until his passing.

Marion was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held various callings during his life. He enjoyec attending the temple during his re tired years.

He was a skilled mechanic and heavy equipment operator. He has a passion for fishing and for telling true stories about his 85 years of fishing in the area. He was a master woodworker and has made many pieces that will stay with family and friends for generations to come. His greatest passion was to help others around him, whether it was repairing a car, building something on his lathe, or sharing a light-hearted story.

He is survived by his children, James Arlen (Kathy) Pence of Klamath Falls, Oregon, Cheri Lynn (Brent) Woolstenhulme of Idaho Falls, Jon Timothy Pence of Ashton; seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren with one on the way. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, 2 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

A funeral celebrated his life at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 30, at the Ashton LDS Stake Center, 516 North 2nd Street. The family received friends Sunday evening from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at Baxter Funeral Home, 717 Main Street, and Monday from 10:00 to 10:45 a.m. at the stake center. Interment will be in the Pineview Cemetery.

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Original Publication Date: January 2, 2014

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