Obituary of Eleanor Pence
Eleanor Nelson Pence
Artist, Wife, Mother, Sister, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother Eleanor Pence died on March 20, 2019. She was 97 years old, the fourth of six children. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania to Scandinavian immigrants Andrew and Martha Nelson, she was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Fred H. Pence Sr. “Boots” (as Eleanor was known to her oldest friends) and Fred were partners in their family-owned insurance firm, working and playing together in their Victorian Dutch Revival home in downtown Erie. Their home was not only their place of business, but a warm gathering space for friends and family over many years. Childhood friends, bridge groups, artist colleagues, clients, neighbors, and family treasured her laughter and empathy when visiting West 8th Street. She and Fred loved golf and boating, both in Erie and Florida where she moved after he died. Eleanor was an enthusiastic life-long learner who often pursued personal growth opportunities as well as experiences to refine her craft. Her paintings exhibited in Erie and Florida received numerous awards and ribbons, commissions, and acclaim. She loved sharing the joy of creation and her many sketchbooks hold drawings by her loved ones as well as her own. An avid reader of biographies, portrait painting was her primary artistic focus. She cherished the spiritual communion and connection with her subjects as she learned their stories while working on their portraits. She is survived by her son Howard (Marcia) Pence, and daughter Martha (Richard) Stoneberg; grandsons Fred (Pamela), John, and Brad (Pam) Pence; and Eric and Ryan (Terry) Stoneberg; and great-grandchildren Alyssa, Vincent and Logan Pence and Jasper, Jacob, Alexander, Lucas and Lily Stoneberg. Also surviving is former daughter-in-law Nancy Pence; and sister Lunetta Zachau, age 100. Her family remembers her kind, compassionate, fun-loving, light-hearted, and hopeful Spirit. Her smile could lift the room and our hearts. Eleanor’s many paintings and portraits color her family’s homes as well as the workplaces and residences of her friends and patrons. Our special appreciation to her St Mary’s at Asbury Ridge family of nurses, staff, aides and fellow residents whose kind care and love sustained her through her final years. She was truly “at home” with you. Arrangements by the Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 4216 Sterrettania Rd. with no visitation. There will be a memorial celebration of her life in June in Erie.