Robert “Bob” Pence Jr.


Robert “Bob” Pence Jr., 71, of Kearney, Mo., passed away peacefully July 23, 2019 at 1:56 p.m. after a hard-fought battle with melanoma cancer.

Bob was born August 14, 1947 in Kansas City, Mo. He was a 1965 graduate of Kearney High School where he played football, basketball and track; and a 1969 graduate of William Jewell College where he played basketball. He resided in Kearney all his life with his family and friends. Avid golfer and enthusiastic sports fan of Kansas City Chiefs and Kearney Schools, you could often find him in the bleachers cheering.

The Pence family is one of the oldest in the city. He managed and owned Pence’s HVAC & Appliance on Washington Street in downtown Kearney for over 40 years; served as an alderman for 12 years; served as president of the Kearney/Holt Recreation Association (KHRA) for 28 years; and coached and supervised basketball teams for 27 years. Bob loved his community greatly and commissioned a historic mural painted in downtown Kearney. He was recently honored with the Missouri Municipal League Civic Leadership Award and was a 2018 KHS Hall of Fame inductee.

Bob was preceded in death by his father, Bob Pence Sr. and his mother, Kate Pence.

He is survived by his wife, Judy; his sister, Nancy and husband, Larry; his two children, BJ and wife, Kim Pence, and Cathe and husband, Jeff Bertrand; and three grandchildren, Emma and Robert Pence, and Chuck Bertrand.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, July 26, 2019 at Fry-Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, 208 South Jefferson, Kearney, Mo.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 27, 2019, also at the funeral home. Burial is at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, Bob would love others to share in his appreciation for the Kearney school systems and donate to the KHS Hall of Fame Fund. A GoFundMe has been setup in his name (Bob Pence Memorial Fund).

Our Sincere Condolences

I was just thinking of him a few days ago. He was the Principle and 7th and 8th grade teacher at Mosby when I went there. He introduced me to basketball. I remember when he brought his race car to school. Very memorable and wonderful man. Condolences to his family.
Tammy (Hall) Colclasure

My deepest sympathies to Judy and the entire family.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Tom Sloan

Our deepest sympathy to the Pence family — GOD grant you Peace and Blessings with your entire family.
The Singleton Family

Rest in Peace Bob. We were friends and band mates for many years and I will miss you. Keep on drumming my friend, you were the best.
Joe Carey

We are so sorry to hear of Bobby’s passing. Our prayers are with all of you.
Willie & Debbie Simpson

Bobby Pence was in my 5th grade class in the old Kearney Elementary Building.  It was my first teaching experience after completing my college degree.  Bobby was an absolute joy to have in my class!  He was smart and full of fun!  I am truly saddened by his passing.  Love to you, Bobby and to your family.
Betty Moore McCoy

Am so very sorry for your loss Judy.  I pray that God will pour our his grace upon you, BJ and Cathe as you grieve the loss of this special man.  He touched so many lives in our community, and will be missed by all of us.  May you feel the presence of God in a special way that will bring comfort to each of you.
With His Love,
Jerry Hearne

I was so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing from Don Gianola.  I roomed across the hall from Bob at Jewel. We had some really fun times together. My sincerest condolences to the entire Pence family on the loss of a truly great and fun loving guy.
Doug Beaver

I’m sorry for your loss. I met Bob at William Jewell, Bob was a year ahead of me. We had great times. Bob worked hard at basketball. We also shared times at the drag strip. From time to time I would drop by the shop and we would catch up on old times. Bob was taken way to soon, RIP old friend.
Jack Hembree

Bob Pence had so many many children in KMO. Morgan, Landon, and Ashton Holloway were three of those children, along with countless others. He also had extended family like his brother Dean. The Holloway Children like many young children were initially taken back by Bob on the court, but they grew to know him as a player, coach, leader, and friend. He had the history and shared the power of the fake and drive, glamorous jump shot. He would stop a game just to show a child the correct way to do something and these were gestures for the love of the game, but for the love of all learning. To rise toward the ball and not falter and fall away. He played at William Jewell on the boards, his hands and fingertips leaping in the air and the sprint down the court with the power of 5 it was intense, but peace to Bob something. He would breathe in and live throughout his years and with the Love of Family and Work Balance. Bob is standing with full clock moving, the one the ball in hand and shoes on the court with a pick and roll and in the hearts, souls, and lives of so many of us. We Love You Bob and always will.
The Holloway Family