Ned N. Pence

Ned Pence PhotoNed Pence passed away Friday, January 15, peacefully at home. Ned was born on July 21, 1937. He grew up in Mackay, Idaho, with his loving parents and four brothers. In 1955 he left Mackay to attend the College of Forestry at the University of Idaho to study Forest Management. He received his B.S. degree in Forest Management in 1959 and married Arleen Westfall, the love of his life, on January 29, 1959 in Salmon, Idaho. After graduation he worked at many jobs as a professional forester in Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and Montana. He returned to the University of Idaho in 1966 and received a Master of Forestry degree in 1967.

Ned believed and practiced active forest management. The high point of his career was his position as District Ranger for the Island Park Ranger District on the Targhee National Forest from 1976 to 1980. The Island Park Ranger District was experiencing an infestation of the mountain pine bark beetle and becoming a dead forest. Ned supervised the harvest of about 150,000 acres of dead and dying lodgepole pine. The 1988 wildfire in Yellowstone National Park stopped at the District boundary where there was no ground fuel to burn. Over thirty years later the area is stocked with rapidly growing lodgepole pine. Today few people would understand what happened in the 1970s. There are thousands of acres of new forests g­­rowing in Washington State, the Boise National Forest, Payette National Forest, Targhee National Forest and the Tongass National Forest as a result of active forest management that involved Ned. Ned was a Fellow and Golden member of the Society of American Foresters.

In 1980 Ned transferred to the Petersburg Ranger District of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. He resigned from the United States Forest Service in 1990 to become a forest consultant working with his wife, Arleen, and son, Don. In 2005 he recognized that the mountains were too steep and the brush too thick to continue and retired.

Ned leaves his wife, Arleen at their Moscow home, his son, Don (Deb) Pence in Hauser Lake, ID, his daughter, Tammy (Tim) O’Connor of Deary, three grandsons, four granddaughters, and his four brothers.

One son, David, preceded him in death.

A vigil service will be held on Monday, February 1, 2016 at 10:30 AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Moscow. The funeral service will begin at 11:00 AM. A luncheon for family and friends will follow at St. Mary’s Family Center.

In lieu of flowers, Ned asks that donations be made to the Steel House Inc. Building Fund, 501 ( c )3 Charitable Organization, % Zions Bank, 105 S. Main ST., Moscow, ID 83843.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to



18 Responses to Ned N. Pence

  1. Dan Pence says:

    Sorry to see you have to go Big Brother but there is an ending out there none of us can escape. I am also sorry that I have made commitments that will not allow me to attend your February 1 service. Count me in for any follow up activities!! You will be missed my brother, not just by your family but by more friends and professional cohorts than you may have realized are out there. Your profesionalism in the field of Forest Management is well known and respected. One day we need to get together in that “Land of Beyond” and discuss the world we helped shape and knew so well.

    • Arleen says:

      Well, I will try again to figure out to answer. The first time I don’t think it went anywhere.
      I am sure Ned will be waiting for you to continue discussing the world’s problems. He did really appreciate you coming to see him when he was still with us and I believe that meant more to him than you not being able to attend his funeral. We will be sure to let you know when the BBQ will be held that he wanted and to scatter his ashes.

  2. Pat & Ginger Kahler says:

    Our deepest sympathy to Arleen and Family and all the Pence Brothers and Familys. I remember Ned as the Big Brother I never had. He taught me how to fish, took me hunting, camping ancd bicycling in the mountains befroe mountain bikes. ‘Milking and th subsqent cow pie fights. We were honored to attend his grandon Kaleb;s graduation from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego with Arleen and family. He was a meritorious PFC adn rifle exper and it doesn;t get any better than that. In a small way I hope it paid back Ned and all the Pences for including me in that long ago neighborhood in Mackay. Take Care
    Semper Fidelis
    Pat & Ginger

    • Arleen says:

      Thank you for your kind words. Ned always talked about his younger days and playing and riding bikes with you. Ned is very proud of Kaleb. Kaleb and our other grandson, Rusty, will be in full uniform placing his ashes on the alter.

  3. Gene and Linda Brock says:

    Ned was a forester, through and through. I enjoyed our conversations these last two years. His contribution to the world of forestry did have a positive impact. His concern for doing what is right was always up front. His respect from fellow workers was obvious and his thoughts on forest management were sought after. I personally gained a lot of respect for Ned. I enjoyed the memories of elk hunting with Ned while attending the U of I. I know he is in a much better place, but he will be greatly missed.

    Gene and Linda

    • Arleen says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I know he enjoyed talking to you as well. It is too bad he didn’t finish his second book. I forgot you were one of the guys elk hunting with him at U of I.

  4. Guy Pence (brother) says:

    His middle name was Neal, so named after our maternal grandparents Fred and Emma. They were early day pioneers who came west from Kansas to scratch out a living by farming. They worked tirelessly everyday. So did Ned, so it is very fitting that he was named in their honor. He was a leader of his time, and as it turns out he will lead the rest of us in whatever may be ahead. Lead on big brother, and make room so that we may all follow.

  5. Serve and Barbara Wilson says:

    Family of Ned Pence:

    I was sorry to read in the Bonner County Daily Bee that Ned had passed away. Our sincere sympathy with the passing of Ned.

    Arlene, I was really surprised that you were living in Moscow and saddened when learning of the death of your husband. I hadn’t heard your name for a long time. You were a great teacher and I sure enjoyed having you on the staff in McCall.

    Our thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    Our sincere sympathy,

    Serve and Barbara Wilson

    • Arleen Pence says:

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I have been living in Moscow for the past 26 years which is hard to believe. If you are in Moscow, give me a call.

  6. Dan McMahon says:

    Sorry to hear about Ned. I respected him a lot but never got to know him well. I spent my entire Forest Service career in Petersburg, Alaska and while Ned was here things ran well. I distinctly remember being out the road cutting firewood with my brother when Ned drove by and I automatically froze like when you see flashing lights in your rear view mirror. Ned was the new ranger in town and though I wasn’t breaking any rules here was a cop on my tail. Ned just waved and drove on by, I’ve often looked back on that day and thought of him as a guy glad to see people making good use of his forest. Rangers like him don’t come by often, in fact he may have broken the mold. I love using the forest and it takes guys like Ned to keep it usable for generations to come. Hopefully his spirit lives on.

    • Arleen Pence says:

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, Ned believed in using the wood in the forest whether it was fire wood, lumber, pulp, etc.

  7. Marlene Potts Huebert says:

    I just read of Ned’s passing and wanted to offer my sympathy. I remember Ned well
    when he saved my life in the Ketchum Swimming pool as I was trying to learn to swim and he
    was getting his life guard certificate. Probably more practice than he wanted. We also worked together
    in the hay field in Mackay.


    • Arleen Pence says:

      Thank you for your kind comments and remembering Ned. I do believe I have heard Ned talking about swimming and working in the hay fields with you.

  8. Vivian Heasley and son Mike says:

    I just heard of Ned’s passing and wanted to send our sympathy to you and Tammy. It’s a long row to hoe when we lose our loved ones and we want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We knew your family through the Forest Service in Petersburg and Tammy and Mike went to school together. I loved Ned’s slow humor that would just sneak up and startle us. He was always kind, caring, willing to help and share his time. I know he will be missed by all who knew him. Love and best wishes to you and your family.

  9. Arleen says:

    Thank you Vivian for remembering Ned and for your kind words. Yes, he will be missed but he is now in a better place free of pain and suffering.

  10. Brad Hunter says:

    Arleen and family – I have fond memories of when I worked on the Petersburg Ranger District with Ned, but I especially remember the fun x-c ski trips we had up in the Twin Creek muskegs. You both impressed me with your ability to travel in the backcountry and your enthusiasm for having fun on the snow. I think it was a different side of Ned than many got to see when he had the serious responsibilities of managing the forest.
    Good times!

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