Former Sequim City Council member dies

SEQUIM — Former Sequim City Council member Mike Pence has died.

Sequim Mayor Tom Ferrell announced the death at the council’s Monday meeting, saying that Pence’s wife had contacted the city with the news.

“It’s always a sad time,” Ferrell said at the meeting.

“When Zoom hit and COVID hit it was very difficult to know councilors; the few occasions I met with him were quite spirited,” Ferrell said.

“It was quite clear what he felt about a situation. I admire that in people.”

Pence was 70 years old at the time of his death on March 19, according to an obituary published April 7 and updated on Wednesday in the Courier-Tribune in Liberty, Mo.

The obituary said that a memorial visitation is planned this coming Wednesday at a funeral home in Kearney, Mo. No cause of death was listed.

Pence was, along with Sarah Kincaid, appointed to the council in April 2020 to fill voids left by the death of Ted Miller and the resignation of Jennifer States.

Pence, who was born in Excelsior Springs, Mo., was a municipal government employee his whole career. He retired from a public works department in Liberty, Mo.

“Mike was an incredibly fair and very intellectual individual,” said former mayor and council member William Armacost.

“His whole life was dedicated to service.

“It is a great loss; words cannot put together the pain that that must be for his wife and his family.”

Pence lost to Vicki Lowe when he ran for election in 2021.

“I’ve worked for cities for 33 years, in one form or another from city manager to community development, and that’s all I’ve known my whole life, is to work for councils and to make cities better,” Pence said in a 2021 general election story.

“Everything I did was trying to make the city better, more progressive to improve industries, businesses, and housing and do things to make it come out right.”

Pence was among the council members who voted 4-2 in favor of then city manager Charlie Bush’s resignation in January 2021.

Pence was also among those council members who voted 4-3 to pass a resolution to express “support for small businesses and essential workers’ individual rights” in September 2021, to, among other things, “uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington and to stand in strong support of the people in the City of Sequim and anyone else in the County, and the State that believe their constitutional rights are being violated.”

Said Pence about the resolution: “We’re just losing our freedom. This is all about constitutional law. Our rights are being overridden by Big Brother … Enough is enough. It’s got to stop.”

He also joined some council members in voting to keep utility rates static for two consecutive years and voted to continue the city’s Small Business Rapid Relief program, seeking to help struggling local restaurants and bars.

Discrepancies on his résumé for appointment to a council seat were investigated in late March 2021.

Liberty’s city recruitment coordinator Beth Vanderhoorn said Pence worked there from 1988-2009 and his title at retirement was public works maintenance supervisor; she said Pence was never the public works director, as his resume described.

Pence and his wife, Cindy, had built a home in Sequim in 2019 and lived there for three years, according to the Courier-Tribune obituary.

Pence is survived by his wife, Cindy; brother Tim and Nancy Pence; two children, Samantha Ayers and Amanda DuBose; and six grandchildren, according to the obituary.

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