SPRINGVALE— David Lawrence Pence died Oct. 15, 2018 at his house on Turner Street, a few hundred feet from where he was born. Aged 82, he had been ill for about two years.

Born at 21 Prospect St. on March 8, 1936 to Marjorie Skillin (of Springvale) and Lawrence Garfield Pence (born in Seal Cove, Grand Manan, New Brunswick), David attended Lincoln and Hamlin schools. As a youth he raised rabbits, delivered eggs and newspapers, played basketball and baseball, accompanied his father on myriad plumbing jobs, and grew fascinated by cameras and photography. As a junior at Sanford High School, he met Linda Saunders, and they married three years later in 1957.

Dave left his studies at Nasson College to take a job selling insurance at his uncle’s Dieschbourg Agency. He was a go-getter, hoofing it door to door in search of new accounts in Springvale, Sanford, and surrounding towns. He later purchased and developed the business — renamed The Insurance Office — into a strong, stable presence in Sanford-Springvale’s commercial scene. In the wake of the disastrous federal “urban renewal” project that flattened Springvale’s downtown in the early 1970s, Dave was motivated (and proud) to be among the pivotal people who helped resurrect the town by constructing handsome new buildings and promoting small local businesses.

Dave and Linda raised their children, David Jr. and Jane, in a house that started simple and grew eventually into a unique home set among lovely gardens and pine woods. Dave especially enjoyed the active aspects of family life, such as cross-country skiing, marathon bicycle journeys, digging holes for new fence posts or rhododendron bushes, and car trips.

All his life, Dave adored the village of Springvale like a member of his own family, and (except for a handful of weeks spent living in Mexico and in New York City as a very young man) he never lived anywhere else. He kept a vast store of demographic details, which he had gathered, edited, and organized in his mind over the decades. In the last weeks of his life, he took the greatest pleasure riding along the village streets and the roads stretching into Acton and Shapleigh and Alfred, pointing out lovely vistas, farm animals, and all of the houses that held—or once held—the people he had insured. Dave’s connection and loyalty to his town will be evident to future inhabitants of Springvale in the form of beautification and improvement projects funded posthumously by Dave and Linda.

Dave had clear ideas about how things should be done, and a strong impulse to do them himself in order to get them right. He loved to improve and repair things. His sense of focus and his work ethic were striking. Though naturally private and comfortable using fewer words, he could also be funny, charming, and generous.

Dave sold his independent insurance agency in 2000 and enjoyed a lengthy retirement, “playing office,” puttering in the garage and around the yard, traveling, dining out, and watching his grandchildren grow up. He and Linda developed fond and meaningful friendships with James, Amy, Nancy, and Matthew; Frankie, Ryan, Rich, and Tina; Jess, Adam, Sam, and Mark; and many other wonderful people working at Oak Street Bistro, Village Tavern, Springvale Publick House, and other favorite establishments.

His zest for life—fueled by an optimism that seemed to drive him forward and upward continually—was evident even in the last two years as he encountered significant illness. He took on the challenges of post-operative recovery with confidence and good spirits. However, Linda’s death in May 2018 was a tremendous blow, and after four months of living alone and struggling to fend off a recurrence of cancer, Dave shifted his thinking and spent the last few weeks of his life focusing on his children and grandchildren and on the loveliness of his surroundings at home.

He is survived by a son, David Jr., and his wife, Moira Driscoll, of Portland; a daughter, Jane, and her husband, Doug Masters, of Evanston, Illinois; four grandchildren—Julia Masters, Adam Masters, Owen Pence, and Mabel Pence; a brother, Kenneth E. Pence, and sister-in-law, Valerie Pence, of Springvale; and nephews and niece Daniel Pence, Stanley Pence, and Rachel Pence, and their families.

For their important roles in providing excellent medical care to David in the last few years, the family would like to extend special thanks to Nathan Wilson M.D., Wendy Dube M.A., and Paul Laprise M.D. at Southern Maine Health Care; Lisa Rutstein M.D.; and Devon Evans M.D., Sarah Boucher N.P., Jami Barth R.N., Amelia Ausplund M.A., and Pat Doiron P.C.C. at New England Cancer Specialists.

The family will hold a private memorial service.

Donations can be made to The Sanford-Springvale Historical Society, P. O. Box 276, Springvale ME 04083; to The Sanford Springvale Mousam Way Land Trust, 917 Main Street, Suite B, Sanford ME 04073; or to The American Cancer Society.