I had not seen Mark for over a year. I just found out that Mark passed away. I am so sorry for all of our loss. I met Mark in the Summer of 2011 when he was playing keyboard at the Elk's. He was very personable and could really play that keyboard. I was fortunate enough to record a couple of songs in his studio and realized how talented he really was. Music was the world to him and he used the gift of music to share with so many people in so many ways. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Mark Vincent Pence, 58, of Cedar Rapids, formerly of New London, died Saturday, July 15, 2017 at his home in Cedar Rapids. Born April 29, 1959 in Burlington, he was the son of Orville Byers and Shirley Maxine Pollock Pence.
He was a 1977 graduate of New London High School and of the Christian faith.
Mark began playing the piano at age 5, not realizing it would lead to his lifetime career. In 1987 he began performing with the internationally known Christian rock band FIGHTER. The highlight of his career was playing with FIGHTER in Rio De Janeiro for a crowd of 100,000 people. Playing at Old Threshers and in his hometown of New London were special, especially when his parents were present. After the band broke up he began producing and recording albums for various artists in the Midwest. In 1997 he built Dreamtrack Studio in his home in Cedar Rapids. Mark performed in various lounges and nightclubs in the area. This eventually led to writing television and radio jingles. Music was his life and it and he will be sorely missed.
He is survived by four brothers; Orville (Carol), Burlington; Randy (Marla), New London; Barry (Dawn), Muscatine and Brian, New London; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.
According to his wishes, cremation has been accorded. There will be a celebration of Mark's life at a later date. A memorial has been established. Elliott Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
I met Mark through piano gigs at the Collins Plaza Hotel where we both played. I heard he had a recording studio and asked him if he would listen to a tape of some songs I had wrote. He said he thought my songs were wonderful and he began working with me doing background music to my piano solos. His musical abilities were amazing, he taught me so much as we worked together and I became a better pianist because of him. I loved working with him and treasure the times we spent making music together. He was sweet and kind, he was a good friend and I loved him like a brother. My deepest sympathy to his brothers.
God is ever near to those who have a broken heart,
Through the loss of someone dear that tears your world apart,
It seems so overwhelming, the grief, too much to bear,
But know that God is with you, He loves you and He cares.
© By M.S.Lowndes
So happy to have had Mark as a student at New London. Great young man with a genuine interest in most everything. Made a good band member and the other students had real respect for him both as a person and a musician. I did have a tough time convincing him that he really should learn to read music if he planned to make a living with it. He finally did and his career took off. It is a pleasure to have had such a talented and sincere person in our band and later a very good friend.
Mark you was very talented and very nice guy. Met you when you was with fighter, you was a great friend. Your in heaven playing for your King and Savour. So sorry for the loss to his family, all his friends and fans. Mark you will be greatly missed.
Mark was one of a kind....so talented and so very warm and kind hearted. I feel very fortunate to have known him....he made his way into my heart many years ago and has remained there over the years and will be there forever. So very glad that we have had many chats on the phone in the last year....will miss those times and the laughs we shared. Gone but NEVER forgotten. RIP my friend.....
Mark was one of my all-time favorite art students at New London HS. He was like a ray of sunshine every time he came into the room. Funny, yet serious-gifted, yet a goof-- he just was a very good person, and I am proud to have known him. My condolences to his brothers.
Mark and I got thrown together at a young age. Our parents were friends. Our Moms babysat for each other. He had no time to play the piano when we all got together. Too much running from each other all over the house, especially from the younger brothers. Never a dull moment! Mark and I had a saying at NL days talent shows. "Not you again". I was so glad to visit with him at our class reunion. His smile, laughter, and music lives on in our hearts. God Bless his family.
I remember in grade school mark would be singing out on the playground, just a happy go lucky kid with a big smile. I absolutely believe that there are angels among us - he was a quiet & gentle soul, with an amazing talent but still a humble guy that just enjoyed sharing his music & lifting people's spirits. Knowing Mark , he's already playing his piano with his band of angels for our Heavenly Father. We will miss him but his music will live on forever.
Mark with THE FIGHTER BAND
My dearest "Pal",
Though you have gone on ahead, thank you for all you left behind with us. Memories of your contagious smile, constant laughter, and your wonderful music; all the dear memories made with so many gracious folks around this country! You touched many lives Pal & brightened many, many a day. Thanks for helping deliver those news papers back in the day & for all our talks along the route. You will be missed immensely.....
Mark will truly be missed by all of his brothers and sisters at Lifeline Ministries Church. He used his God given gift to play beautiful music for the Lord. It was always a joy to see him walk through the church doors. We will miss you Mark.
Sorry to hear of the passing of Mark. I worked with him in grain bin cement work during summers between college classes. Mark was a devoted Christian, funny and was in love with his girlfriend, Joy. He would sing, "I've got joy, joy, joy down in my heart." He was daily entertainment for all of us on the crew.
SO sad to hear of Marks' passing. He was bright, funny and one heck of a musician. He was also kind gentle and nurturing to someone who was new to the process of making commercials. I will miss him terribly.
Mark is a friend of mine from years ago. We became friends one summer when he would ride his bicycle to Mt. Pleasant. There were occasions when he would get to drive the family station wagon with the paneling on the side. We would cruise around listening to the radio singing along to it. When I hear Peter Frampton I think of Mark. We have lost a good man and heaven has gained a great piano player. Play on my friend🎶🎹
I met Mark at Westdale Mall. He was playing an organ at the piano/organ store. I couldn't believe how good he was, and how nice he was. I would go down to the Roosevelt Lounge to hear him play and every time I would walk through the door he would play "If Only Had A Brain" from the Wizard of Oz, one of my favorite songs. I admired his talent, he knew thousands of songs from the 1920's to current. He brought joy to everyone, that was his gift. He was so proud of his Lowrey organ and Kawai grand piano, with good reason, he made them sound amazing! All these years later, I have a Kawai grand. I'm going to go home tonight and play, "If I Only Had A Brain"! RIP sweet man.
Mark and I were best friends in grade school. I left Iowa in 1975 but always remembered Mark. I now live on the east coast and have not been back to Iowa in many many years. But the fond memories of growing up with Mark remain
Mark Pence was an extremely talented and skilled player and composer. A good man who always worked hard to make audio productions the best they could be. I had the pleasure of doing many jingles and radio commercials in collaboration with Mark and will miss the 'Maestro" very much. He was a rare talent and good friend. Peace to the MVP.
Mark was a neighbor of ours in New London for many years. He was always a great guy, friendly, funny and very talented with his music. Truly an artist. I was shocked and saddened to hear of his early passing. RIP Mark.
I still remember, so many years ago, when Linda Hadley invited me to Doozies in Cedar Rapids to hear a keyboard player and a singer. Little did I realize, at that time, that Mark and D, Polyester Blend, would become my favorite ballroom dance musicians. Their dances always seemed like a party among friends and we always had fun.
I admired Mark for the wide range of music he was able to bring out of his keyboard. Jeannie and I would rarely miss one of their dances.
When I heard of his passing, I thought about "American Pie", the song......not the movie. While Mark may not have been as well known as Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper or Ritchie Valens he was no less important to us.
When I hear that song and "the day the music died" I will remember Mark and the great times we had dancing to his music.
Mark Vincent Pence brought a lot of joy to a lot of people and that makes him a MVP in my book.
We will miss him a lot.
Mark was my friend from long ago. We played in a band together. We hung out together. At the time he couldn't read a lick of music but could carry on a full blown conversation while his fingers flew across the keyboard. Musically gifted beyond anything I have ever seen. He was funny, scatterbrained as he could be yet brilliant in his arena. He was a very sweet precious man. It's been a year or so since we actually spoke. I'm grateful for that conversation and that hug. I know where he is and I know I will see him again.
and kind and friendly soul who light up so many lives with his music. may the family and friends find peace and may the beautiful memories remain strong and comforting
Seeing Mark with FIGHTER at the original New Union in Minneapolis multiple times. Really nice guy. I miss 80's/90's rock music where musicians actually played their instruments "live," where talent stood on its own with little help from newer technologies. My deepest condolences to Marks family and his fans, I was a fan. Those whom Jesus knows will see Mark again, in perfect health, in Heaven.
Mark produced 3 songs on my first solo album project, and he played keyboards on another one of my songs. He was my mentor for getting started recording my own music. I will miss his great sense of humor and of course his amazing technical and creative skills.
May you play and sing and God's Heavenly Choir say hello to your daddy and your grandma and grandpa for me you will be greatly missed my cousin
Here's Mark, loading band gear for an early Fighter gig.
Here's Mark, taking it easy while waiting for Petra to take the stage at Cornerstone Festival...
Mark at Cornerstone Christian Rock Festival...
Mark in his studio, talking on the phone.
Mark on the phone in his studio...
Mark was one of my memorable music students when I started teaching in New London in in January of 1975. I have many fond memories of Mark, his roles in various performances, show choir, and voice lessons. When we reconnected a few years ago on Facebook he reminded me of his contest solo and we reminisced. My condolences to his family.
Video of Mark being interviewed over the phone, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdY4bw-wFkg
Enjoyed dancing to Mark and D's music many times in Iowa City. A friendly and gentle soul with a quick wit and a wonderful smile, and a talented musician; you will be missed, friend!
Mark and D played at our retirement party. We followed them whenever we could. Mark and D always made sure they came to the table to great us. Talented musician and wonderful human being. He will be missed
My favorite memory of Mark was performing In the New London High School Gym. He was doing his thing, playing the piano beautifully, as the character "Elton Kron". I think he had the platform shoes too, all I know is he played like the best of them. He was a prodigy, and I am glad to know that he was able to live out his passion of music in his life. Heaven just received a piano playing angel.
Mark, you asked me to marry you when I was 3....you were 5. I said yes, but I guess I held out a bit too long. You will always be a wonderful and sweet memory of our days growing up. Our days spent in music class or band. Certain you are playing for God and the angels now. Rest in peace, Friend.
Such wonderful memories of My Favorite Duo (YOU & ADRENNE) at the Apartment Lounge in the Roosevelt Hotel, Cedar Rapids! And more recently, you and D. making music together! I will never forget you Mark! So glad that Eddie and I were able to see you in recent months!
You played at my parents 50th wedding anniversary George and Mary Christe. And made it a very special day. Thank you. You will be missed. Play your piano for the angels.
New London, Iowa 52645