Rev. Dr. William R. Pencille, III - Rochester

Rev. Dr. William "Bill" Rockford Pencille III, 92, died Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in Rochester.

Rev. Pencille was born July 30, 1919, in Hammond. He graduated from West Concord High School. He then attended Macalester College in St. Paul, and four years at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Ill., graduating in 1942. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1942, and in 1983 he received his Doctorate of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and was a professor of Cultural Anthropology.

Rev. Pencille married Harriet Carlsen on Sept. 4,1943. He and his wife were missionaries in South America for 20 years, beginning in 1944. His work in making first contact with the Ayore Indians in the jungles of Bolivia, was documented in the book "Defeat of the Bird God". In September 1965 he returned to the United States, living first in Oklahoma as South America Mission (SAM) representative and then in 1966 as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Rochester. In 1970, Rev. Pencille resumed his work with SAM as Assistant Director for Deputation in South Florida, and in 1975 moved to California where he was a pastor in Santa Anna, Calif. He returned to Rochester in 1987 and was pastor of missions at First Baptist Church (now Autumn Ridge), pastor of the Rochester MN Chinese Church and representative at large of SAM. He retired from Autumn Ridge in 2010.

Rev. Pencille was preceded in death by his wife, Harriet (1992); his parents, William and Norma; and his sister, Helen.

He is survived by his four children, Richard (Diane) Pencille of Zumbro Falls; Bruce Pencille (Sybil Schreiber) of Rochester; Jeanne (Richard) Brown of Boynton Beach, Fla.; and Douglas (Laurie) Pencille of Rochester; nine grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; sister, June Johnson of Yakima, Wash.; and a brother, Norman (Mary) Pencille of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Rev. Pencille had requested memorials to: South America Mission (SAM), 1021 Maxwell Mill Road, Suite B, Fort Mill, SC 29708

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 30, on his birthday, at Autumn Ridge Church, 3611 Salem Road SW in Rochester, with the Rev. C. John Steer officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. to service time Monday at the church, with lunch following the memorial service. Interment will be at Farmhill Cemetery north of Rochester.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN 55901. (507) 289-3600.