Leon (Pete) Pense, age 92, was born on 5, February 1922 in Chewey
Oklahoma to Roy and Pansy Dawson Pense. Coach Pense passed away
Thursday January 22, 2015 in Crocket, TX.
was an athlete pretty much before he started playing for his high
school. He made the American Legion baseball team and the high school
basketball coach looked him up and asked him to play baseball, football,
basketball and track. He later lettered in all four sports.
high school he enrolled in Northeastern State University in Tahlequah,
Oklahoma. He played baseball as a freshman and then followed that with
spring football. The Second World War temporarily interrupted his
college athletics and he enlisted in the Army only to find out during
the physical fitness exam that he had lung scars which would keep him
out of battle.
to college a recruiter for the University of Arkansas persuaded him to
transfer. While at the University of Arkansas he was voted all Southwest
Conference. After graduating from the University of Arkansas in 1945, he
was selected 79th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Near the end of
the season, a player from his own team collided with his shoulder and
did so much damage that his doctors told him he must quit playing
football or lose the use of his right arm. He contacted a coach he
admired in Port Arthur and began a 37 year high school coaching career
in which he won eight district championships, three regional
championships, the state championship in 1957 and lost the state
championship in the finals by one point in 1958.
a coach he said he always encouraged his players to do unimaginable
things and he was thankful for the opportunities he enjoyed over his
entire lifetime. He retired to Houston county lake in 1983 and lived the
quiet life of a gardener, fisherman and investor.
is survived by his two sons: Richard Pense and wife Marlene of Katy,
Peter Pense and wife Susan of Crockett; four grandchildren: David Pense
and wife Michelle of League City, Stephen Pense and wife Stephanie of
Anna, Aaron Pense of Katy, Heather Ann Valdez and husband Joseph of
Spring; and six great grandchildren: John Mark Pense, Logan Pense, Riley
Pense, Julian Pense, Aubrie Lynn Valdez, and Joseph Lewis Valdez.
Service for Mr. James Leon Pense will be held Saturday,
January 31, 2015 at 11:00am at the First Presbyterian Church of
Crockett with Chaplain Mike Eaves officiating.