WILLARD, Utah, April 19, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A beloved local actor, director, teacher and senior missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has passed away due to complications from COVID-19 at the age of 68.
“We are saddened to share news of the passing of a senior missionary,” said a statement from LDS Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff Sunday afternoon. “Elder Allen Dee Pace passed away Saturday due to complications from COVID-19. He and his wife, Sister Nedra Pace, are from Willard, Utah, and had been serving in the Michigan Detroit Mission since December 2019.”
Pace became ill in mid-March and, shortly thereafter, went into the care of his wife and daughter in a nearby state, the statement said. He was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early April.
“Elder and Sister Pace had not yet been formally released from missionary service prior to his death,” the statement said. “We express our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Elder Pace as they mourn his passing, and we continue to pray for all who are impacted by this pandemic.”
His daughter, Mickey Larson, posted on Facebook:
Our dang darling Dad passed away today, after a life of laughter and delight.
His world was his family, theater, the LDS church, and almost every other art form and food imaginable. He lived his life with passion and joy, and those who met him loved him and never forgot him.
He passed away after a month-long fight with COVID-19 while serving an LDS Mission. He was in the ICU for over three weeks, and fought valiantly.
His family was virtually present and sang to him as he peacefully passed. There will not be a funeral at this time. We will be holding a celebration of his life after the regulations surrounding COVID-19 are lifted. His memory lives on in your stories. Please continue to share his life across social media and with your loved ones. He was a once in a lifetime man.
We are heartbroken and know he touched so many with his infectious humor, laughter and love. Know we are sending you all a virtual hug and we wish so badly we could all be together to celebrate him.
Pace attended Spanish Fork High School and subsequently the University of Utah. He was a former principal at Honeyville Elementary School, vice principal at Box Elder High School, and also worked for Weber State University.
Weber State University performing arts posted on Facebook: “Our hearts go out to the family of Dee Pace, former Weber State performing arts department adjunct instructor, who passed away of the COVID-19 virus. After an amazing career as an educator in the public schools, Dee was willing to keep on going, and offer our theater student teachers his insights and mentorship.”
Another local actor, Joshua Black, who worked with Pace in “The Music Man” in 2003, wrote on Facebook: “The world has lost a tremendous human, one who was filled with joy, wit, and talent. RIP, Dee Pace. I am going to quote a musical, because I think Dee would have appreciated it… ‘Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.’
“Well, with all due respect to Mr. Miranda, Dee got to see his legacy flourish before he left this world. It’s in his loving wife, his six daughters and their spouses, his grandchildren, his former students, and the THOUSANDS of people fortunate enough to work with him in the theater over the years. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten.”
A local actress, Teri Campbell Cowan, who worked with Pace numerous times, wrote on Facebook: “Dee Pace was the was the Candide to my Paquette; the Fagin to my Nancy. Sharing the stage with him was a delight. A gift to all of us. My love to his family, the theater community, and all who loved him and will mourn this great loss.”
A former student of Pace’s posted on Facebook: “There are people in your life that shape who you become as an adult. Dee Pace was one of those people. Dee was the principal at Honeyville Elementary School and later my vice principal at Box Elder High School. He always had a way for those who felt different, to feel special and loved. He made me want to be an actor. If you were privileged enough to be one of his students you remember how he would come to school in character to read stories to the school. I have no words on how the news has struck me. I will forever be grateful for the man who taught me to be proud of who I am. God bless you Dee…”
Another friend posted on Facebook: “At the request of our dearest Pace family, I’m helping create a place to collect pictures and video of the universally-beloved Dee Pace. The family would love a place to hold memories to create books, videos, etc. Since we can’t gather right now, let’s rally together and use the technology we have to spread the message far and wide to everyone who loved this precious gift of a guy. Please send whatever you have to this email address: [email protected]”