Retired Court of Appeal Judge Frank D. Upchurch, Jr., passed away on October 4,
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2012, at the Bailey Center for Caring as a result of injuries suffered in a fall. Frank was born in Fernandina on August 19, 1922 and grew up with his brother, Hamilton, in St. Augustine. Their father, Frank D. Upchurch, Sr., was a prominent St. Augustine attorney, mayor, and state senator. At the outbreak of World War II Frank left Washington and Lee University to join the Army Air Force. He flew A-20 Havocs with the 417th Bombardment Group, a light bombardment unit of the Third Air Force that saw extensive action in the New Guinea and Phillipines campaigns. Frank flew seventy missions against Japanese forces and achieved the rank of captain. After V-J Day, Frank was discharged from the service in San Francisco and finished college at the College of the Pacific. In 1948 he married Mignon "Tis" Thayer and settled in Walnut Creek, California, where Frank went to work in canning business. In 1958 Frank, Tis, and their four young children moved to Gainesville where he attended the University of Florida College of Law. He graduated in 1960 and returned to St. Augustine to join his father and brother Hamilton in the practice of law at Upchurch and Upchurch. In the 1960s Frank served on the city commission. In 1978 he was appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona, where he served until he retired in 1988. When Flagler College was founded in 1968, Judge Upchurch joined Lawrence Lewis and John D. Bailey, Sr., as members of the inaugural Board of Trustees of the college. Together they hired Dr. William L. Proctor as the college's first president. Judge Upchurch served on the board until he retired in 2009 and was chairman from 1992 until 1998. He, Hamilton Upchurch, their family and friends endowed the Frank D. Upchurch, Sr., Pre-Law Program at the college. Judge Upchurch is survived by Tis; daughter Mignon "Dee" Beranek, her husband, John, Dee's daughter Sarah Brockenbrough, and Sarah's husband, Will; son Frank D. Upchurch III, his wife, Katherine, their children Will Jones, Susan, and Katherine; daughter Robin Allen, her husband, Dr. Steve Allen, Steve's son Baxter, son Crane, his wife Eileen, and their son Jack; and son Kramer T. Upchurch, his wife, Sandy, and their daughter Sydney. Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Judge Upchurch's memory may be made to Flagler College or the Bailey Center for Caring. Craig Funeral Home, St. Augustine is in charge. (904) 824-1672.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Oct. 7, 2012