Sidney Upsher

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Sidney Phelps Upsher, beloved father and friend, died November 28, 2010, at the age of 87. Having been born in Oklahoma City on July 31, 1923, Sidney was a lifelong resident. He attended Gatewood Elementary School and graduated from Old Classen High School in 1941. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1947, and a Law Degree in 1948, both from the University of Oklahoma. His education was interrupted by World War II, when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he earned his pilot's wings and Officer's commission. In the truest sense, he was a member of The Greatest Generation. As the command pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress, he successfully completed a 50-mission tour of duty in the European Theatre of Operations. As a result of this service, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with Four Oak Leaf Clusters, and the European Theater of Operations Ribbon with Four Battle Stars. He was then assigned to the Air Transport Command and, as a First Pilot, flew personnel and cargo across the Pacific until he was discharged in October, 1945. He returned to Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma and resumed his college career, after which he practiced law in Oklahoma City until the outset of the Korean War. At that time, he was recalled to duty with the Air Force in March, 1951, where he was assigned to the Office of The Secretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon. When he was released from duty in October, 1952, he became General Counsel for LeeWay Motor Freight. He left LeeWay in 1977 as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Vice-President. From 1977 to 1987, Sidney was the Chief Executive Officer of Mistletoe Express. In 1987 he became Of Counsel to the Law Firm of McAfee and Taft, retiring in 1999.His participation in community affairs included: The United Way, first as Board Member, then as President and Trustee; Casady School, as Trustee and Vice-President; the City of Nichols Hills, first as councilman then as Mayor; Board Member of Will Rogers Bank, and The First National Bank and Trust Company. He was a member and President of the Economy Club of Oklahoma City and the Appeals Review Board. He was a sixty-year member of the Oklahoma Bar. Sidney loved life, his family, his friends, and his Church. He continued to learn and grow long after he retired. His interest in genealogy was well known by his children, and he audited history classes at the University of Oklahoma into his eighties. He loved the summers he spent in Colorado with his family and the winters he spent in Rancho Mirage, California, trying to achieve the perfect golf swing. In later years, he loved managing his business interests, one of which was Gaslight Square, the tenants of which will miss his wry sense of humor. Sidney had a keen intellect and a love of history that led him all over the world. He was a voracious reader who had a great love of playing Backgammon, gin rummy and the traditional Thanksgiving dart game. As his surviving friends from grade school, high school, college and beyond will attest, he made friends for life. Sidney was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Dr. Albert E. Upsher Jr.; Margaret Adams Upsher, the mother of his four daughters; and Betty Lou Lee Upsher, the mother of his three stepdaughters. He is survived by daughters: Meridith and husband Tad Cassidy, Leslie Upsher, Kathy and husband John Yeaman, and Elaine Upsher Archer. He is also survived by stepdaughters: Laurie and husband Nick Fuller, Lisa and husband Mark Pierce, Lynn and husband John Rowsey. His legacy also includes 20 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. Services will be held at All Souls' Episcopal Church, 6400 N. Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, December 1st, at noon. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to All Souls' Episcopal Church.

Published in The Oklahoman from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, 2010
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