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Charles Ellis Upchurch

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Charles Ellis Upchurch Obituary
Charles Ellis Upchurch


Mr. Charles Ellis Upchurch, age 88, went home to be with his Lord and Saviour on Saturday, June 23, 2012 after suffering from a stroke.

He was a native of Knightdale/Raleigh, North Carolina and the son of the late William Ivan and Hallie S. Upchurch.

He was a graduate of Hardbarger Business College where he met his wife of 65 years, Carmen Harris Upchurch. They moved to Greenville, SC in 1957. Charles, "Charlie," was a dedicated member of First Presbyterian Church for 50+ years. As a member, he participated as a Sunday School leader, Deacon, Elder, greeter and in the Men's Bible Study group and led various other church committees over his years at the church.

Charles worked for the Southern Railroad in various positions, such as the general passenger agent for 25 years. He was also the Vice President in charge of industrial and commercial accounts for the Citizens and Southern National Bank (now Bank of America). He then worked for and owned several small enterprises until fully retiring at the age of 65.

Charles was an active member of the community. He was a member of the Poinsett Club, Paladin Club of Furman University and the United Way. He served on the Board of Directors and various other leadership roles within the United Way. Charles also was an integral part of arranging the land donation for McCarter Pool which has served families during the summers for almost 50 years.

Charles was a talented and avid gardener. His tomatoes were often referred to as the "best in Greenville County." Charles was a talented tennis player in Greenville County and throughout the state of SC. He grew up with a tennis court in his backyard at the old "Upchurch Plantation" outside of Raleigh, NC. He was a loving father and grandfather to his daughters and grandchildren. Affectionately known as "Pa-Pa" by his grandchildren, he was an active part of their lives and instilled tremendous values and the love of competition.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Carmen Harris Upchurch, in 2009 as well as his beloved daughter, Margaret Brissey, in 2004. He is survived by his loving family: daughter and son-in-law, Mary Ellen and Ben Adams of Raleigh, NC; grandchildren, Ryan Mercer Brissey, Merritt Ashton and husband Zach Ashton, and Leslie Young and husband, Jeff Young; and great-grandchildren, Lindsay and Ben Ashton, and Andrew Young. He is also survived by a niece, Jean Spaanbroek of Raleigh, NC; niece and nephew Marsha Nash and Roger Montague, both of Raleigh, NC; great-nephews, Johnny and Ashley Perry; and sister-in-law, Ella Upchurch.

Charles spent the past three years living with his daughter and son-in- law in Fuquay-Varina, NC after Carmen's death in 2009. Charles developed many great friendships at the local Bojangles restaurant where he visited each day. Charles enjoyed talking about politics, gardening, business, Christianity and friendship.

A funeral service will be at 1 o'clock pm on Wednesday, June 27, at First Presbyterian Church with Reverend Randy Kowalski and Reverend Pamela Cole officiating. The family will receive friends from 11 to 1 o'clock pm in the parlor at the church prior to the service. A private entombment ceremony will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: First Presbyterian Church Flower Fund, 200 West Washington St., Greenville, SC 29601.

Palmetto Mortuary of South Carolina is serving the family. 864-241-5093

Published in The Greenville News from June 25 to June 27, 2012
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