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Sylvester Uphus


1927 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Sylvester Uphus Obituary
Sylvester Uphus, 89

Sauk Centre

Dec. 29, 1927 - Jan. 1, 2017

Sylvester Bernard Uphus died peacefully in his sleep Sunday morning, January 1, 2017.  He celebrated his 89th birthday three days before that on December 29th in characteristic style with a speech delivered by himself and a dinner for 30 attendees to follow.  Hospitality was always a high value for him.

Sylvester was born to Herman and Helen Uphus on December 29, 1927 in Grove Township, Stearns County.  He was a WWII veteran, having enlisted at age 18 in the United States Navy.  He served two years on USS Bremerton and was honorably discharged December 22, 1947.  He was proud of his military service and made many military friends during and after his service.  After military service, Sylvester completed the ag school program at St. Johns in Collegeville.  He was a lifelong active member of Knights of Columbus, VFW and American Legion.

Sylvester married Rose Goerdt on October 16, 1951 at St. Paul's Parish in Sauk Centre.  He and Rose became the proud parents of twelve children, eight girls and four boys.  For about forty years Sylvester farmed north of Padua.  He was always forward looking and hard-working, and farming was a rewarding success for him.

In 1982, Sylvester was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives.  He was re-elected in each of his subsequent campaigns, serving for a total of ten years.  He was popular among both constituents and legislators, often working across the political aisle to complete the work of government in a no-nonsense, common sense way.

After his legislative years, for nearly 10 years, Sylvester worked with Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA) as an agricultural consultant.  This work began with an assignment in Latvia, one of the Baltic countries, then only very recently liberated from more than a half century of USSR communist domination.  He completed other VOCA assignments in former soviet satellites, Armenia and Georgia.  Sylvester also organized medicine and clothing drives for the Latvian people.  He made many long term friends in his work with VOCA, both personally and professionally.  He was a traveler, most often with an assignment or a purpose.  In prior and ensuing years, Sylvester's travels took him to Russia, China, Africa, South America, Central America and other locations.

Sylvester's family was the pride of his life.  He was most happy to be asked for, and to provide, help or assistance whenever possible.  He was generous with his time and talents. Sylvester left surviving his loving wife of 65 years, Rose, all twelve of his children, Deborah (Kevin) Boynton, David, Thomas (Donna), Sharon (Ken) Benson, Karen (Michael) Stack, Mark (Barbara), Mary Saxton, Peggy (Mark) Raitor, Cynthia (Arthur) Pearson, Joseph (Kate), Kathryn and Andrea, many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and by his brother, Norbert and sisters, MaryAnn Olmschenk, Marlene Klingel and Katie Nelson.  Sylvester was preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Helen, his brothers, Laverne and Herbert, and his sister, Rosalyn Comeau.

Memorials are preferred to Holy Family School, VFW and CentraCare Hospice in Sauk Centre.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, January 5, at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Sauk Centre. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Sauk Centre.

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Published in the St. Cloud Times on Jan. 3, 2017
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