BENTON, Ill. — Earl Eugene Upchurch was born December 1, 1913 in Benton, Ill. He was the son of George Bluford Upchurch and Flora Lefler Gifford Upchurch. He married Wilma Nadine Kern on August 15, 1936 in Benton, Illinois with the Rev. J.L. Meads officiating.
They had four children, Donald Gene, Gerald Keith, Diana Kay, and David Ray. He was a graduate of Southern Illinois University and taught school for 29 years. He retired from teaching in 1965 and took a position in the State Bank of Whittington at Whittington, Illinois. He retired from the bank in 1976. He was a member of Palestine American Baptist Church where he was a Deacon, Sunday school superintendent, and taught Sunday school classes for over 50 years. Eugene was a life member of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association and the Benton Masonic Lodge #64 of which he was Master in 1985. He also held a senior membership in the Scottish Rites Bodies of the Valley of Southern Illinois and was a 320 mason.
His survivors include his two sons, Gerald and wife Kaye of Metropolis, Ill. and David and wife Shirley of Cincinnati, Ohio; his daughter, Diana House and husband Ron of Benton, Ill.; 14 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; 6 great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Bertha Sweet of East Alton, Illinois.
Mr. Upchurch was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Wilma; a son, Donald Gene Upchurch; a grandson, Carey Ross Upchurch; a daughter-in-law, Rosie Upchurch; his parents; a half brother, Stanley Gifford; and three brothers, Charles Omer Upchurch, Herbert Lee Upchurch, and Ralph Loren Upchurch.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Masonic services at 6:30 p.m. Friday, September 28 at Morton and Johnston Funeral Home in Benton, Ill. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 29 at the funeral home with Rev. Larry House officiating. Burial will be in Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Benton Masonic Lodge #64 Scholarship Fund; the Palestine Baptist Church; or Hospice of Southern Illinois.