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In Memory Of Our Poets

James Taylor Upchurch, Jr. (1927-2014) - Class Of 1945

James Taylor Upchurch, Jr., died December 31, 2014.

Visitation will be at 9:30 AM at First United Methodist Church on Saturday, January 3, followed by a memorial service at the church at 10:30 AM. Private graveside services will be conducted on a later date.

Jim was predeceased by his beloved wife of 63 years, Jean McCord Upchurch, in October 2011; by three sisters, Irene MacDonald, Eleanor Kennedy, and Elizabeth Ausfeld; and by his parents, James T. Upchurch Sr. and Eleanor Roche Upchurch.

Jim was born May 1, 1927 in Montgomery, AL. He and Jean were high school sweethearts who both graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in May 1945, where Jim served as President of his Senior Class and as ROTC Battalion Commander in 1944-45. Following military service in the Army Air Corps and Regular Army, Jim married Jean in 1947 and graduated from Huntingdon College in 1950, assisted by the "G.I. Bill." He founded the Huntingdon College Alumni Association for Men in 1950 and later served as a Trustee of Huntingdon College. He was active in a number of other civic enterprises as well, including Board memberships of the South YMCA and the Committee of 100.

After a successful career as an independent insurance agent, he served as President of E. S. Watts Insurance Agency. He left the insurance business in 1970 to become CEO of Upchurch Oil & Supply Company, founded by his father in 1945. After a very brief retirement following the sale of that company some 20 years later, he became office manager of PH&J Architects until he truly retired in 1999. During his business career, he was active in the Montgomery Jaycees, serving as President in 1953, and in 1978 he served as President of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. For years he was an active and devoted member of the the Montgomery Rotary Club, which he served as President, as had his father; and he was eventually succeeded in that office by his son, Thomas McCord Upchurch. Jim was named a Paul Harris Fellow as a result of his service to his community through the Rotary Club.

Jim is survived by his younger brother, John B. Upchurch of Smyrna, TN and his wife, Ellen; and by two sons, James Taylor Upchurch III and his wife Tara, Thomas McCord Upchurch and his wife Cheryl; two daughters, Sarah "Sally" Upchurch Pierce and her husband Paul, and Eleanor Upchurch Lucas and her husband Henry, all of Montgomery. He was "Pap" to grandchildren James Taylor Upchurch IV of San Francisco, Mary Walton Price (Nick) of San Mateo, California, Summer and Cady Upchurch of Montgomery, Luke (Jackie) and Thomas Lucas of Montgomery, Dennis Olive (Shannon) and Sarah Olive Parvin (Chase) of Madison, AL, and six great-grandchildren: Hunter, Chapman, and Sarah Peyton Olive, Hayden Madison, Hallie Jean Parvin, and Rosemary McCord Lucas.

Jim and Jean were active members of First United Methodist Church as long as they were able. The family expresses grateful appreciation to the dedicated staff and sitters of Angels for the Elderly Assisted Living and to Hospice of Montgomery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Huntingdon College, or to the Respite Ministry of the First United Methodist Church of Montgomery, 2416 West Cloverdale Park, Montgomery AL 36106.

Published in the Montgomery Advertiser on Jan. 3, 2015.