William Robert Upchurch, 80, of Raymore, Mo., passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, at the Kansas City Hospice House.
Services will be held Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, at Cullen Funeral Home, 612 W. Foxwood Dr. Raymore, MO 64083. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m.
William "Bill" was born in Harrisburg on Nov. 12, 1942, to Kenneth and Mildred (Brewner) Upchurch. After graduating high school Bill continued his education. Bill enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served 22 years and retired with an honorable discharge on Aug. 1, 1985. During his time in the Air Force, Bill was decorated with numerous medals and badges; Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with "V" Device and Four Devices, Vietnam Service Medal with Four devices, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Security Police Qualification Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with Four Devices, Air Force Overseas Service Long Tour Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Air Force Good Conduct Medal with six oak leaf clusters. After his retirement from the Air Force, he continued working for the Federal Government for another 20+ years at the General Services Administration (GSA), where he retired a second time.
He was married to Ellen (Ulery) on Aug. 17, 1973. Bill never met a stranger. He enjoyed traveling (often to quilt shops with Ellie), woodworking, tinkering around the house, yard work and giving back to the community. He was a man of strong Baptist faith as a member of the Big Creek Baptist Church in Pleasant Hill, Mo. He was also a member of the Eastern Star, True Kindred, Masons Jewel Lodge, American Legion Post #488, and the Belton Host Lions Club.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Mildred Upchurch; brother Donald Upchurch; and sister Barbara "Bunny" McDowell.
Here to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 50 years, Ellie Upchurch; two daughters, Tracy Wynne (Brian Nichelson) and Claudia Upchurch; brother Jerry Upchurch (Pat); and five grandchildren, Ashley Keller, Samantha Shelton (Andy), Michael Wynne, Jr., Marshal Howard and Amanda Armendariz (Michael).
Memorial donations may be given to the Kansas City Hospice House, 12000 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, MO 64145.