Philip Wayne Upton I, 62, of Davidson, passed away Saturday, July 29, 2017 at W.G. Bill Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC surrounded by family. He was born November 13, 1954 in Winston-Salem, NC to Rev. Carroll and Carolyn Richardson Upton. Phil was commissioned in the United States Navy in 1984 and was first assigned to serve as the Chaplain for 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion followed by 1st Tracked Vehicle Battalion of Camp Schwab, Okinawa. He was then assigned to the Naval Weapon Station in Charleston, SC where he finished his seven years of service in the United States Navy as a Lieutenant.
He graduated from Kernersville Wesleyan Academy in 1973 and traveled to Zambia, Africa in 1976 as a Missionary where he taught English and Bible at Choma Secondary School. Upon returning to the U.S., Phil went on to Asbury College in Wilmore, KY, where he graduated in 1978 with a B.A. in Philosophy. He then attended Asbury Theological Seminary where he received his Masters of Divinity in 1982. Phil was the Student Body President for all three schools and was awarded Preacher of the Year by the seminary faculty. Upon graduation, Phil served as the Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Joplin, MO, where he and his wife Chris were married.
After his time in the Navy, Phil worked as a producer for several radio stations including WTHP in High Point. In Charlotte, Phil worked at WTDR, WSOC, WKKT, and was instrumental in the founding of WFAE 90.7 FM Charlotte Talks morning show. In addition, with his sons, he helped his daughter establish and build a thriving dog grooming business in Mooresville, NC.
Phil enjoyed taking walks to ponder, as well as fishing, gardening, horseback riding, swimming, and spending time with his family. He and his wife Chris proudly home schooled their children from grade school through high school.
In addition to his parents, Phil is survived by his wife of 34 years, Christine Winters Upton; a daughter, Whitney Windecker and husband Daniel of Vacaville, CA; two sons, Philip "PJ" Upton II and wife Cassie of Rolesville and their daughter Adelaide Upton; Drew Upton and wife Aaren of Huntersville and their daughter on the way, Evalyn Upton; and two brothers, Nathan Upton and wife Heidi of Flat Rock and Don Upton and wife Margaret of Auburn, AL.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, 8 August 2017 at Powles Staton Funeral Home (913 West Main St., Rockwell, NC 28138) conducted by Pastor Ralph Clayton. Family will receive visitors at 11:15am, with service at 12:00pm. Burial will follow at the Salisbury National Cemetery (501 Statesville Blvd, Salisbury, NC 28144) at 2:00pm with Military Honors provided by the Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard and the United States Navy. Please arrive by 1:45pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization at http://secure.dav.org or funeral expenses for Phil Upton I at https://www.gofundme.com.
Powles Staton Funeral Home, honored provider of Veterans Funeral Care, is assisting the Upton family. Online condolences may be made at www.powlesfuneralhome.com.
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