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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Wyatt G. Upchurch

Wyatt Gray Upchurch of Raeford passed away at his home, Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at the age of 83.
He was born April 22, 1935 in Lee County to Kurley Upchurch and Sulu Campbell Upchurch. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Wyatt Jeffery Upchurch, and his siblings, Arliss ,Waylon and Ireland.
He was an elder at the Raeford Presbyterian Church. He served as a Hoke County commissioner in the 1980s and was on the board of Lumbee Electric, Lumbee Guaranty Bank and Lumbee River Council of Government for many years. He was the owner and operator of Tar Heel Turkey Hatchery, established in 1972, and sold the business to Butterball in 2010. In 1990 he was president of the National Turkey Federation and presented President Bush with the Thanksgiving turkey. He was inducted into the National Turkey Federation Hall of Fame in 2017.
He is survived by his wife, Mary G. Upchurch of Raeford; a daughter, Jodi U. Willis and her husband Wayne of Raeford; two grandchildren, Megan Henderson and her husband Brian of Cary and Catherine Willis of Wilmington; three great-grandchildren, Clara Henderson, Miles Henderson and Emory Henderson all of Cary; two brothers, Avron Upchurch and his wife Mary of Sanford, and Melvin Upchurch and his wife Meta of Sanford; and a sister, Doris Sanders of Fayetteville.
A visitation will be held 10-11 a.m. Friday, October 19, 2018 at Raeford Presbyterian Church, John C. Ropp Fellowship Hall, 128 W. Edinborough Ave. Raeford. 
The funeral will be held after the visitation at 11 a.m. at Raeford Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Dr. Steven Fitzgerald and the Rev. Michael McGehee officiating.
Burial will be in the Raeford Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Raeford Presbyterian Church, Building Fund P.O. Box 1570 Raeford, NC 28376
Condolences to the family may be made at 

Monday, October 15, 2018

William Lawrence "Larry" Upchurch

William Lawrence Upchurch Jr., of Winterville passed away peacefully on October 13, 2018 following a lengthy battle of renal failure.  A "Celebration of Life" will be held at 2 p.m. at the Crumpler Funeral Home Chapel, 131 Harris Avenue, Raeford on Wednesday, October 17 with Dr. Ray Harris officiating. The family will receive friends at 1 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.
Better known as "Larry," he was a native of Hoke County.  He was born on October 11, 1942 and was the eldest child of the late William "Bill" Lawrence Upchurch Sr. and Martha Barrington Upchurch. He and his only sister, Martha Alice, were inseparable from an early age and remained so as adults.  In 1968, he married Joy Langdon and together they had two sons, Bill and Bart, whom he dearly loved. Prior to relocating from Raeford, he was a member of Raeford Methodist Church and Raeford Presbyterian Church, singing in both choirs. Prior to his illness, he was an avid hunter and fisherman, a crop-sprayer of 40 years, and later owned and operated Upchurch Trucking Company.  He was a graduate of Hoke County High School and a scholarship recipient to Elon University where he played football. During his high school years, he was an East-West Football selection and was known as "Twinkle Toes" for rarely missing extra points.  He later joined the National Guard as a Specialist 4 and served from 1966 to 1970.  He was quite the all round athlete and outdoorsman.  He enjoyed boating trips with friends and family, with a special love for Bogue Sound. He blessed many friends with delicious collard greens, and his homemade blueberry cheesecake, often accompanied with his over-sized Gerbera Daisies and garden vegetables. He loved his Lord, and during his final days, even prepared his sister and family for his upcoming departure. He faced his illness with dignity and courage, never wanting to alter his family's lifestyle to care for him and was the epitome of independence.  
He is survived by sons Brian Bartlett "Bart" Upchurch, and William Lawrence "Bill" Upchurch III; his wife Beaman; grandson Jackson; and granddaughter, Camryn, all of Winterville; a sister, Martha Alice Phillips; brother-in-law and best friend Larry Phillips; and nephew Brad and family. His niece, Brooke, preceded him in death in 1998. 
Memorials may be made to Vidant Hospice Care, 920 Wellness Drive, Greenville, N. C. 27834 or the Asheboro City Schools Educational Scholarship Foundation in memory of Brooke Upchurch Phillips, PO Box 1103, Asheboro, N. C.  27204.
Condolences to the family may be made at