Charles David Upton

Charles David Upton
Charles David Upton

On January 10, 2021, Charles David Upton, 72, of Amarillo, TX peacefully passed away after his 3-year battle with lung cancer.

Services will be at 10:00 A.M., Thursday, January 14, 2021, at Coulter Road Baptist Church with Brent Clark and Pastor Mike Dickey officiating. Burial will be at Memory Gardens Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors.

Charles was born on October 22, 1948 in Las Vegas, New Mexico to Charles Allen and Cora Mae (Weatherton) Upton.  As a child, he previously lived in California and Kinta, Oklahoma.  He was raised in Amarillo. He attended San Jacinto Elementary, Sam Houston Jr. High, and graduated from Tascosa High School in 1966. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in Vietnam on the USS Arlington and USS White Plains.  He was honorably discharged in 1972.  On December 26th, 1968, Charles married the love of his life, Vickie Sue Kunkel at the First Baptist Church in McLean, Texas. They were able to recently celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary.   Charles was a long-time member of Coulter Road Baptist Church.

In October 1972, Charles started his career as a firefighter for the Amarillo Fire Department.   He served the department in many capacities. He was past president of the Amarillo Fire Fighter’s Association #542, taught at the Amarillo College Fire Academy for several years, was honored as the 2003 Fire Fighter of the Year and the Kenneth Caldwell Memorial Outstanding Fire Fighter of the Year 2004.  He retired in 2004 as a lieutenant.

Charles was a 5th Degree Master Mason and a member of the Palo Duro Masonic Lodge #1239.  He served the lodge as the Worshipful Master in 1993-94 and is a member to of the Amarillo Scottish York Rite.

Charles was preceded in death by his parents and older brother, Allen Keith Upton.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Upton. Two daughters, Angela Dawn Bivens (Doug), and Cari Sue Wright (Robert Darian). His treasured grandchildren, Cory Allan Bivens, Aaryn Dawn Bivens, Elizabeth Mae Wright, Morgan Sue Wright, and Carlie Ann Wright all of Amarillo.   Sister, Cheryl Dustin (Chase) of Dallas, nieces Chelsea Dustin of Arlington and Hannah Dustin of Bedford.  Nephew, David Upton, niece, April Massey (Robert) and their mother Pat Corbett. Great-nephews and great niece Brent, Natalie, and Ryan Massey, all of San Antonio. Sister-in-law Belinda Upton of Midwest City, Oklahoma.  Brother-in-law, Jerry Kunkel of Amarillo, nephew, Michael Kunkel of Lubbock. Brother-in-law Eddie Kunkel (Pat), and nephew Kevin of Amarillo. His aunt Sue McGowan (Al) of Oklahoma City, numerous cousins, and extended family members.  Charles loved and enjoyed time with his family and friends. Charles’ fire family was also a huge and cherished part of his life.

The family would like to thank the Amarillo Fire Department, AFD Honor Guard, and the AFD Pipes and Drums, Boxwell Brothers for their kind care and love.  They would also like to thank Dr. Ravipati, the nurses, and care teams at Harrington Cancer Center.  Many thanks to Interim Hospice Care; especially Danny, Dylan, Sammy, and Yvonne.

As an expression of sympathy, donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society, the Amarillo High Choir Booster Club, the Amarillo Fire Fighter Local #542 Benevolence Fund, or a charity of your choice.

The family will receive friends from 6:30 P.M.-8:00 P.M., Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

18 Replies to “Charles David Upton”

  1. Charlie was a great guy! Always had a smile and kind word. I never heard him complain or have anything bad to say about anyone. He will be missed. Our prayers are with you all.

    Jim, Jan and Elisa Berry

  2. Sad to see this! Sue we are praying for peace and comfort for you and your Family.
    Cherish the Sweet Memories !!!!

  3. What a gentleman this man always was. I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. I cannot attend your services, but I pray your family feels our love and support throughout the difficult times they are going through. So many blessings and prayers for you all today and in the days to come. We send our love and support.

  4. Just a great guy. Charles was someone who everyone liked and respected. He was a great fire officer and one of the leaders of the AFD. He had a big influence over anyone who knew him. I enjoyed the times that we could spend together on motorcycle trips over the years. He will be missed and we should all aspire to be more like Charley. None better.

  5. Condolences come with continued prayers as each family member strives to move forward. May the happy memories you shared with this special man bring you comfort and reflect those joyful times.

  6. Dear

    Dear Sue, When I think about David I remember how he always welcomed every one to you home for the reunion made us feel very welcome. I know his battle has been hard. it exciting just to think about him dancing on the streets of Glory with Jesus!
    Praying comfort for you and the girls in the days ahead.
    Blessings Donna

  7. We are so sorry to hear of Charles passing . Praying for comfort and peace to all of you .

    Tommy and Linda Scott

  8. So very sorry to learn of Charles’ passing. Sue, God bless you, your girls & the grand children in the days ahead. Prayers for peace and strength as you face this new chapter in life.

    Angela Hines

  9. Charles was the first person I met affiliated with the department when I rolled into Amarillo. He was a good man and I’m proud to have known him.

  10. My deepest and heartfelt sympathy and condolences to all the loved ones, family and friends of Charles! May God our Father wrap you all in the peace and comfort of His love as Jesus escorts Charles to his heavenly home! My thoughts, love and prayers are with you Sue and your family!

  11. My dearest friend,Sue, we are so sorry for your loss. Over 52 years ago when you met Dave, who would think we would live and love for so long. Best wishes to you and your family. Love you all.
    Debbie Mullins

  12. Sue and family. My deepest sympathy to you. What a wonderful man and life. He will be with you forever. His children grandchildren will be evidence. Memories become treasures. Bless you and may you feel Gods presents more and more with time ❤️Long time friend. Becky Pittman

  13. I’m so sorry for your loss. Please know that even though we can’t be there with you all our thoughts and sincere prayers are still with you.

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