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.