David Emmett Upchurch was born in LaGrange, GA to William Terrell and Elizabeth Lee (Bessie) Upchurch on June 10, 1933. He died peacefully at home on May 20, 2019, in Longview, TX. Emmett graduated from Gray Hill School in 1950 then enlisted in the US Air Force in 1951, beginning his service in San Antonio, TX. While stationed at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Emmett met and married Imogene McKinney, the love of his life on November 14, 1953.They were married for 65+ years. Three children, David, Kathy, and Dana completed their family. Raising a God-centered family was one of Emmett’s lifelong desires. During his Air Force career, Sergeant Upchurch worked as a medical technician at Lackland Hospital, while completing college classes at night. Throughout his Air Force career, Emmett was stationed in Japan, Montgomery, AL, and Italy before retirement in 1971.
In the summer of 1971, Emmett moved his family to Nacogdoches, TX to finish his degree at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU). He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and began teaching at Nacogdoches ISD in 1974. He continued his education at SFA, completing a Master’s in Education with a Superintendent’s certification in 1977. He served as a Principal in Cotulla, Union Hill, and New Summerfield, TX. During this time, Emmett also served several churches as pastor including Lilly Grove, Shady Grove, Woden, Cushing, and Bethel Baptist Church in the Nacogdoches area. He also pastored in Lovelady, Kermit, and Gilmer. Upon retirement from the pastorate, he worked as an adjunct professor, mentoring beginning teachers at LeTourneau University. Serving his God and Savior while teaching were Emmett’s true passions. LeTourneau University was a perfect fit as a final professional experience.
Emmett Upchurch is survived by his wife Agnes Imogene Upchurch (Longview). He is also survived by a daughter, Kathy and her husband, Rick Stephens (Longview, TX); a son, Dana and his wife, Blair Upchurch (Jacksonville, TX); Jeanne (daughter-in-law) and her husband, Don Brookes (Lynchburg, VA). He is survived by granddaughters: Heather and Mark Howell (Diana, TX), Keri and Barry Ryser (Holly Springs, NC), Taylor and Matt Meetre (Myrtle Beach, SC), Dana Wade (Argyle, TX). He is survived by grandsons: Terry Upchurch (San Antonio, TX), Matthew Upchurch, (TN), and Ryan and Amanda Stephens, (Fort Worth, TX). Emmett and Imogene have been blessed with 10 great grandchildren, including: Jocelyn Howell, Dylan Howell, Tyson Howell, Ashlyn Howell, Barry Ryser, Finleigh Ryser, Rhett Ryser, Lydia Meetre, Emerson Upchurch, and Bellamie Stephens.
Emmett is survived by two sisters, Alice and her husband, Andy Gosnell (Noonan, GA), and Geraldine McCarley (Niceville, FL), and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins. He is preceded by a son, David Upchurch and daughter-in-law, Kay Justice Upchurch, brothers, John B. Upchurch, William Howard Upchurch, and Victor (Mickey) Upchurch; by sisters, Evelyn Marie, and Phyllis.
Family and friends Visitation: Thursday, May 23, 2019, 6:00 to 8:00 pm Fellowship Hall/Gymnasium of Macedonia Baptist Church
Memorial and Celebration of Life Service: Friday, May 24, 2019, 11:00 am Sanctuary of Macedonia Baptist Church 4656 Page Road, Longview, TX
Memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or the ALS Association (http://www.alsa.org/about-als/). A special thank you to the Heart to Heart Hospice for their care during his final days. All flower tributes must be delivered to church 4656 Page Rd, Longview, Texas
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)
God, Family, and Country, sum up the life of Emmett Upchurch