Eddie Ray Upchurch, 88, died Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. Upchurch was born Sept. 21, 1924 in Appling County to the late John Richard Upchurch and the late Wilma Morris Upchurch. He was a veteran of the United States Army Air Corp and the United States Air Force having served in WWII and Korean Conflict. He was President of Bax-Steel Buildings, Inc. and an active member of Asbury United Methodist Church. He devoted himself to charitable missions locally and around the world establishing, The Bruce Beasley Memorial House, Lucky Street Home for challenged citizens and Variety work place, sewing factory in Kano, Nigeria, church building projects in Mexico, scholarship programs for Reinhardt and Brewton Parker Colleges and WUBI. Eddie Ray supported and worked closely with SIM “Sudan Interior Mission.” He was a Charter member of Appling County Country Golf Club, and Charter member of the Baxley Jaycees. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Katrina Marguerite Upchurch, brother, John Richard Upchurch, Jr. and sister, Connie Upchurch Tabor.
Survivors include his wife, Gwendolyn Upchurch of Baxley; four sons and daughters-in-law, David and Phyllis Upchurch of Brunswick, William Upchurch, Kenneth and Laurie Jo Upchurch, both of Baxley, Jimmy and Beth Upchurch of Metter; one sister, Jo Ann Anderson of Kountze, TX; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Kurtis and Louise Upchurch of Largo, FL and Clyde and Francis Upchurch of Lockhardt, FL; 11 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 from Asbury United Methodist Church with the Rev. Beau Taylor and Mike Brown officiating. Interment followed in church cemetery.
Active pallbearers were Derek Upchurch, Travis Upchurch, Mark Upchurch, Lawton Upchurch, Keith Morris, Ross Norton, Henry Morris and Justin Upchurch.
Honorary pallbearers were Bax-Steel employees, Floyd Hunter, Buddy Courson, Jerry Beasley, Dave Yawn, Henry Branch, Ray Mayers, Carlton Mincey, George Crosby, Billy Bullard, Billy Adams and caregivers.
Musical selections rendered by David Williams.
Arrangements were under the direction of Swain Funeral Home.