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Delmer S. Upchurch, 99, member, Columbia Baptist Church


Mr. Upchurch was one of Columbia's most treasured citizens. He was a respected and successful businessman, a 40 year member of the Columbia Baptist Church, was active in civic affairs, and was a member of the Columbia Utilities Commission. He was the head of a large, influential family

Delmer S. Upchurch, 99, 400 Tutt Street, Columbia, KY, died Monday, December 31, 2007, at 11:41amCT, at the T.J. Samson Hospital Emergency Room in Glasgow, KY.

The funeral service will be Friday, January 4, 2008, at 11:00amCT, at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home with Dr. Michael Watts officiating.

Delmer S. Upchurch was born November 20, 1908, the son of the late William Sherman and Maggie York Upchurch of Clinton County, KY.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mable Holladay Upchurch, in 1997; by one daughter, Anita Mable Upchurch, and by a granddaughter, Dana Michelle Upchurch.

Mr. Upchurch was a devout Christian whose faith was evident in all his business, family, and personal dealings. He was a loyal member of the Columbia Baptist Church for over 40 years and had served as a deacon there for many years.

He was active in civic affairs and was a member of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce. He was a former member of the Columbia Utilities Commission.

Delmer Upchurch was an inspiration to so many Adair Countians. He was, at the time of his death, one of a remarkable number of self-reliant nonagenarians in Columbia, seniors who have maintained a high degree of independence throughout their lives, into their 10th decade. He was admired throughout his life for his younger than his years appearance, a characteristic which was often mentioned.

He was a retired businessman in Columbia, KY. He and his family operated Russell & Co. for 42 years. The business was located at the corner of Burkesville ST and the Public Square in part of what is now the Bank of Columbia. Mr. Upchurch personified Russell & Co, an old line Columbia store which is remembered by most Adair Countians for its excellent array of soft goods, for its fine men's and women's suit lines, and for the prestigious shoe brands Mr. Upchurch carried. Even more, the store still brings back memories of the wonderful staff of friendly clerks Mr. Upchurch recruited, a sales staff which made long careers at Russell & Co.

He was a business associate of the late J.L Turner when Dollar General Stores were being established from the Turners' Scottsville headquarters. He sold their Turson & Dollar General Store lines in Columbia, first in the Russell & Company's bargain basement, and later continued in other locations on the Columbia Square.

He had resided all his years in Columbia in the same neat frame home on Tutt Street were the family settled in 1946. Until a few years ago, Mr. Upchurch grew a picture postcard vegetable garden on hillside Yates Streets. When his crocus bloomed along the sidewalk of his home, it was the official sign of spring for the many travelers along Tutt Street who awaited their arrival every year.

His great legacy lives on in the lives of one of Columbia's most beloved families. Survivors include the following:
  • One daughter and son-in-law: Alice and Phillip Hadley, Glens Fork, KY

  • Two sons and daughters-in-law: Donald and Johannah Upchurch, Edmonton, KY; and David and Susan Upchurch, Columbia, KY
  • Seven grandchildren: Danny, Mark and Tim Upchurch; Bruce Hadley; Julie Duwe, Jennifer Upchurch Clark, Lisa Upchurch Gosser; and two step-grandsons, Preston and Joe Chapman

  • And 15 great grandchildren, eight step-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and three step-great-great grandchildren.
  • Burial will be in Haven Hill Cemetery, Liberty Road, Columbia, KY.Visitation will be after 2:30pm, Thursday, January 3, 2008.

    Pallbearers will be Mr. Upchurch's grandsons; honorary pallbearers will include deacons at the Columbia Baptist Church and two close friends, with whom Mr. Upchurch often shared meals out, Edward Hadley, the father of his son-in-law, and Edgar Troutman, another long time friend who had served with Mr. Upchurch on the Columbia Utilities Commission.

    Grissom-Martin Funeral Home, 200 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY, will be in charge of arrangements
    This obituary was made possible through the support of Grissom-Martin Funeral Home, established in 1926, located one block off the square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia. To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone 270-384-2149, or E-mail: Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

    This story was posted on 2008-01-01 17:05:06
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    Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
    Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
    To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
    Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

    G & G Monuments
    Todd and Mandi Green and Jared Conover
    1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
    First Quality Marble and Granite

    Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
    Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
    270-384-2145,, email

    Remembering: Delmer S. Upchurch (1908-2007)

    2008-01-01 - Photo From Upchurch family album.
    Delmer S. Upchurch, one of Columbia's most respected citizens, died in Glasgow on Monday, December 31, 2007, just few month shy of his 100th birthday. Funeral services will be held Friday, January 4, 2008, at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home. Visitatation is Thursday, January 3, 2008 after 2:30pmCT, at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home.

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