Jim Upchurch, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend passed away at age 90 on August 28, 2022.
Jim was born on November 20, 1931, in Nogales, AZ to Annie Gray Ellis Upchurch and James Allen Upchurch. A resident of Spokane and a graduate of Central Valley High School, Jim served in the U.S. Marine Corps with two tours of duty in the Korean War. He was Staff Sargent as an Airborne Intercept Operator. Upon returning home, Jim followed his passion for Youth (and youth sports), where he graduated from Whitworth College with a B.A. in Physical Education and a Master’s Degree in Education (Counseling and Guidance). He also played football while at Whitworth and made many lifelong friends.
As a beloved Teacher and Coach, Jim impacted many. He taught Mathematics, Driver’s Ed, and Physical Education; along with Coaching Basketball, Football, and Wrestling at the Junior, Senior High School, and College levels. In addition, while at North Idaho College, Jim was Director of Financial Aid. Jim cared about kids! He cared about their futures and about them reaching their full potential. His influence was not lost on his very own sons (Jim and Tom) from his first marriage.
In 1987, Jim and his new bride, Bonnie, moved to Anchorage, Alaska where Jim became Director of Financial Aid for the University of Alaska Anchorage. He spent the next seventeen years helping students with financial aid, scholarships, and Commencement. He was also the Veterans Counselor. Jim enjoyed spending time
with family and friends at Cook Inlet fish site, camping, skiing, and exploring scenic Alaska.
Jim and Bonnie returned home to retire at Deer Lake, WA, and El Mirage, AZ. Jim was a dynamic man with a love for family, friends, dogs, and sports. He was a huge Gonzaga, Mariners, and Seahawks fan too. Jim was known for his quick wit. He loved playing games and was often caught doing backflips from boats and docks. Jim was loving, warm, and welcoming to everyone.
Jim is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and sons from his first marriage: Jim (Lisa) Upchurch, Scottsdale, AZ, and Tom (Kip) Upchurch, Anchorage, AK. Grandchildren: Meghan (Ben) Chlanda, Tatum, Logan, and Peyton Upchurch, and one great-grandchild, Hayden Chlanda. Step-children: Laurie (Jim) Scott, Greg (Joan) Cossette, and Kristi Cossette (John Jeffrey). Step-grandchildren: Devyn (Jesse) Newberry, Courtney Cossette, and three Step-great-grandchildren: Abe, Adina, and Ayla Newberry.
Please join us to celebrate Jim’s life at Foothills Community Church, 11102 N. Forker Rd., Spokane WA 99217 on Sunday, 9/18, at 2 pm.
Published by Spokesman-Review on Sep. 11, 2022.