Obituary of James Upton
James Upton, 70, of Monroe Township, NJ, passed away on Monday, February 1, 2021. James was an exceptional gentleman and a patriot, proud to have served his country in Vietnam as part of the Armed Forces.
James was born in San Diego, CA to (+)William and (+)Doris Upton and was raised in Mooseheart, IL with his siblings, Pat, (+)Mike, Mary Anne, Bill, Paul, John, Mary Patrice, and Charles.
James attended Mooseheart “The Child City”, located near Aurora, Illinois, during his youthful days, with his mother and eight other brothers and sisters. During this period, James excelled as a multi-sport athlete, serving as Football Captain his senior year and selection as unanimous “All Conference” and “Defensive Player of Year”. (He was inducted into his high school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.)
Upon high school graduation, James received a football scholarship to NAIA (Division III) Culver Stockton College, Canton, Missouri. Eligible to play as freshman, he earned starting defensive position, to include several “Player of the Week” awards.
James’s college career was shortened by the call of Uncle Sam who desired that he serve in a different defensive team… the United States Army. Without hesitation, James joined and served honorably for two years as a member of Military Police, to include a year in Cam Ranh Bay, Viet Nam.
Upon returning to USA, as purple heart recipient, James successfully transitioned to civilian life as beneficiary of President Reagan’s firing of striking members of Professional Air-Traffic Controllers Association (PATCO). Entering as basic trainee, James leveraged this career opportunity for over twenty-four years, with lengthy assignments in California, Hawaii, and Virginia, with latter assignment being coincident with Lockheed Martin acquisition of Flight Services responsibilities. Professionally, James specialized within the Flight Services component of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), concluding as Director of Operations, Washington Dulles International Airport, Washington DC.
Following conclusion of his career and Lockheed Martin retirement, James enjoyed his retirement, as loving husband of “my beautiful Rose” and the always available mentor, role model and supporting “elder” of Rose’s children and grandchildren who lived in CA, NJ and the Philippines.
A large part of James post-retirement interest included limitless efforts as unofficial Ambassador of the Mooseheart Alumni Association and Loyal Order of Moose/Mooseheart historian, through use of almost daily contact via social media to ensure Facebook members were updated and aware of key activities, historical tidbits, obituaries and most importantly… “Joke of the Day!” James would be so pleased to know, through hundreds of FB/social media testimonials, how many lives he touched and positively affected, through his humor, kindness and sincerity, without expectation other than the hope that his outreach might make people smile.
It was his mission in life to make every single person happy and he lived with a purpose and principle, loved and cared selflessly, never failing to entertain, connect or inspire. He is remembered as a loving soul, a charismatic leader, and a thoughtful friend to many. He loved spending time with his family, eating good food (especially desert!), sharing laughter and, most especially, being there for anyone who needed him. Literally, James never met a stranger and possessed the unique gift of making other people feel good about themselves. He could read a room or assess an event or social setting to appropriately lighten the mood so all in attendance felt welcome, collectively, or individually. His talent, coupled with kindness and willingness to help others extended to all whom he met, regardless of need. James was the person everyone depended on. He went out of his way to make life easier for those around him, from driving neighbors to cancer appointments to making sure his granddaughter was never without a ride whenever and wherever she needed him. He will be terribly missed.
James is survived by his sisters, Mary Anne and Mary Patrice and his brothers Patrick, Bill, Paul, John, Charles, and by the love of his life, his wife of almost 40 years, Rose Upton, his stepdaughter, Mari, his nieces MM, Maribel, Katrina, and by his nephews Joey, Anton, Jomi, and his many cousins and grandchildren who will forever miss his charming personality, warmth of spirit, and all encompassing love.
Funeral Mass - A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:00am on Saturday February 6, 2021 at the Nativity of Our Lord RC Church, 185 Applegarth Road, Monroe Township, NJ 08831.
Live Stream: To live stream the Funeral Mass, please visit https://boxcast.tv/view/james-upton-funeral-mass-vdgbl87waq79dsrgzw6q
Recommended Florist: Sayrewoods Floral and Event Design
985 US 9N, South Amboy, NJ 08879
Louis is the point of contact