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Wyatt Gray Upchurch

April 22, 1935 ~ October 16, 2018 (age 83)

Mr. Wyatt Gray Upchurch of Raeford passed away at his home, Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at the age of 83.

Mr. Upchurch was born April 22, 1935 in Lee County to the late Kurley Upchurch and Sulu Campbell Upchurch. He was preceded in death by his son, Wyatt Jeffery Upchurch, and his siblings, Arliss ,Waylon and Ireland.

Mr. Upchurch was an elder at the Raeford Presbyterian Church. He served as a Hoke County commissioner in the 1980’s and was on the board of Lumbee Electric, Lumbee Guaranty Bank and Lumbee River Council of Government for many years. He was the owner and operator of Tar Heel Turkey Hatchery, established in 1972, and sold the business to Butterball in 2010. In 1990 he was the president of the National Turkey Federation and presented President Bush with the Thanksgiving turkey. He was inducted into the National Turkey Federation Hall of Fame in 2017.

Mr. Upchurch is survived by his wife, Mary G. Upchurch of Raeford, a daughter, Jodi U. Willis and her husband Wayne of Raeford, 2 grandchildren, Megan Henderson and her husband Brian of Cary and Catherine Willis of Wilmington, 3 great-grandchildren, Clara Henderson, Miles Henderson and Emory Henderson all of Cary, 2 brothers, Avron Upchurch and his wife Mary of Sanford, Melvin Upchurch and his wife Meta of Sanford, and a sister, Doris Sanders of Fayetteville.

A visitation will be held 10-11 am Friday, October 19, 2018 at Raeford Presbyterian Church, John C. Ropp Fellowship Hall, 128 W. Edinborough Ave. Raeford.

A funeral service will be held after the visitation at 11 am in the Raeford Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Dr. Steven Fitzgerald and the Rev. Michael McGehee officiating.

Burial will be in the Raeford Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Raeford Presbyterian Church, Building Fund P.O. Box 1570 Raeford, NC 28376




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