Obit: Upton, Gavin Ray (1930 - 2014)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Upton, Austin, Sollberger, Coblentz, Garbers

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co, WI) 12/10/2014

Upton, Gavin Ray (16 December 1930 - 28 November 2014)

Gavin Ray Upton, 83, of Cross Plains passed away Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, at Agrace Hospice, Fitchburg.

Gavin was born Dec. 16, 1930, in Black River Falls to Arthur and Dorothy (Austin) Upton. He attended Black River High School and graduated from the Wisconsin State Teachers College-Milwaukee WUWM. He was united in marriage with Helen Sollberger of Neillsville Dec. 25, 1951, at the United Methodist Church of Black River Falls.

Gain taught the music arts of concert, orchestra, parade marching and more as band director in the school districts of Melrose, Neillsville and Black River Falls. He later enjoyed successful careers in life insurance sales and as a stockbroker in Madison. In retirement, he volunteered at the local VFW, playing taps at veteran’s funerals.

Gavin loved to sing. An early hobby was singing with the barbershop quartet in Black River Falls. He earned his private pilot’s license and enjoyed flying, skiing and his red Reatta sports car. For many years, Gavin and Helen enjoyed traveling and their winter home in Naples, FL.

Gavin is survived by his wife of 63 years, Helen, of Cross Plains; his daughter, Deborah (Kenneth) Coblentz, of Adell, WI; and a son Dean (Jean) Upton of Madison. He is further survived by his grandchildren, Nathan (Tammy) Coblentz of Neillsville, Benjamin Coblentz of Madison, Jennifer (William) Garbers of La Crescent, MN, and Shawn (Amanda) Upton of Brookfield; great-grandson Mason Coblentz; brother, Ronald (Barbara) Upton of Mineral Wells, TX; brother-in-law Leonard Sollberger of Neillsville; and nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

Gavin was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Allan.

A private family gathering and service was held Nov. 30, 2014, at Agrace Hospice Chapel.


We take the following tender and charming bits of sentiment, and nuggets of thought from the book ‘Memories' which George P. Upton has so excellently translated from the German :


Childhood has its secrets and mysteries, but who can tell or explain them ! We have all roamed through this silent wonder world—we have all once opened our eyes in blissful astonishment, as the beautiful reality of life overflowed our souls. We knew not where, or who, we were—the whole world was ours and we were the whole world’s. That was an infinite life without beginning and without end, without rest and without fame. In the heart it was as clear as the spring heavens fresh as the violets perfume— hushed and holy as a Sabbath morning. Memory shakes itself like the spaniel just come out of the waves, while the water runs in its eyes and he looks very strangely.


This repose and exhaustion they call meditation, but it is rather an inspection—one allows time for the mixture of thoughts to crystallize them selves according to eternal laws, and regards the process like an observing chemist; and the elements having assumed a form, we often wonder that they, as well as ourselves, are so entirely different from what we expected. When we return again after a long absence to our birth-place, the soul floats unconsciously in a sea of memories, and the dancing waves dreamily toss themselves upon the shores of time long passed.

Wood County reporter. [volume], May 27, 1875, Image 1

About Wood County reporter. (Grand Rapids [i.e. Wisconsin Rapids], Wis.) 1857-1923   



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