Former Durango resident Calvin Uptain died from gastric cancer Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, at his home in Brookfield, Mo. He was 64.
Mr. Uptain was born to Wilford and Norma Uptain on July 19, 1948, in Cortez. He grew up on a farm in Lewis, attended school in Cortez and graduated from Montezuma-Cortez High School in 1966. After graduation, Mr. Uptain enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Germany.
Upon his return to Southwest Colorado, he met his future wife, Wanda Roberts. In November 1969, the couple married in Durango. They had two children before the marriage ended in divorce in 1986.
Upon earning his bachelor’s degree in math from Fort Lewis College in 1972, Mr. Uptain and went to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where he earned a graduate degree in atmospheric sciences. He taught math to undergraduates at the school while finishing his education.
The Uptains moved back to Southwest Colorado, where Mr. Uptain later owned and operated Southwest Insurance Agency while raising the children.
“He was a hands-on dad, spending many weekends camping and fishing the creeks above Mancos,” his family said. “Much time was also spent visiting his parents’ farm, where the kids remember gathering eggs and getting to ride with Dad on his old motorcycle.”
In 1993, he married Rhonda Blythe in Durango. They lived in Oxford, where they raised his stepsons.
The couple ran Budget Mobile Homes together for many years, rebuilding mobile homes.
They moved to Brookfield in 2006, where they opened the Brookfield Bookstore and built a home.
“They shared their love for reading with the community and made many friends along the way,” his family said. “Calvin grew large gardens yearly and enjoyed canning the vegetables and preserving their berries, raising chickens and milking his pet goats.”
He enjoyed the lifestyle and the time he spent with his wife on their farm.
“We will miss his sense of humor; he always had a joke,’ his family said. “His incredible knowledge and, of course, the world’s best baked beans and bread pudding.”
Mr. Uptain is survived by his wife of 19 years, Rhonda Uptain of Brookfield; daughter, Valery Blood of Durango; son, Travis Uptain of Durango; stepsons Justin Blythe of Durango and Wade Blythe of Brookfield; mother, Norma Uptain, of Lewis; brothers Leonard Uptain of Crofton, Md., and Kenneth Uptain of Blackfoot, Idaho; sister, Linda Ritchey of Reliance, Wyo.; and seven grandchildren.
Cremation will occur. A memorial service will be held next spring in Canyonlands National Park.