Former Durango resident Calvin Uptain passed away at his home in Brookfield, Mo. on Saturday, Nov. 10, from gastric cancer.
Calvin was born on July 19, 1948, and grew up on a farm in Lewis, Colo. He attended school in Cortez and graduated from high school in 1966. He enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Germany. Upon his return to the area he met and married Wanda (Roberts) Cason of Mancos. He graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in Math in 1972 and went to CSU for a graduate degree in Atmospheric Sciences. He and Wanda had two children, Valery and Travis. Calvin taught math and later owned and operated an insurance agency while raising the kids. He was a hands-on Dad spending many weekends camping and fishing the creeks above Mancos. 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.
After Calvin’s first marriage ended in 1986 he met Rhonda Blythe and they married in 1993. They lived in Oxford where they raised his step-sons, Justin and Wade. Many trips to Canyonlands were enjoyed by Calvin, Rhonda and all of the kids. Calvin and Rhonda spent several summers hiking that area and enjoying the landscape. In Durango, they ran a business together rebuilding mobile homes for many years before moving to Brookfield, Mo.
There 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. Calvin grew large gardens yearly and enjoyed canning their vegetables and preserving their berries, raising chickens and milking his pet goats.
He enjoyed the lifestyle and the time he spent with Rhonda on their farm.
We will miss his sense of humor, (he always had a joke) his incredible knowledge and, of course, the worlds’ best baked beans and bread pudding. He will be missed by many.
Calvin is survived by his wife, Rhonda Uptain, of Brookfield, Mo., his daughter, Valery Blood, of Durango and his son, Travis Uptain, of Durango. Also, his step-sons, Justin Blythe of Durango and Wade Blythe of Brookfield, Mo.; his mother, Norma Uptain, of Lewis, Colo., and seven grandchildren all of Durango. He is also survived by his brothers, Leonard and Kenneth Uptain, and a sister, Linda Ritchey. He was preceded in death by his father, Wilford Uptain, of Lewis, Colo.
A memorial service will be held next spring in Canyonlands. Cremation will occur at the Brookfield Mortuary.