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. 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 Calvin’s kids remember gathering eggs and getting to ride with their 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 stepsons, Justin and Wade. Many trips to Canyonlands were enjoyed by the entire family. 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, 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. 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.
The family will miss Calvin’s sense of humor (he always had a joke), his incredible knowledge and, of course, the world’s best baked beans and bread pudding. He will be missed by many.
Calvin is survived by his wife, Rhonda Uptain of Brookfield; daughter, Valery Blood of Durango; son, Travis Uptain of Durango; stepsons, Justin Blythe of Durango and Wade Blythe of Brookfield; his mother, Norma Uptain of Lewis; 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.
A memorial service will be held next spring in Canyonlands. Cremation will occur at the Brookfield Mortuary.