Louise Fralin Upchurch

September 18, 1921 – March 22, 2023

Louise Upchurch died on March 22, 2023 in Brookline, MA at the age of 101. Louise was a charter member of Shoregate United Methodist Church, along with her husband Ray. The first gathering of the congregation took place in the living room of the Upchurch home in Willowick, OH in 1951. Over the years, Louise served the congregation in many roles. Most notably, Louise was the Church Secretary for 30 years, beginning in 1964 until her retirement in 1994. She worked with many Shoregate pastors through those years, including Reverends Klein, Sundberg, Hull, Gillis and Martin. Her duties went well beyond the clerical, and many recognized that she had her own ministry in the community. Words that best describe Louise’s character are gracious and caring. Gracious is used in the Christian sense of generous giving with no expectation of return. At home the phone was always ringing, usually with a friend who needed a hand, advice, or just a caring listener. Louise’s family was always the primary beneficiary of her grace and love. Louise was a founding member of the Willowick Garden Club, and served numerous terms as President. An award-winning gardener and horticulturalist, Louise provided fresh and preserved vegetables for the family for decades. Louise led many teaching programs on flower arranging, arts and crafts for garden clubs throughout the region. For many years, the popular annual garden club plant sale was held in the Upchurch garage. Ray Upchurch died in 2000 after 52 years of marriage, and Louise remained in her Willowick home for 13 more years. Through those years she travelled the world with her son Ralph Upchurch and daughter-in-law Janice Quan. Destinations include England, Mexico, Italy, and many regions of the US. In 2013 Louise relocated to Boston, MA, to be near her son Ralph. She remained in excellent health, and at the time of her passing her only medicines were vitamins. Born and raised in Virginia, Louise never lost her warm and melodious Piedmont accent. She was very interested in genealogy research. Her family roots in Virginia trace back to the 1600’s, and include many veterans of the American revolution. Daniel Boone was her first cousin. At 101 years, Louise lived longer than any of her ancestors. Family celebrated Louise’s life in Rocky Mount, VA on March 26, 2023. She was laid to rest beside Ray in the High Street Cemetery in Rocky Mount. Louise is survived by her son Ralph Upchurch of Brookline, MA; daughter Cynthia Wolfe of Seattle, WA; granddaughters Arwen Wolfe of Seattle, and Caitlin Upchurch-Lesser of Hawaii; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Arrangements by Flora Funeral Service and Cremation Center, Rocky Mount.