Willie Allan Upshaw was born on November 1, 1935 to Kara Lee Scott and John Allan Upshaw in Fort Worth, Texas. Following the death of his father at the age of two, his mother moved closer to her family in San Antonio, Texas where he was baptized at Grant Memorial A.M.E. Church.
Willie graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School in 1955. Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served as a boiler operator aboard the USS Lexington until 1959. He subsequently spent time in the naval reserve and was briefly called back to active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
In early 1967, Willie met the love of his life, Dorothy Brown, at Ft. Sam Houston where they both worked. Following a brief courtship and engagement, the two were joined in matrimony on November 24, 1967. Their union was blessed with two children, Kelli and Ryan.
Willie was a strong provider for his family. After completing his military service, Willie worked in Texas Pharmaceutical Company’s warehouse for twenty years. He spent another twenty-five years as a bottler for Pearl Brewing Company until his retirement. Willie has spent the last fifteen years enjoying his retirement by spending time with his wife and watching his favorite westerns and game shows until the wee hours of the morning. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a party and rededication to each other in November 2017.
Following a brief illness, Willie departed his earthly body on June 29, 2018 with his wife, daughter and son by his side. Willie is survived by his wife, Dorothy Upshaw; his children, Kelli Marie Upshaw and Ryan Allan Upshaw; his granddaughter, Ariana Upshaw; along with a host of relatives and friends.