Terri L. (Smith) Upham, 61, of Junction City, KS, passed away May 18, 2018, at her home, after a courageous fight with cancer.
Visitation will be held Thursday, May 24, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 25, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Both the visitation and funeral will be held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, 630 S. Eisenhower Dr., Junction City, KS. The family asks those that attend visitation to wear cancer shirts or any colored shirt that represents a specific cancer (i.e. lavender (universal cancer color), peach (Terri’s cancer color), white, pink, gold, dark blue, etc.), as Terri was a big believer of bringing awareness to cancer.
Memorials are suggested to the Friends of Animals, Immanuel Lutheran Church, or the American Cancer Society in care of Penwell-Gabel, 203 N Washington St, Junction City, KS 66441.
Terri was born on September 29, 1956, Junction City, Kansas to Ralph and Flora (Murrison) Smith. She graduated from Junction City High School in 1974 where she was very active in debate and forensics, earning numerous accolades, in addition to being involved in Kayettes, Wrestlerettes, and Mixed Chorus. Following high school, Terri worked in several different career fields before earning recognition as a certified optician. She worked as an optician for 18 years. She then ultimately became employed with the State of Kansas. While employed with the State of Kansas, she worked as a shift supervisor at the Highway Patrol Dispatch Center, and then transitioned into the role of DMV supervisor. She retired from the state in 2011.
On January 22, 1982, she wed Billy N. Upham Jr. on the wrestling mat at the 4H center of Junction City. Their union was blessed with two children, Billy and Terra. Terri has been a resident of Junction City for all of her life, and has been actively involved in the Junction City community.
Terri absolutely loved watching her children’s many activities through the years, and enjoyed building many “family traditions,” as family was her top priority. She was a loving wife, compassionate mother, awesome sister, and a wonderful “grammy.” Terri was also a passionate animal lover with a huge heart, regularly taking animals in. On a sunny day, she could always be found working in her yard with her animals by her side, as she loved the sunshine and being outdoors. She as well spent her time judging Regional and State Speech, and if she had any free time left, she would find some kind of creative project to work on. She was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church and was part of the Board of Parish Education.
Terri lived her life to the fullest. She never complained no matter the obstacle, but rather faced every obstacle with a smile on her face and determination in her soul. It was her mission to give nothing less than her best each day, and to be an encouragement to those around her. For all those that were honored to know Terri, they would describe her as one of the most determined, strong willed, hard working, and faith-abiding women there were. She will be profoundly missed.
If Terri had to leave her friends and family with anything it would be to remind others that “hope” anchors the soul and to never lose “hope” in Him, always trusting His plan, which earned her the ultimate gift of eternal life. Terri never lost “hope” throughout her battle, and always used “hope” in the Lord to guide her life. It is her family’s “hope” that Terri’s loved ones will always remember that for those who “hope” in the Lord will renew their strength.
Terri is survived by her loving family: her daughter, Terra and husband Bret Reich of Junction City, KS; her son, Billy N. Upham III of Junction City, KS; one grandchild Makenna Reich; one brother Gary and wife Lois Smith of Wichita, KS; and one sister-in-law, Beverly Smith of Chapman, KS; many nieces and nephews, and a host of loving family and friends.
Terri was preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Flora Smith; husband Billy N. Upham Jr.; and brother Jerrald Smith.
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