Willard Lacy Upchurch, age 72, of Crossville, passed away October 19, 2018 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife: Kay Upchurch; son: Gregg Upchurch (Lena); daughters: Melissa Upchurch Edwards (Steve) and Christie Upchurch (Scott VanWinkle); grandchildren: Kayla Ann Davis, Sarah Edwards Condra (Cole), Emily Upchurch, Taylor Edwards, John Edwards, Bailey Lewis (Colt), and Paul Martin Thompson; great-grandson: William Scott Lewis; brother: Jack Upchurch; and sisters: Jonelda Cole, Helen Pierce, and Betty Vernon. Family will receive friends Sunday, October 21, 2018 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Crossville First United Methodist Church. A celebration of life will also be held following visitation.
Mr. Upchurch lived in Cumberland County where he farmed beef cattle with his wife Kay. He began his service on the TFBF board of directors in 1995 representing the Upper Cumberland area of the state and was elected vice president in 2000. After his unanimous election to president in 2005, Mr. Upchurch continued his leadership of the state’s largest farm organization until his retirement in December 2015.
“We are truly saddened by the passing of Lacy Upchurch,” said TFBF President Jeff Aiken. “Lacy was not only a great leader within Farm Bureau, his impact on agriculture extended nationwide. His passion for agriculture, love of his family and a good laugh, as well as his genuine kindness to everyone will not soon be forgotten.”
Mr. Upchurch graduated from the University of Tennessee with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science. After a few years as an agricultural Extension agent with UT in Madison and Cumberland counties, he became a full-time farmer with a successful swine operation. He later transitioned into beef cattle with Kay and their three children.