Saundra Sue Upshaw, age 74, of Iola, Kansas passed away Saturday, May 27, 2017 at Research Medical Center, Kansas City, Missouri.
Saundra was born November 8, 1942 at St. John's Hospital, Iola. The daughter of Robert Thayer Anderson and Elsie B. (Thurber) Anderson. Her mother passed away during her birth. She was raised by her grandparents, Axel "A.W." and Nora Anderson until she was 6. Her father then married Thelma Buck, whom Saundra considered her mother. Robert and Thelma then had two additional daughters. Her father's work led them to many places, Saundra graduated from Poplar Bluff High School, Poplar Bluff, Missouri in 1960. She then returned to Iola to attend Junior College. On August 19, 1962, she married Paul Upshaw at the First Presbyterian Church in Iola. She and Paul then attended Emporia State University. Paul's first teaching position took them to Topeka, where their first child, Melanie, was born. In 1965 Saundra earned a bachelor of science in education from Washburn University. In 1975, the family moved to Westphalia. Saundra was able to stay at home with her children until they all entered school. In 1977, she began teaching at LeRoy Elementary School. Saundra received her master's degree from Emporia State in 1980. They moved to their current home in Iola in 1987. After 26 years of teaching she retired in 2004.
Saundra was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church, where she was a Sunday School teacher, member of the church choir, the U.M.W., and the administrative board. She was also a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa Teacher's Sorority and Iola Community Theater Board. Saundra was very active volunteering for many activities including, Allen County Hospice, Relay For Life, and singing for the Iola nursing home residents. She was a devoted grandmother, attending as many of her grandchildren's events as possible.
Saundra was preceded in death by her parents, sister, Linda Lanier, and an infant son, Robert Henry.
She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Paul, of the home; daughter, Melanie Whitmore and husband, Scott of Topeka, Kansas; three sons, Lentz Upshaw and wife Amy of Manhattan, Kansas, Dennis Upshaw and wife, Tiffanie of St. Louis, Missouri, and Mark Upshaw and fiancé, Megan Musick of Shawnee, Kansas; 12 grandchildren, Alicia, Erica and Stephanie Whitmore, Hannah, Joshua, Josiah, Isaiah, and Elijah Upshaw, Mira, Anna, Henry and Tommy Upshaw; sister, Debbie Shaip and husband, Paul of Danville, Virginia.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, June 1, 2017 at Calvary United Methodist Church, Iola. Burial will follow in the Highland Cemetery, Iola. The family will greet friends from 6:00-8:00 PM, Wednesday evening at the Feuerborn Family Funeral Service Chapel, Iola. Memorial contributions may be made to Calvary United Methodist Church or Allen County Hospice and left in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be left at www.feuerbornfuneral.com.