David A. Upton’s heart, bigger than life, finally stopped on July 28, 2020 at the age of 71 at the Upton ranch in Shenandoah Valley, CA. Much like pruning the roots of his treasured bonsai plants, Dave’s deep Californian heritage was stunted a bit because he was born in Baltimore, MD on March 30, 1949. His out-of-state foray was short-lived, as his parents Dr. Albert L. Upton and Ruth (Sanden) Upton returned to their home state when Dave was still a child. David earned his BA from Occidental College a.k.a. “Oxy” in Los Angeles, CA—its location in the Eagle Rock neighborhood foreshadowed of his love of birds—and a MA from UC Davis. He spent over 30 consecutive years in the mortgage and finance industry. Upon retirement he moved to his grandparent’s, Dave and Alma’s, ranch in Shenandoah Valley, CA where he found his calling as a gentleman farmer.
Dave had a passion for storytelling. He could spin the most mundane activity such as watching his beloved dog Ranger find a comfortable spot in the winter’s sun into a tale worthy of the complex storytelling of Gabriel García Márquez. His narratives were clearly informed by his love of reading; no week was complete without a visit to the Amador County Library. He especially loved thrillers, spy novels, westerns and classic science fiction. He was also known for rigging up MacGyver-like solutions to fix life’s little obstacles. Dave was a life-long bachelor and as such, his generous, kind and loving spirit was especially meaningful to his extended family.
David has ascended in death to join his father and his mother, and his step-mother, Betty Jean (Pyron) Upton. His aunt and uncle Jenifred (Sanden) and William Boehm of Towson, MD also preceded him. David is survived by his sister Kathleen (Upton) Naftaly, her husband Phillip and their son Jeffrey of Lake George, NY, as well as, his step-sister Susan Larson (Bruce) and step-brother Steve Brown and their extended families. His last years were spent enjoying weekly luncheons with his aunt Ruth (French) Crain, of Shenandoah Valley, CA and his cousins, Janet Parker, of Shenandoah Valley, CA, Karen Martin and her husband Mike of Shenandoah Valley, CA, and Jeanne Meyer, of Plymouth, CA and their children and grandchildren.
Dave was cremated and laid to rest at Shenandoah Valley Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.danerimortuary.com and signing the guest book.