Lorayne Rodgers Upchurch, 97, went to be with the Lord on Monday, February 3, 2020. Lorayne was born on December 31, 1922 in Josephine, Texas to Longino and Zelma Eubank Rodgers and moved to the Mississippi Delta when she was 2 years old.
When she was in the second grade she memorized John 14: 1-3. 1 Let not your hearts be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. She believed that it is important to teach children the Bible at an early age, so they will remember it. This is the reason why she taught Sunday School for so many years.
Lorayne graduated from Belzoni High School in 1940 and started her cosmetology career which spanned 62 years. She never met a stranger. Everywhere she went she would open up her heart and pour God’s love on them. One of her many awards was her “Angel Among Us” recognition given by the local radio and TV stations. She also loved flowers and especially day lilies.
She wrote a book called “MEMORIES – The Story of My Life,” in which she shared her memories of growing up in the Mississippi Delta. One of her closing paragraphs reads: “I pray that the circle will be unbroken and we’ll all be together in heaven someday. I can truly say, I don’t regret a mile I’ve traveled for the Lord and the longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows, the more that I love him, more love he bestows. Each day is like heaven. My heart overflows. My motto is “If I can help somebody as I travel along, then my living will not have been in vain.”
Lorayne is survived by her sister, Marion Durr; son, Elmer Wayne Upchurch (Janie); daughter, Wanda Diane Bagley (Vesper). She is also survived by her four grandchildren, Ken Bagley, Laurie Champion (Todd), Jeff Upchurch (Elizabeth), Wendy Farmer (Jeff); six great grandchildren, Mary Kendal Alias (Taz), Bonnie Champion, Clayton Upchurch, Charlotte Upchurch, Jack Farmer and Atley Farmer; and one great, great granddaughter, Laura Ellis Alias. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer Atley Upchurch, and five siblings.
Pallbearers are Carey Champion, Jeff Upchurch, Todd Champion, Jeff Farmer, Mike Sims and Taz Alias. Honorary Pallbearers are Charlie Morrow, Jimmy Hollingsworth, Dalton Ducrest, Paul Holland, Robert Earl Bagley and Jerry Hyer.
Visitation with family will be from 12:30-2:00 p.m. Friday, February 7 at Hollandale Baptist Church with the funeral services to follow at 2:00 p.m. Burial will be in Hollandale Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Greenville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to her church, Hollandale Church of God, 412 Treadway Drive, Hollandale, MS 38748, which she dearly loved.