Kenneth M. Uphoff, 96, of Hudson, passed away Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 11:15 p.m. at his residence. He was a member of East White Oak Bible Church and was a faithful choir member. He more recently attended Carlock Mennonite Church.
Cremation rites will be accorded. A private family gathering will be held at a later date. Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in El Paso is assisting the family with the arrangements. Ken will be interred on the family farm in Hudson. Memorial contributions may be made to St Jude Midwest Affiliate. Online condolences and tributes may be sent and shared with the family at www.ruestmanharrisfuneralhome.com.
Ken was born April 4, 1924, in the Kansas Township of Woodford County, a son of William F. and Amelia Knapp Uphoff. He married Florence Hospelhorn on February 11, 1945 at her home in rural Hudson. She preceded him in death on January 30, 2016.
He was also preceded in death by one grandson, Gabe, and a daughter-in-law, Colleen Collins.
Survivors include their six children: Roger (Carol) Uphoff of St. Louis, MO; Roy Uphoff of Hudson; Kathryn (Steve) Schwoerer of R.R. Bloomington; Bruce (Ruth) Uphoff of Leavenworth, KS; Dale (Karla) Uphoff of El Paso; and Neal (Gail) Uphoff of Hudson; 27 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandson. Also surviving is a foster daughter, Pat Estes, of Flanagan and several nieces and nephews.
Ken wrote several Letters to the Editor and in later years wrote a book of Memories of his life. Those memories show his love of nature, beginning with notes about walking through the timbers to Spring Hill School and looking for wildflowers and mushrooms along the way. He also included notes about attending Normal High School. The notes show he used the Mackinaw River as a place to skate, spear fish, and look for fish while swimming. His graduation gift, a .22 Winchester, became a constant companion for target practice, hunting small game, etc. His notes include shooting rabbits on the run and pheasants and pigeons in the air. He quit playing ice hockey on the pond at the age of 70 when a fall gave him a concussion. He farmed at home (Hudson), Towanda, Waynesville, Minonk, and back to Hudson. He did use a shotgun at Minonk long enough to kill three roosters at one time at one location. His tree planting activities began on his home farm with pines for Christmas trees and then walnut, oak and various other variety plantings, about 30 acres with some 13,000 seedlings. Ken also raised honey bees but found time to visit all 50 states, 20 national parks, camping in many of them with family. His other off-the-farm activities began with square dancing which lasted for 35 years. He also enjoyed singing and was a 37-year member of the Sound of Illinois Barbershop Chorus. He worked for seven years for Judd Electric, and then worked as an electrical inspector for the City of Bloomington for 20 years. He also served for three years as a Hudson Township Farm Bureau committeeman and for nine years on the McLean County Unit Five School Board with four as president. Ken worked various Kansas Township offices and 18 years on the Woodford County Board. His memories "brags" at Waynesville include throwing a rock to knock out a bull (it lived), loading 1498 hay bales in one day, and picking up a 375-lb tractor weight and laying it in a pickup truck.
Ken decided to build a house on the family farm with his boys helping him, the oldest being in high school and the youngest in grade school. They finished it in May of 1976. It is their home today, and any Sunday you will find the families gathered for dinner and fun with their parents and grandparent. He was a family man, loved his family very much, and will be missed by everyone.
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