Life Tributes for the week of 12/17/19

Joseph Richard (Dick) Uptegrove

Joseph Richard (Dick) Uptegrove, 93, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019 at his home in Susanville, California. Dick was born Feb. 5, 1926 in Cleveland, Ohio to Joseph Leslie and Florence Grohs Uptegrove.

He moved to Lassen County with this mother and brother as a young boy and attended elementary school in Westwood and Susanville. He was a proud member and graduate of the Lassen High School Class of 1944.

After high school, he entered the Army Air Corps serving at the end of World War II. He returned to Susanville after the war and obtained an AA degree from Lassen Community College. He attended San Jose State University and the University of California, Berkley, and obtained a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Francisco in 1954.

He took a job as a law clerk in Reno, Nevada but later returned to Susanville to take a position as the Lassen County Assistant Director of Public Works where he worked until his retirement in 1988.

He also taught business law at Lassen Community College and the California Correctional Center and served as the Lassen County Director of Civil Defense for the state of California.

Upon retirement, Dick obtained his pilot’s license and built and flew his prized Kit Fox aircraft. He was a member of the Susanville Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, and the American Legion.

Dick contributed to both the history and development of Lassen County. As a teen, he helped build the Herlong Army Depot and the Herlong Access Road and worked at Camp 10 surveying the routes for the railroad lines. While working for Lassen County, he was instrumental in developing the Eagle Lake Road (A1) between Susanville and Eagle Lake. He was a avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing and spending summers at his cabin at Eagle Lake (Eagle’s Nest), which he built in 1959.

Dick is preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, James L. Uptegrove. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Phyllis JoAnn Uptegrove, of Susanville; son, James (Mavrey) Uptegrove, of Susanville; daughter, Janet (Sam) Porter, of Susanville; daughter, Joan (Ed) Brehm, of Encinitas, California; three nieces; one nephew; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Lassen High School Alumni Association. Services for Dick Uptegrove will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020 at Walton’s Colonial Mortuary in Susanville, California with a luncheon to follow at the Monticola Club.