1913 – 2003

CANTONWilliam E. Upton Jr., 90, died Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Victorian Villa Rehabilitation and Living Center in Canton. He was a resident of Hancock Street, Rumford.

Born in Rumford on July 16, 1913, he was the son of William E. And Edith Ross Upton Sr.

He was a graduate of Stephen’s High School in Rumford where he excelled in sports.

He joined the United States Army, serving at Schofield Barracks at Oahu, Hawaii from 1935 to 1938. He worked at Oxford Paper Company for a time, and then joined the Navy shortly before Pearl Harbor. He worked as a boatswain’s mate on the destroyer USS Walke 416, which was sunk on Nov. 14, 1942 during the Battle of Guadalcanal. He was in the water for 18 hours before being rescued. His strength from being a swimmer saved his life while many shipmates drowned one by one. He received the purple heart. After his discharge on Nov. 6, 1945, he worked at the paper mill until his retirement.

He always kept his love for swimming and baseball and watched football on TV faithfully. He maintained his home on Hancock Street in Rumford until health forced him to move to the Victorian Villa in November of 2002.

He was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Helen Shirley Keyo; and a nephew, Calvin Upton Keyo. He is survived by Calvin’s widow, Joyce Keyo; and several cousins.

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