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Latrobe man remembered for his fondness of radios, his family and his strong faith

Joe Napsha
| Monday, July 9, 2018, 9:30 a.m.

Russell F. Upholster Sr. of Latrobe was still a teenager when he started a home business of repairing radios and that new center of entertainment in America's home of the early 1950s — the television.

“He did it to supplement his income while working at Kennametal (Corp.),” in Latrobe, said his daughter, Kathleen Weiss, of New Stanton.

He stopped his business as he became more busy at Kennametal and the demand dropped for repairing radios and televisions.

His love of old radios did not diminish. After retiring from Kennametal in 1989, he began collecting antique radios, including ones with a crystal set, and had an old television that had a little screen and came packed in a leather case.

Mr. Upholster, 86, died Wednesday, July 4, 2018, at the home he built for his family in the city's 4th Ward.

He was born Nov. 22, 1931, in Latrobe, son of the late Martin Upholster and Charlotte Stout Upholster. He grew up during the Depression in the Frogtown section of Latrobe, where his house didn't have hot water and they had to use an outhouse.

Mr. Upholster graduated from Latrobe High School and married his high school sweetheart, AnnaMary Gleckl, when he was 17. The couple, who married in January 1949, met roller skating in Latrobe, Weiss said.

He started his career at Kennametal in 1950 as a tool-and-die maker at the company's Chestnut Ridge plant. He later became a manager of corporate quality assurance.

When Mr. Upholster was working in Latrobe, he would come home every day for lunch with his wife, Weiss said.

He was an active member of Christ United Church of Christ, serving on the Lay Life Committee and the consistory as senior elder, elder and deacon. He was also a former president of the consistory and was a Sunday school teacher.

He also represented Christ Church at various levels, from local to national and served in positions of leadership several times, including the National Board and the Office of Church Life and Leadership.

“He had a very strong faith,” Weiss said.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, AnnaMary Upholster in 2013; a great-grandson, Scott, in 2006; and his brother, Martin Upholster.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a son, Russell Upholster Jr. of Unity; four grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren; and a niece and nephew.

Friends were received Sunday at the Frederick Funeral Home Inc., 1543 Ligonier St., Latrobe. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, in Christ United Church of Christ, Ligonier St., Latrobe, with the Rev. Richard Seigfried. Burial will be at Unity Cemetery, Latrobe.

Memorial donations in his name can be made to Animal Friends of Westmoreland, 216 Depot St., Youngwood, PA 15697, or the St. Joseph's Indian School, P.O. Box 326, Chamberlain, S.D. 57326.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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