Dr. Kennedy Upham and Mrs. Joy H Upham (Ken and Joy) of Conway recently returned from celebrating their 60 years of marriage with a trip to Branson, Mo. While they enjoyed many shows in that entertainment mecca, they particularly were inspired by the Sight and Sound Theater’s presentation of the story of “Joseph.”
Ken and Joy have two sons, Bruce and Stephen (Conway HS 1977), four grandsons and one granddaughter, and two great-grandsons, all of whom live in Texas. “That makes Texas our major travel destination,” Ken comments.
The Uphams came to Conway nearly 40 years ago. Dr. Upham had taught at Texas A&M University in College Station for 10 years with very large classes, and since his major teaching was “Marriage and the Family” in a personal style, he craved the chance to have smaller numbers where he could deal with students more individually. When the Sociology Department at the then State College of Arkansas (soon after to become the University of Central Arkansas) offered that option, he seized it and they made the move.
Then when the Uphams learned they could get involved in the marriage enrichment movement, a good fit for sociologists and active Christians, they went to Texas and elsewhere for training. Their mentors were David and Vera Mace and David and Sarah Catron who were founders and leaders of the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment, now known as “BetterMarriages.org.” Once certified, the Uphams offered Marriage Enrichment weekend retreats to the public for a number of years at Petit Jean Park’s Mather Lodge and at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center in Little Rock.
Ken and Joy have strong Christian roots, and have been serving in many ways at the First Presbyterian Church of Conway all their years here. Ken has been assisting in the care of church members and is on the board of the Conway Inter-Church Housing organization. Joy has been an elder and a leader in the Women of the Church. During their busy marriage they have also enjoyed travel, particularly abroad, so they could learn of and experience other cultures. They have visited Europe twice (11 countries combined, about 35 years apart) and Haiti, six countries of Central America including living in Costa Rica for six months. Then there have been cruises in the Caribbean and Alaska and the Panama Canal, as well as trips to China, New Zealand, Hawaii and Mexico. All in all, a wonderful, blessed life!