The Reverend Joseph L. Upole

The Reverend Joseph L. Upole


Let us remember with thanksgiving the life and ministry of Rev. Joseph Leland Upole, 67, of Staten Island, NY who died on Thursday, December 23, 2021 at Staten Island University Hospital. He was born November 21, 1954 in Morgantown, WV to Paul Lofton Uphole and Virginia Hemings.

Joseph was a graduate of Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV and Wesley Seminary, Washington DC. He studied toward a doctoral degree at Drew University, Madison NJ. He was ordained an elder in The United Methodist Church in 1993 in the West Virginia Conference. Joseph came to the New York Conference in 2002 to serve at Downsville, NY. He also served Christ UMC in Brooklyn; St. Paul’s UMC in Staten Island; and Summerfield and Woodrow UMCs in Staten Island. Joseph retired in June 2020 and in retirement continued to serve Woodrow UMC.

He is survived by his spouse, Joan Upole. He is also survived by his beloved borrowed son, Irakli Tatishvil and his spouse, Joanna Waschek; his overwhelmingly loved grandchildren who were the joy of his life, Eva Snow Tatishvili and Elliot Tengis Tatishvili; and his steadfast golden retriever companion "Lost.” He is also survived by his siblings, Violet Cass and her spouse, Jerry (deceased), of Mecosta, MI; Sue Hilgeman and her spouse, Jim, of Fort Wayne, IN; Steve Upole and his spouse, Faye, of Wauseon, OH; Philip Upole and his spouse, Celia, of Manchester, OH; and Beth Bollenbacher and her spouse, Greg, of Payne, OH. He is survived as well by nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and others too numerous to count.

A memorial service will be planned at a later time. If you wish to honor Joe you may make a donation to The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), or by mail to UMCOR, PO Box 9068 GPO, New York 10087-9068 (In Memory of Joseph L. Upole). 

Family and friends who wish to express condolences to the family via email may do so at

From the family:  For I am sure that neither death, nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor ANYTHING IN ALL CREATION will be able to separate us from the love of God... Romans 8:37-39