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  • Writer's pictureAdam Porth

Chess Player Passes


Uptain, 37, put his faith and family first

  • Sep 18, 2018

A memorial service for Jackson resident Mark Uptain was held Sept. 19 at First Baptist Church.

Uptain was attacked and killed by a grizzly bear Sept. 14 while guiding a client on an elk hunting trip on Terrace Mountain. He was 37.

His family provided the following.

Mark was born June 10, 1981, to Tom and Gail Uptain. He grew up in Casper. In 1999 he moved to Jackson Hole, where he started a small cleaning business. He later bought Blue Sky Services and Restoration. He used his company to care for his employees while personally and carefully meeting the needs of his clients and the community.

Mark served as an elder at First Baptist Church. He volunteered as a mentor and leader for a local Celebrate Recovery program and was an active member and supporter of Right to Life. He also enjoyed teaching chess at the Jackson Hole Christian Academy, Timber Ridge Academy and Jackson Hole Classical Academy.

Mark’s true passion was for his wife, Sarah, and their five children. Sarah recalled Mark saying to her, “Sarah, there is only so much time in the world. I want to give my time first to God and then my family. Everything else comes after that.”

He spent the most time possible investing in Sarah and his children. Father-daughter dates, teaching Ben to be a man and mentoring all of them to love and follow God were top priorities.

Mark loved teaching his children how to hunt, fish, ride horses and see the power, majesty and beauty of God in the immense beauty of the Rocky Mountains. He had unquestionable commitment to being the best husband and father he could be.

It was Mark’s desire to share his love of hunting and fishing in God’s creation that motivated him to become a hunting guide and outfitter.

When Mark and his client, Corey Chubon, were attacked by two grizzly bears Friday, Mark purposefully drew the bear’s attention away from Chubon with shouts and motion, giving him a chance to escape. In the ensuing attack Mark was fatally wounded.

Mark is survived by his wife, Sarah Uptain; daughters 17-year-old Isabelle Rose Uptain, 16-year-old Brianna Faith Uptain, 14-year-old Kirsten Jane Uptain, 10-year-old Morgan Nicole Uptain, and son 12-year-old Benjamin Thomas Uptain; as well as by his immediate family, including his parents, Tom and Gail Uptain, and siblings Anna George, Rose Hicks, Daniel Uptain, Gloria Blinn, Christine Anderson, Ruth Schwietert and Roy Uptain.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to benefit his wife and children at Donations can also be made through First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1167, Jackson, WY 83001. Checks can be made out to the church with “Uptain family” in the memo line. A meal trail is being organized for the family at

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