Quincey Vierling Upshaw

June 21, 1978March 11, 2018

Quincey Vierling Upshaw

Quincey was born June 21, 1978, while her parents, Joyce and Ronald Vierling, lived and taught at Desert Sun School, a boarding school in the mountains at Idyllwild, California. When she was one year old, her parents accepted teaching positions at Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, Florida. Quincey graduated from Trinity Prep in 1996, where she was both an excellent student and a member of the track and field team for five years. Quincey entered the University of South Florida where she earned both a bachelor’s degree in art and a bachelor’s degree in English in 2001.

Quincey began her teaching career in Fort Myers. After a year she moved back to the Tampa Bay area where she taught English and AP English at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs.

After marrying Brian Upshaw in 2007, she chose to pursue her master’s degree in English and returned to the University of South Florida. Following the birth of their first child, daughter Ellery Joy, her degree was conferred. Returning to the classroom as a teacher in 2010 at Hillsborough High School as a long term substitute, Quincey then joined the permanent faculty at Alonso High School that fall.

Following the birth of her second daughter, Auden Willette, in April of 2011, she was offered an opportunity to return to teach at the University of South Florida. Quincey taught First Year Composition and served as a supervisor and mentor to adjunct instructors in the First Year Composition program.

In October of 2014, Quincey was diagnosed with cervical cancer and underwent an immediate aggressive surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding tissue. Despite an apparent initial success, the cancer returned several times over the years since her initial diagnosis. Quincey underwent two major surgeries, several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, and participated in an experimental trial as she battled for her life. Quincey died at home on March 11, 2018, attended by her husband, Brian, her mother and father, Joyce and Ronald Vierling, and her younger brother, Rider.

Quincey is survived by husband Brian, daughters Ellery and Auden, and her parents, Joyce and Ronald, Tampa; by sister Ronda Haywood (Bryan), Austin, Texas; brother Jameson Vierling (Odil), Istanbul, Turkey; sister Sonni Vierling (Mike Bandstra), Des Moines, Iowa; brother Rider D. Vierling (Kristy Tancred), Newcastle, Australia; as well as aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Quincey was a lifelong Unitarian. A Celebration of Quincey’s life will be observed at the Unitarian-Universalist Church, Clearwater, Florida, on Saturday, March 17th, at 2 pm. Friends are invited to join her family in paying tribute to a remarkable wife and mother, daughter and sister, friend and teacher.

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to Planned Parenthood.


Quincey Vierling Upshaw

have a memory or condolence to add?

Connie OKane

March 11, 2021

We remember your smile, your bright eyes and your beautiful face. You are missed!
Aunt Connie and Uncle Jim

David Lilley

March 22, 2018

Vierling and Upshaw Family,

My deepest sympathy on the passing of Quincey. I have very fond memories of Quincey while coaching her at TPS. I can only imagine what a wonderful woman, teacher, wife and mother she must have been. It was a gift to be around the Vierling clan and Quincey during your time at Trinity. I will remember her independent, humorous, adventurous, curios and loving spirit. God bless and be with you all.

Stacey (Plater) Langenbahn

March 16, 2018

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Ron Vierling,

It is with great sadness that I read about Quincey's passing. My deepest condolences. I wish you and your family peace and comfort in this difficult time.


Stacey (Plater) Langenbahn '81

Craig Phillips

March 16, 2018

Brian and family,
We are so incredibly sorry to hear of Quincey's passing. We are praying for you and your daughters during this heartbreaking time.

Craig and Emily Phillips

Kelly Shea Fachini

March 15, 2018

My deepest condolences. Mrs. Vierling Upshaw was a former educator of mine at East Lake High School. I have wonderful and vivid memories of her, even after 11 years... She was incredibly intelligent and passionate about English and Literature. She taught our class many things, from analyzing works of Literature to teaching us all about literary devices. I still take everyday occurrences and try to relate them to different literary devices, which always reminds me of her. I remember the section on Literary Devices was a lot of fun. We went through an entire list, laughing and learning all the way.

When Ms. Vierling recognized someone's work in class, it was a moment of pride. We all had so much respect for her because she really knew her stuff! The moment that she recognized me, which still comes to mind often, was when I took a passage from a story and related it to "serendipity." I wasn't feeling extremely confident about that submission, but as we read the passage aloud she shouted my name, and pleasingly told me how happy she was to have read and reviewed that. I sank in my chair with happiness and warmth. It was a simple and brief moment, but a moment I will always remember. How lucky I am to have known Quincey Vierling Upshaw, she leaves behind a beautiful legacy in everyone that has ever known her. How serendipitous to have lucked upon a great teacher and example like her.

Joyce Pranske

March 15, 2018

So very sorry for your loss. I worked with Quincey at Eastlake and knew her as a positive, innovative colleague.
Joyce Pranske