WEST (April 27, 2013)—A riderless horse was part of the procession to the cemetery after the celebration of a burial mass Saturday for William R. “Buck” Uptmor, Jr., 45, of Abbott, who was helping first responders on April 17 when the massive explosion occurred at West Fertilizer Co.
Uptmor trained and jockeyed racehorses and also loved to rodeo, whether riding bulls or saddle and bareback broncos, according to an obituary released by a funeral home in West.
"I told him, 'You probably got every bone in your body broken.' And he said, ‘That's probably true,'" recalled Bill McKown, a retired school superintendent from Abbott.
Uptmor, graduated from West High School and attended Hill Junior College and Texas State Technical College.
He was an Abbott volunteer firefighter, and owned and operated Utmor Welding and Construction.
Uptmor's company built the local cemetery's fence.
"He was always busy," building fences, McKown said, “because he was very reliable."
Uptmor was also the drummer for the band Billy Uptmor and the Makers.
On Friday services were held for two of West’s fallen firefighters.
The first was Friday morning at the Church of the Assumption in West for volunteer firefighter Joseph F. “Joey” Pustejovsky, 29.
Pustejovsky was also the town’s city secretary.
After the Mass, a procession of mourners including firefighters, neighbors and Patriot Guard riders, passed through West to St. Mary’s Cemetery where Pustejovsky was laid to rest.
Pustejovsky was born in Waco, attended St. Mary’s School in West and graduated from West High School in 2001.
He also attended McLennan Community College in Waco.
He had served as West’s city secretary since 2009 after working for Sears and as a property appraiser for the McLennan County Appraisal District.
He was an avid Texas A&M fan who liked to hunt, play golf and spend time with his children and family.
"He was a very caring person, always ready to help, a very devout Catholic," said Veronica Felderhoff, a volunteer at the church where. Pustejovsky’s mother works as a secretary.
The second service was Friday arfternoon at Central Baptist Church in Hillsboro for Cyrus Adam Reed, 29, of Houston.
The Houston native was a member of the Abbott Volunteer Fire Department, the Bynum Volunteer Fire Department, West Ambulance, and a former member of the Elm Mott Volunteer Fire Department.
He was participating in EMS training in West on the night of the explosion and joined other first responders at the scene.
He was an Eagle Scout.
A private memorial service was scheduled Saturday at Bethany United Methodist Church, at 3511 Linkwood Drive in Houston.