Donald F. Ulrich

Category: Obituaries
Created on Thursday, 25 October 2012 10:19
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Donald Franklin Ulrich, who was born in Sitka Aug. 10, 1919, will be laid to rest 2 p.m. Sept. 26 at Sitka National Cemetery.
    He died Aug. 29, 2012, in the Veterans Home in Yountville, Calif., where he had been living since September 2006.
    Don’s father was Franklin P. Ulrich, who had arrived in Sitka to take charge of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey observatory in 1917, and his mother was Lois “Mimi” (Senn) Ulrich. He had four sisters, Virginia (Jiggs) Deaton, Doris Grundy, Elizabeth Teaster and Mary Ann Rabern; and two brothers, Robert and Richard “Bud” Ulrich.
Don attended school in Sitka, high school in Burlingame and San Mateo, Calif.; and junior college in San Mateo and Utah State University.
World War II was about to begin,  and Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  He rose through the ranks and ended his active career as a lieutenant commander. When he was serving aboard the USS Ulvert M. Moore, his commander was Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr.  When President Roosevelt died, Don was given the sad duty of waking his commander and giving him the news of his father’s passing.
One of the highlights of Don’s service was meeting Eleanor Roosevelt.
When Don returned home to California, he met and married Virginia Ovenshire.  They had three sons, Robert, Larry and Chris, and one daughter, Donna.  Don and Virginia made their home in Castro Valley, Calif., where Don was an insurance broker.  He became a partner in Adams and Ulrich Insurance Agency, and retired in 1976.  Don then moved to Anderson, Calif., where he lived until moving to Yountville.  He was extremely grateful for the excellent care he received at the Veterans Home during the last years of his life, his family said.
    Don’s favorite pastimes were smoking his pipe and fishing.  He fished in as many lakes, streams and rivers (and occasionally an ocean) as time allowed.
    He loved Alaska, and got to make a return trip to Sitka in 2008, with his son Robert and daughter-in-law Lenda.  During that visit, he was presented with a Certificate of Welcome by the city Assembly.  Members also honored him as a World War II hero, which he so richly deserved.  Robert and Lenda expressed a big “thank you” to all the Sitka people who made Don’s trip so pleasurable, in particular Sitka Historical Society director Bob Medinger and Jim Case, who took Don through the Sitka Historical Society Museum, the Sitka Pioneers Home and the “White House,” at Seward and  American streets, where Don’s family had lived.
Don was predeceased by his parents; his sisters and brothers; and his son, Chris Ulrich.  He is survived by his sons Robert (Lenda) Ulrich of Sparks, Nev., and Larry (Donna) Ulrich of Trinidad, Calif.; and his daughter Donna (Jim, deceased) Toles of Cobb, Calif.  He is also survived by four grandchildren, Tyler Ulrich of Reno, Nev., Karrie (Chris) Tackett of Sparks, and Jessica and Hunter Toles, both of Cobb.  Don is also survived by many nieces and nephews.