I just want to say a big "Thank you" to those of you that have left comments or lit candles to date.
My father was a special man, not only to us the family but to all those he touched over the years in his own special way.
Here is the Eulogy that was read by Wes Boehr at the services:
Hans Maltha Ulriksen was born on January 7, 1925 in Denmark to Anton and Margarethe Ulriksen. He was the second oldest of 13 children.
He was raised and worked on a farm. This is where he worked until 21 when he joined the Air Force in Denmark. This must have been the point that stirred his interest in flying. After he was done his tour of duty with the Air Force, he was looking for more adventure.
So he started working in the mining industry. From the stories we've heard, he started in Sweden. He was still looking for more adventure and had heard the stories of Canada. In 1952 he got on a boat and came to Canada. He ended up working in Mines in Yellowknife and later in Uranium City.
While working in these Northern mines when he had time off he would go to Edmonton. In Edmonton, he attended flying school where he got his pilot's licence. In 1956 or 1957, he moved to La Ronge. He went there to attend prospector's training. While there, he worked many jobs including driving truck.
He first came to Reindeer Lake in 1961 to work at a fish camp, known as Trout Camps. He went back to La Ronge to work in the winter. He did this for a couple of summers. In 1962, he married his wife Jeannie in La Ronge. In 1963, they came back to Trout Camp and they never left Reindeer Lake. They settled in the area and he became a commercial fisherman and began working for Indian Affairs.
In the summers of 1969-70, he again went back to work the summer at Trout camp.
Then in 1970, he got on with the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and started to work for the DNR at Kinosao. He moved to the Southend Office in 1971.
He built a cabin at “The Bay” across the lake from where he lived now and that is where they settled.
In 1973, he began doing side work with SaskPower looking after the generators. He did this until we got the power lines in, which was in 1991.
In 1975, he left DNR and moved to the End of the road to open a gas station and convenience store. This was the first gas station in Southend.
He ran this store until 1999 when he shut the store down. This is where many of the people in this room probably first met Hans by coming to his store. The community began to get to know him. Like I said it was the first gas station for many years. It was the only place to get gas. After the store closed, he continued to repair tires for many people. Like Tony alluded to, he was a little man throwing around big tires until the very end. He also had built and maintained an air strip.
He served as a JP (Justice of the Peace) for many years until he was forced to retire at age 70. The government had a law that you couldn't be a JP beyond 70 so he had to retire.
I met Hans in 1989 at his store. It was always interesting to have a visit with him because any topic that you brought up, he had an opinion and if you didn't agree with him, you had an argument. And even though you might agree with him, if you wanted to get Hans going you just disagreed and you'd have an argument. At that time, little did he know that I would become part of the family. In 1990, as I started to visit the store more I'm sure he probably clued in fairly quickly.
He was an honest hard working man that worked hard until the day he died. He enjoyed his peace and quiet and his time at his place, close to town but yet far enough away that he had his privacy. Like I said, he didn't beat around the bush and he was to the point. He would let you know what he thought. Sometimes it wasn't always pleasant but he would let you know.
Hans had time for family. He enjoyed celebrations. He came to the kids' birthday parties, Christmas get-togethers or other family functions. I know there was a nice family function we were talking about this week, when his brother (Johannes) came from Denmark with 2 of his children (Metta and Christian). He really enjoyed this time and having someone from the old country come to visit.
He loved to fly. He got his pilot licence. He had dreams, like many of us have of becoming something other than what we have done. His was to fly. He wanted to fly. He did fly, but not commercially, although the stories I've heard of when he had his plane he did fly some fish even though he was not a commercial pilot. His love of flying never quit. He had the air strip which he maintained. At the Lawrence Bay Airways, which it is now (it had other names in previous years) the pilots always came to him for help and advice. He was more than willing to help them out.
It wasn't only the pilots that he helped out. He helped out many tourists that broke down. He was at the end of the road. He had the gas station so they thought he was a repair man at a service station. He might not have been the best mechanic, but he would help you out and try to get you on your way. He helped many of the outfitters and local people out at his place and he was relied on for many, many things.
He raised 6 children and taught his children how to work. He must have passed on his love of mining because all of them are working in the mines now. From looking at the boys, he also passed on his hairline!
Anybody that knew Hans knew that he loved birds. He would feed them all winter long and come spring it was his favourite time of the year because the birds would start coming back. Spring was coming. He always had his binoculars and bird book handy. He was always looking for a new and different bird. He knew most of them. He didn't need a bird book to identify a lot of them but there would be a new one every so often. This got him excited. So if you were to visit him at that time, he'd be telling you about the birds he'd seen. He'd build bird houses and put them out for them to nest.
His love of birds didn't end with wild birds. He had birds in his store and birds in his house. They were allowed to fly around freely. After Jeanie passed on, he had several dogs over the years. These were his companions and he loved them. They kept him going. They needed exercise so he'd take them for daily walks down the airstrip and back. This kept Hans healthy and young at heart.
He also loved music. He'd sit in the store reading and listening to music, sometimes pretending to read while he was having a nap. If you walked in on him, he quickly got up and would say, “Oh, I was just reading.”
He always had a garden and grew a garden for as long as I can remember. After Jeanie passed on, he learned to love the plants that were in the house. He was very good at it as the house was full of plants and they were doing very well and were very healthy.
We all have many memories of Hans. He was someone that you could never forget. He truly was a character of the north. He was a pioneer of the Southend area and assisted in its growth.
Towards the ends of his life, as he aged, he worried about his health failing him. He did not want to get old or to the point where he could not take care of himself any more. Hans was able to live on his own and take care of himself right until the end. He truly will be missed by his friends and family but will live on in our memories.
- Thank you Wes.
Tony Ulriksen (April 7, 2013)