JOHN ALLYN ULRICH
FEBRUARY 6, 1919 - MARCH 17, 2013
John Allyn Ulrich was born February 6th, 1919 in Modesto, California to George A. Ulrich, a bridge builder, and Gladys Dings Ulrich, who later became a successful businesswoman in her own right. From an early age, John, known as Jack, developed a great sense of pride in Modesto. His grandfather had been Mayor, and Jack would eventually become a true pillar of the community. After tragically losing his father at the age of 16 in a drowning accident, Jack was unable to attend college. However, he proved that success is not due solely to education, but to determination. Jack went to work full time and never really stopped.
At the age of 19, Jack took over the operation of the Valley Builders Supply Co., a lumber business. A few years later, he actually began logging in Oregon and did that for a short time. During World War II, Jack served in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed in Pearl Harbor and served as a decoder. He continued to love Hawaii and visited it throughout his life. His accomplishments were many and varied. He was a Scout Master at 20 years of age. He is a charter member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, past President of the 20-30 club, a charter member of the Del Rio Golf and Country Club, an early member of the Modesto Racquet Club, the Elks Club, The Kiwanis Club, The S.O.S. Club, The Modesto Garden Club, The McHenry Mansion and The Stanislaus County Museum.
In 1950, Jack married Joylene Beasley, originally from Texas, and they have been blessed with a happy, beautiful marriage for almost 64 years. Together they were known as a couple who worked hard and threw lavish parties. Jack and Joy always supported local theater and they worked closely with the Modesto Performing Arts Association for over 30 years, an organization in which their son Robert was active. In 1959, Jack was one of a group of ten who formed a small business investment company, who ventured into all kinds of projects one of which was building a hotel in San Francisco. He served on the board of directors of Western Growth Fund for over 40 years and on the board of Evon Corporation, a spin-off of Western Growth Fund, until he was 90.
As a contractor, he built many homes in Modesto, as well as an apartment complex. Jack is probably most well known for developing the Ulrich Shopping Center, now known as Roseburg Square.
In 1959, Jack was appointed a trustee for the Federal Bankruptcy Court. He submitted his resignation in 1989, but he continued to administer his cases until completion in 1994.
An accomplishment of which Jack was extremely proud was that he was one of ten local businessmen who formed the Modesto Banking Company. He served as Secretary of the bank, chaired several committees and eventually he served as Chairman of the Board.
In describing Jack, the words that come immediately to mind are vital and organized. He was the ultimate leader, teacher and "boss." He mentored and employed countless young people, many who were friends of Robert. He was kind, loving, generous and a man of faith. He had a wonderful sense of humor. His friends were extremely important to him and he lived for his family.
Jack was preceded in death by his son, Roger Neil. Jack is survived by his beloved wife, Joy, son Robert, daughter-in-law, Kim, grandson, John Cooper, granddaughters, Tierney Joy and Jacqueline Boj-Sode, great grandchildren, Noah and Elam, sister Carol Neel, Julie and Paul Conley, several nieces and a nephew and countless other children who Jack loved and guided throughout his truly enriching life.
There will be a Celebration of Life Memorial Service on Saturday, April 13th at 3:00pm in The Foster Family Theater at the Gallo Center for the Arts.
1000 1 St. Modesto, CA 95354
Any remembrances can be made to Modesto Performing Arts and Yes Co., or any other organization of your choice.
Modesto Performing Arts:
PO Box 580299
Modesto, CA 95358
Yes (Youth Entertainment Stage) Co.
108 Campus Way
Modesto, CA 95350
Published in the Modesto Bee on Apr. 11, 2013
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