Richard Otis Ulin
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August 3, 1917 – November 19, 2013
Richard Otis Ulin passed away peacefully at Chase Point Assisted Living in Damariscotta, Maine on Nov. 19.
Dick was born Aug. 3, 1917 in Boston, the son of Max and Harriet Tuttle Ulin, and grew up in Dorchester, Mass. He attended Boston Latin School (1934) and Harvard University (B.A. 1938, M.A. 1940). During WWII he joined the Navy as a Lieutenant and navigator in the Pacific.
Following the war, he taught English at Winchester (Massachusetts) High School and served as Chair of the English Department, returning to Harvard to complete his doctorate in 1958. He married Priscilla Richardson in 1959, settling in Newton, Mass.
In 1965, Dick and his family moved to Amherst, Mass., where he became an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts. He taught English and international education until his retirement in 1985.
He and Priscilla Ulin then moved to Chapel Hill, N.C. In his active retirement, Dick continued to teach courses at Duke, N.C. State University, East Carolina University, and the University of North Carolina. In addition to English education and writing, he developed and taught new offerings in global issues and international studies until his "second retirement" in 1999. In 2009, they relocated permanently to Damariscotta, Maine.
Dick's commitment to international and cross-cultural understanding is reflected in his doctoral dissertation and first book, on the experience of the Italian-American high school student in the mid-20th century. During the summer of 1958, he led students to Italy with the Experiment in International Living.
Later, from 1972 to 1974, Dick taught at what was then the University of Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland (now three different universities) where he helped establish the department of education. Following the devastating earthquake in 1988, Dick joined reconstruction efforts in Armenia. While in Chapel Hill, he served as president of the Triangle Division of the United Nations Association of North Carolina. He was a long-time member of Chapel Hill Friends Meeting.
In the final years of his life, with the help of his son and a Japanese friend, Dick was able to return a Japanese flag he had found on a World War II battlefield to the Ito Koichi family in Japan, whose grandfather had been forced to abandon the flag on the island of Morotai. This act united the two families in a lasting friendship.
Dick was also an avid athlete. He played baseball for Harvard University and was a swimmer and an accomplished tennis player who played into his 80s. He was an expert skier and a regular in the early days of skiing in Tuckerman Ravine on Mt. Washington. He inspired countless young people as tennis coach at Winchester High School and as a counselor and waterfront director for many years at Camp Alton in New Hampshire.
He was predeceased by his only brother, Donald Stewart Ulin.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Priscilla Richardson Ulin of Damariscotta; son, Donald Ingram Ulin and partner, Jessica Kubiak of Bradford, Penn.; daughter, Marjorie Helen Ann Ulin and partner Marty O'Keefe of Asheville, N.C.; and grandchildren, Colin Ulin, Alexandra Ulin, Maya Ulin-O'Keefe, and David Ulin-O'Keefe.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Dick's memory may be made to Habitat for Humanity, 7 Rivers Maine, 108 Centre St., Bath, ME 04530, www.habitat7rivers.org or Amnesty International of the USA, 5 Penn Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001, www.amnestyusa.org.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta, Maine.
Published in The News & Observer on Dec. 11, 2013
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