Slack Ulrich

Ulrich, Slack Slack died peacefully at the age of 90 on January 21, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Barbara Becker, and his children Peggy Ulrich-Nims (Denver), Steven Ulrich (Bayside), Leigh Ulrich (Ithaca), David Ulrich (Minneapolis), Paul Becker (San Francisco), and David Becker (Bayside). Also surviving are his grandchildren Tyler Nims, Chrissie Nims, Daniel Pologe, Riley Lasda, Eli Lasda, Jamie Lasda, Taylor Ulrich, and Hannah Ulrich. He was preceded in death by his wife Rosemary Luber Ulrich, and his sister Betty McKay. He is also survived by his brother- and sister-in-law, Fred and Anne Luber, and by his brother- and sister-in-law Reverend James and Mrs. Beverly Clark. Slack was born in Columbus, Indiana, and was raised in Indianapolis. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering degree in 1947 from Purdue University. He served in the US Army in WWII but was spared the overseas duty when the Japanese surrendered. While attending Marquette University Law School in 1976, he met and later married his wife Barbara. Slack served for many years on the Fox Point-Bayside School Board where he was known as a champion for the teachers. He took pride in the fact that through a summer exchange program with the Milwaukee Public Schools, the first African-American teacher came to teach in Bayside. He was a member of the board of Northcott Neighborhood House and was an active supporter of the open housing movement in the 1960's and 70's. He served for decades on the board of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council, where he also worked as a volunteer tester for housing discrimination complaints, and on occasion, testifying in court. Slack was an independent thinker who frequently and articulately expressed his opinions, particularly his opposition to the actions of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy and to the war in Viet Nam and his support for expanded human and civil rights for all people. He was a long term supporter of the ACLU, the NAACP, and other progressive causes, both locally and nationally. He was loved by many people, young and older, who found in him a compassionate listening ear and a sympathetic person who respected them as individuals. Slack is fondly remembered by the residents of South Fairy Chasm Association where he served on its board for many years, keeping meticulous records, originating a directory of residents to promote contact among neighbors. He also helped create one of the earlier prairie/woodland restorations in his front yard and strongly supported the local efforts of The Nature Conservancy along the banks of Fish Creek in Fairy Chasm. Slack was an amazingly creative person, as manifested in his carpentry, furniture, deck and household design projects. He took pride in the two homes he built in Fairy Chasm, not only designing but drawing the blueprints from which his second house was built. He had near-perfect pitch and loved all kinds of music, especially the big bands, classical music, Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra, but also embraced new artists and music forms as they were introduced to him by his children and friends. His family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Sarah Chudnow Health Care Center, Heartland Hospice Care workers, and the companions at Nook's Nannies for Seniors for their loving and attentive care. Memorials in Slack's name may be made to the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council, 600 E. Mason Street, Suite 401, Milwaukee, WI 53202, (414)278-1240. A celebration of Slack's life is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, July 14, 2013, at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Bayside. All friends are welcome to attend.

Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Feb. 9, 2013