Richard John Ulbrich
July 16, 1934 - September 25, 2008
RICHARD JOHN ULBRICH
MIDDLEBURY, CT – Richard (Dick) Ulbrich died after a brief illness on September 25, 2008 at St. Raphael’s Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. Dick was born July 16, 1934 to his parents, the late Ada Cei Ulbrich and Frederick C. Ulbrich, Sr., both of Wallingford, Connecticut.
He is survived by his beloved family: his wife Diane Barth Ulbrich, of Middlebury, CT, and mother-in-law Margaret Barth of Cheshire, CT; his daughter Mary Ulbrich Merlini, her husband Michael, and his two granddaughters Isabella and Olivia, all of Chester, CT; and his daughter Anne Bridget Marshall, her husband John, and his grandson Tanner, of Aurora, NY. Dick was predeceased in 1979 by his youngest brother Daniel Ulbrich, and he is survived by his older brother Frederick C. Ulbrich, Jr. of Wallingford, CT, his nephew and godson Chris Ulbrich, and his cousin Jay Cei. He will also be dearly missed by Clara, the family cat.
Dick attended Holy Trinity School in Wallingford, and served as an Altar Boy at Holy Trinity Church in Wallingford. He then attended Fairfield College Preparatory School in Fairfield, and then graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. At Georgetown University he was a member of the Rifle Team and competed nationally as one of the best marksmen in the United States of America.
After graduation he entered the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Artillery Corp, and received an Honorary Discharge upon completion of his duties. He returned to Connecticut and made his home in Cheshire and became part of the Cheshire community. He was an avid member of the Rotary Club, serving as President of both the Cheshire and Tribury Rotary Clubs. He also served as president of the Cheshire Historical Society.
Dick began his business career in 1960 at Ulbrich Stainless Steels and Special Metals, Inc. in Wallingford, CT., which his father founded. He proceeded to work on every machine and learn the intricacies of production and production control, which he loved. In 1960 Ulbrich had sales of less than two million dollars and, together with his father and Fred, his older brother, set the foundation for producing quality products, for which he was in charge. Together, they developed an organization of talented professionals and metal working artisans so that Ulbrich grew to its present status of an International company with sales of nearly four hundred million dollars. Dick filled every production position during the course of his career and was the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer upon his death.
Dick was a person who loved American history, and historical landmarks of Connecticut, and was a preservationist and scholarly expert of Americana, particularly of the Revolutionary War era, for which he was renowned in antique circles, not only in Connecticut, but in the United States. He was a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, and Past President of the Kentucky Rifle Association and other historical preservation organizations. He was a lover of music, especially the Great American Song Book of tunes written in the 1920’s through the 1950’s. He enjoyed immensely playing the piano and, later, his banjo and was a member of the Elm City Banjo Society. He was a member of Jack’s Cat’s, a Dixieland Band, who performed at the Mattatuck Museum at the introduction of Ken Burns’ documentary movie, “The War”. He also enjoyed attending with his wife, Diane, major horse races such as the Triple Crown Races and the Breeders Cup , having done so for more than 20 years consistently.
He was a member of the Farms Country Club, the Waterbury Club, and The Mattatuck Museum, upon which he served as a Board member, and The Connecticut Community Foundation and many professional organizations in the engineering and steel industries.
Dick was loved by all who knew him. He was loved for his sensitivity, his determination to help others who were not as fortunate as he, and he was a deliberate and sensitive thinker and doer, which was appreciated by all who worked with him or were his friends. He was truly an honest person of integrity and a true gentleman. Ulbrich and its past and present employees owe him a debt of gratitude for being himself and for his accomplishments.
His family will receive relatives and friends at The Wallingford Funeral Home, 809 North Main Street Ext., Wallingford, on Monday, September 29, 2008, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 30, 2008, at 11 a.m. directly at Most Holy Trinity Church, 84 North Colony Street, Wallingford. Interment will be in St. Bridget Cemetery in Cheshire. In his memory donations may be made to the Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center, 144 West Main Street, Waterbury, CT 06702. www.wallingfordfh.com