Jack Edward Ulery, 82, passed away on Aug. 4, 2019, in his home in Coupeville on Whidbey Island, Wash., from Alzheimer’s Disease.
He was born in Nappanee, Oct. 7, 1936, to Walter C. Ulery and Ione Best Ulery. He is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Judi Ahrns Ulery. Also surviving are their three daughters: Jill Whalen (Terry), Beth Fossum (Ed), Ann Dodd (Luke), and their eight grandchildren, Trevor Whalen, Avalon Whalen, Aidan Dodd, Colin Dodd, Dean Whalen, Riley Dodd, Jack Fossum, and Ben Fossum. Also surviving are his sister, Dorothy Smith, nephew, Wally Smith, and great-nephew, Garrett Smith of Wauseon, Ohio and his sister-in-law, Nancy Ahrns Treesh of Sugar Land, Texas.
He enjoyed growing up in the small, farming town of Nappanee in NW Indiana. He graduated from Nappanee High School in 1955. In 1959, he graduated from De Pauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with a degree in economics. He began his career in the commercial insurance industry in Chicago, Ill. He and a few friends moved to Los Angeles, Calif. where he continued his career in the insurance industry becoming a commercial insurance underwriter and eventually the Underwriting Manager for Commercial Union Insurance Company. He retired from Commercial Union Insurance Company in 1997 after 35 years with the company.
He married Judith Ann Ahrns (of Milford) in 1964 in Las Vegas, Nev. They lived in Southern California, three years in Phoenix, Arizona, and back in Southern California until his retirement in 1997. Once retired, he and Judi moved to beautiful Whidbey Island, Wash., where they spent many happy years together.
He loved to fish and spent many years going on an annual fishing trip called the “Fall Classic” with close friends, Toby, Dan, and Chuck, in the High Sierras in California. He also taught his 3 daughters how to fish and he and Judi took them on many camping trips in the Cascade Mountains in Central Oregon.
He was also an avid woodworker and enjoyed building things.
He also loved to sing and loved gospel music. While in high school, he and his good friends, Hal, Max, and Bob, formed a gospel quartet that would sing in churches. They saved the money they received in the offerings and paid for a trip from Indiana to California and back through Canada. In college, he sang in a modern harmony quartet. Jack and Hal remained close friends all of their lives. In later years, he enjoyed watching and listening to the Gaither Gospel videos and singing and sometimes whistling along with the music. As his Alzheimer’s progressed, his love for gospel music remained and even in the months leading up to his passing, he would sometimes whistle along with the music.
He was a believer in Jesus Christ and he and Judi were members of Family Bible Church in Oak Harbor, Wash. for many years. He loved the Lord and spent many hours studying the Bible and attending bible studies at his church. His love for the Lord was evident in the life that he lived. He was a quiet, kind, gentle, generous, and humble man. He was very devoted to his beloved wife, Judi and to his family. He had a great sense of humor and had a quick wit. Everyone that knew him loved and respected him.
He was dearly loved and will be deeply missed by his family and friends. The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to Whidbey Home Health and Hospice for their kind and loving care of Jack, especially by his nurse Chris and his aide Jessica. We are also very grateful for the assistance provided by his caregiver Sharon, who has become like family.
A celebration of Jack’s life will be Saturday, Aug. 31, 1 p.m. at Family Bible Church, 2760 Heller Rd., Oak Harbor, WA 98277. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories and condolences at www.whidbeymemorial.com.