Dorothy Ulrich, 93

Dorothy Ellen Ulrich, 93 years, seven months and six days, left this earth and went home to be with her Lord and family, who were awaiting her arrival, which came 1:15 am Feb. 29.

She was born July 23, 1918, in St. Joseph County, the middle child of Carl and Lillian (Pierson) Godden.

She was a hard-working woman, both farming, raising three children and as an employee of Kirsch Company for 26 years and five months, retiring July 31, 1984.

Her mother, Lillian, died at the age of 36, when Mom was just 9 years old. She then became “Mom” to her baby brother, Bob, who was only two years old. They remained very close for the rest of their lives. Her father was unable to raise seven children by himself, so the older boys lived with local farmers, where they worked. Two younger sisters were taken to be raised by other families, Bob was adopted by the Markleys. Mom grew up, and went to school in East Gilead, Branch County. Her family was poor, therefore she struggled her entire childhood, and never did adjust to losing her mother at such an early age.

She met Jack Ulrich on a blind date, and later married him on March 19, 1938. He passed away after 46 years of marriage, on Nov. 11, 1984.

They lived all their married years in Burr Oak, starting out on a farm on Maystead Road, then to McKale Road. where they spent most of their farming years, and raising their family, retiring on Farrand Road in the 1960s.

About 10 years ago, Mom began developing dementia. When it became apparent she could no longer live on the farm by herself, her granddaughter, Barbara, asked her to come live with her, in Sturgis. Barbara has done a wonderful job making her last five years as good as possible. There will be a special place in heaven for her, too.

One of her favorite things to do, after she retired, was to go to her cabin at Mesick. She and her friend, Katherine, would go up for days at a time. In May, she would go up there to hunt mushrooms, until just a couple years ago.

Mom was a long time member of the Burr Oak Grange, and enjoyed playing euchre twice a week at the town hall in Burr Oak for many, many years. Even though the dementia continued to take her memory, being able to play euchre remained with her, almost until the very end. She always had a garden, and like any good farm wife, canned the products of her garden. She milked cows, morning and night, worked second shift, did laundry, cooked and did the other things that it took to raise her children. She was always generous, and put her family before all else.

Dorothy Ellen Ulrich, 93 years, seven months and six days, left this earth and went home to be with her Lord and family, who were awaiting her arrival, which came 1:15 am Feb. 29.

She was born July 23, 1918, in St. Joseph County, the middle child of Carl and Lillian (Pierson) Godden.

She was a hard-working woman, both farming, raising three children and as an employee of Kirsch Company for 26 years and five months, retiring July 31, 1984.

Her mother, Lillian, died at the age of 36, when Mom was just 9 years old. She then became “Mom” to her baby brother, Bob, who was only two years old. They remained very close for the rest of their lives. Her father was unable to raise seven children by himself, so the older boys lived with local farmers, where they worked. Two younger sisters were taken to be raised by other families, Bob was adopted by the Markleys. Mom grew up, and went to school in East Gilead, Branch County. Her family was poor, therefore she struggled her entire childhood, and never did adjust to losing her mother at such an early age.

She met Jack Ulrich on a blind date, and later married him on March 19, 1938. He passed away after 46 years of marriage, on Nov. 11, 1984.

They lived all their married years in Burr Oak, starting out on a farm on Maystead Road, then to McKale Road. where they spent most of their farming years, and raising their family, retiring on Farrand Road in the 1960s.

About 10 years ago, Mom began developing dementia. When it became apparent she could no longer live on the farm by herself, her granddaughter, Barbara, asked her to come live with her, in Sturgis. Barbara has done a wonderful job making her last five years as good as possible. There will be a special place in heaven for her, too.

One of her favorite things to do, after she retired, was to go to her cabin at Mesick. She and her friend, Katherine, would go up for days at a time. In May, she would go up there to hunt mushrooms, until just a couple years ago.

Mom was a long time member of the Burr Oak Grange, and enjoyed playing euchre twice a week at the town hall in Burr Oak for many, many years. Even though the dementia continued to take her memory, being able to play euchre remained with her, almost until the very end. She always had a garden, and like any good farm wife, canned the products of her garden. She milked cows, morning and night, worked second shift, did laundry, cooked and did the other things that it took to raise her children. She was always generous, and put her family before all else.

She will be truly missed by many friends. The world is a better place because she was in it. We could not ask for a better mother.

She is now reunited with husband, parents; four brothers, Clesson, L.D., Leroy and Bob; a sister, Rosanna; a granddaughter, Christine (Sutton) Fager; and a great-granddaughter, Hannah Marie Roach. She also lost a son, Roger Allen, on Feb. 14, 1950, age 3½.

Surviving are three daughters, Anona (David) Sutton and Patricia (Douglas) VanZile, both of Sturgis, and Judy Conklin of Huntsville, Texas; six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; five great-great grandchildren; a sister, Mildred Butler of Davis, Calif.; and her faithful dog, Bob.

Goodbye Mom. We will miss you — your daughters.

We would like you to join us in a celebration of her life with visitation from 4-8 p.m. Friday at Hackman Family Funeral Home — Rosenberg Chapel, 807 E. Chicago Road, Sturgis. Services are to be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home, with Pastor David Porter officiating. Interment and graveside services will follow in Burr Oak Cemetery.

Donations in her memory may be directed to Hospice of Sturgis or Thurston Woods for adult activities programs. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.

Her obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left for the family.

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