In Remembrance of Ed Ulrich
EDWARD ULRICH died July 15, 2003 after a long battle with cancer. He died quietly in his sleep at home just as he wanted. The funeral was held at the North-Mar Christian Missionary Alliance church at 11 AM, Friday, July 18. It was a grand celebration of Ed's life and his influence as a wonderful father, husband and dedicated man of God.
Ed was also the author of the book, Out There Beyond Beyond, part of the "Jaffrey Series" of Christian Publications, Camp Hill, PA. This book detailed his experiences as a C&MA missionary pilot in what was then know as Dutch New Guinea. Reported to the Log by E.H. (Ted) Ulrich
SHARON, Pa. Edward W. Ulrich, 81, of 145 Buhl Blvd., Sharon, Pa., died at 6:45 p.m. July 15,2003, at his home after an extended illness.
He was born June 6,1922, in Turtle Creek, Pa., the son of the late Gustav Ulrich and the late Anna (Ungerman) Ulrich.
He graduated from Sharon High School in 1942. In the same year, enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served as an instructor pilot during World War II.
Following his attendance at St.Paul (Minn.) Bible College, he was commissioned by the Christian and Missionary Alliance as a missionary pilot in Netherlands New Guinea (now Papua, Indonesia). He flew numerous missions in New Guinea, transporting personnel and supplies into the interior regions
where westerners had never before been seen.
He also flew for Kroonduif, KLM's New Guinea airline. He found great satisfaction in helping to open the interior to the Christian gospel. His experiences are recounted in his book "Out There Beyond Beyond," published in 2000.
Ed was known for his compassion, generosity, courage and professionalism. These characteristics were apparent also in his subsequent service with Air America® (the CIA' s airline) in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. He served as deputy base manager in Bangkok and chief pilot in Laos. During the years with Air America®, he continued his interest in the Missionary work for the Alliance and in serving in international evangelical churches in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
Following his return to the U.S. in 1974, he was employed by
the former McLean Trucking Co., retiring in 1986.
Ed was chaplain of the
American Legion's China Post 1 and was a member of the Air
America Association, and the
Thailand, Laos and Cambodia
Brotherhood. Ed was a member
of the North-Mar Christian and
Missionary Alliance Church in
Warren, Ohio, and had served
as chairman of the board of elders.
He leaves his wife, Elaine (Sutton) Ulrich, whom he married on Aug. 6, 1949, at home;' three daughters, Lynne Evans and her husband, John, of Gahanna, Ohio, Laurie Ulrich of Falls Church, Va., and Leslie McBane and her husband, Patrick,of Youngstown, Ohio; a son, Ted Ulrich and his wife, Judy, of Suffolk, Va.; a sister, Lois Roth and her husband, Benjamin, of Conneautville, Pa.; two brothers, Robert Ulrich and his wife, Carolyn, of
Muncie, Ind., and William Ulrich and his wife, Betty, of Kingston, TN. ; six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
His parents and his first wife, Alberta (Hunter) Ulrich, who died in 1948, preceded him in death. Funeral services were held July 18, 2003, at the North-Mar C.M.A. Church, Warren, Ohio.
Ralph & Melba Maynard: Ted, Good Morning! You don't know us; we're on Margie Ulsh's Email list, and just received word about your Dad's "Final Flight". We have a mixed reaction to that news, having not heard about Ed for many years, yet learning of his cancer, realizing that he is now delivered from the ravages of that dreaded disease and into the bliss of "present with the Lord". We were in Dutch New Guinea/Irian Jaya/(Papua) from 1957 - 1972 w/ Unevangelized Fields Mission (UFM International) and knew Ed well, especially when he flew for --- sorry, my 'forgetery' is active again. "Crown Dove" is the English translation of the Dutch name for that airline which was a subsidiary of KLM. I remember how to say it, but not how to spell it). We thought you might enjoy hearing the following two incidents that happened at Bokondini (in the central mountains)where we were stationed 1957-'58. You may be familiar w/ them, but hopefully even so they'll bring a little uplift to your day.
Your Dad flew the Scottish-built twin engine Pioneer, an excellent bush plane (very short landing and take-off aircraft. In fact when reving-up for take-off, the tail was already off the ground). But the plane had two weaknesses: the wing fell off in flight on one being used in Africa, and then another one being used in Biak (DNG), killing all aboard in both cases. All Pioneers were then grounded until the problem was pinned down and corrected. The other problem was in the design of the main landing gear which, for a bush plane, should have had a single wide tire on each one but instead each was made w/ two quite narrow ones, which repeatedly sank down into the ground when the strip was wet. This had happened several times at Bokondini. Ed called in one morning that he was on his way, and we told him not to come up the taxi-way since we'd had quite a bit of rain during the nite. In a while Ed appeared and, as usual, made a beautiful landing ... but when he got to the taxi-way, instead of stopping on the strip, he turned onto the taxi-way, since for some reason it didn't appear to be too soft and Ed, w/ his usual consideration for others, didn't want us to have to walk down to the strip. In moments the plane, wheels embedded in soggy mud, ground to a halt! Lots of natives were gathered about, and we joined them in running down to the plane. Ed and his Dutch co-pilot were out and looking at the stuck plane. The natives, well knowing the procedure, were off to get poles to begin the prying and pushing routine that would follow. The Dutch co-pilot was in a tither, fretting and declaring, "I'll get the camera; we must get pictures of this!" (standard policy whenever some problem arose). Ed's reply: "NEVER MIND. I'VE GOT ENOUGH PICTURES OF THIS THING STUCK IN THE MUD!"
On another occasion when Ed came in, he and the other missionaries on the station came to our little bark and grass-roofed house for morning coffee. During the conversation Fred Dawson, an Australian missionary, happened to mention his famous - or infamous! - kerosene blowing trick, in which he took a mouth full of kerosene, lit a match, and blew the kero into the flame. We had heard of Fred's use of this to impress the natives, tho had never seen him perform it, so we were delighted when your Dad asked him if he would do it. Margaret, Fred's wife, groaned, but Fred jumped at the chance. Ed quickly removed his camera from its case, exclaiming, "I've got to get a picture of this!" Fred took a mouthful of kero and a box of matches, and we all went out on our little porch. Ed made sure his camera was set, took aim, and told Fred to go ahead. Fred struck the match, held it out from his mouth and gave a mighty blow. It was almost as if a mortar round had found its mark! A loud FOOM!, a mighty ball of fire (which just missed our grass roof) - and it was all over (and we knew why Margaret had groaned). There was silence as we all went back in the house. Then Fred turned to Ed and anxiously asked, "Well, Ed, did you get your picture?!" There was a moment of quiet reflection before your Dad sheepishly and shakily replied, "I don't know ... that scared me so bad I don't know whether I pushed the shutter or not!"
He did, by the way. We saw a copy of the photo later; he caught the explosion the second it went off, a huge ball of fire. We've always been sorry we didn't get a copy of it; it was a real winner.
Ed was a neat guy and a great pilot, loved by all. We're glad we knew him.