Richard John Ulrich
Richard John Ulrich pitched a no-hitter in high school, but his team lost. He would laugh about the experience years later because he knew he had won the game of life.
Although Dick had a passion for baseball, he cared about faith and family more than anything. Janet, his wife of 61 years, and other loved ones were with him on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, when he died at age 80 after a long battle with cancer.
Dick was immensely proud and supportive of his seven children, 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Blessed with the gift of gab, Dick would often strike up conversations with people he had just met and inevitably tell them about his “exceptional” kids.
The second of three children born to Frank and Elizabeth (Fodor) on April 28, 1940, in Akron, Ohio, Dick attended grade school at Annunciation and earned an athletic scholarship to St. Mary High School, where his primary sports were football and baseball. He became an honorable mention All-City selection in baseball before graduating in 1958. Long after his playing days, Dick coached hot stove baseball, rooted for the Indians, Cavaliers and Browns and cheered for family members at countless games and events.
An avid hunter and golfer, Dick was blue-collar tough. He worked at General Tire for two years, then the R.C.A Rubber Co. for 40 years until his retirement. The double shifts needed to support a large family were frequent.
Across the street from R.C.A., Dick found one of his favorite hangouts, the New Era Restaurant. If he wasn't eating Jan's excellent home cooking, cabbage rolls, chicken paprikash and strudel at the New Era were among his go-to dishes.
Dick and Jan were high school sweethearts who put down roots in Akron's North Hill neighborhood and enjoyed life together for decades after their kids had left home. They played Euchre, pool and bocce, bowled, hiked and threw horseshoes. Several of those activities were tied to Dick's membership at VFW Ralph Huff Post 1062 and the Fraternal Order of Eagles 2207.
Dick was also heavily involved with Saint Martha Parish, renamed Blessed Trinity Parish in 2009 as part of a merger with other Catholic churches. A parishioner since 1961, Dick was a member of parish council, a Eucharistic Minister and a church bingo volunteer. He was a fourth-degree member of the Akron Knights of Columbus Council 3529.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Frank. He is survived by his wife, Jan; brother, Ron (Nancy); children Jeff (Maureen), Rick (Kim), Mark (Lisa), Joan Trecaso, Julie Stein, Susan (Mark) Rauscher and Brian (Karen); nephew, Keir (Janet); all 21 of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many friends.
Dick's family sends its gratitude to Dr. Xuan-Trang Day and Dr. John Sassano of Cleveland Clinic for their care and kindness.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Blessed Trinity, 300 E. Tallmadge Ave., Akron. Visitation hours will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Hennessy-Bagnoli-Moore Funeral Home, 936 N. Main St., Akron, (330) 376-4251. Interment will take place during a private ceremony at Holy Cross Cemetery in Akron.
Due to COVID-19, those attending Mass and/or visitation are requested to practice social distancing and wear face masks. If you're unable to attend or do not wish to attend, Dick's family understands and appreciates your love and prayers. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Blessed Trinity Parish.
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Blessed Trinity Parish Memorial Fund
300 East Tallmadge Avenue, Akron OH 44310