This past week we lost someone very special. On the evening of Sunday December 20, Ann Ulinski peacefully passed away. Words do not capture the integral part of this community she has been for decades.
We at First Unitarian were fortunate to call Ann our own from the beginning. She came from a long line of Unitarians, being born into the congregation and remaining an active member her entire life. Her mother and aunt were also members, and her uncle was a Unitarian minister.
Ann was involved in many church volunteer roles, with singing soprano in the choir for many years being one of her favorites. Her illustrious First U choir career began before she turned 16 when she joined with her mother. A fun story is that when she was very young, she would sit in the front row with her mother. Ann loved singing with the choir then but she couldn’t read yet. After one service, the minister came to her and asked her to please learn how to read because she was so loud the choir couldn’t concentrate on what they were singing. 🙂
Ann was also Chair of the Aesthetics Team for many years, and was very influential in collecting art pieces that were displayed in our Church. Additionally, she was a long time member of Brown Baggers, and took a major lead in starting the Women’s Alliance in the 50’s.
Her obituary may be found here.
Born Ann Bates, Ann was a devoted wife who was married to her husband Harry for 59 years prior to Harry’s death in 2008. She is survived by their daughter Victoria Messersmith, son, Chris Ulinski, and grandchildren, Alix and Austin Messersmith and Drew, Dave, Sarah and Jacob Ulinski.
Ann was a good swimmer who swam for exercise and enjoyment until recent years. For many years she worked as a substitute teacher in JCPS schools and loved the kids, while having a reputation of being strict.
We’ve missed seeing Ann these past months, and will certainly miss her in the months and years to come. We are blessed to have visual reminders of her around church, such as the stained glass chalice art piece in the Social Hall bay window and the stained glass pieces on either side of our main entrance doors (see below).