Duane Evlyn Ulrich
June 15, 1925 – January 1, 2020
Duane Ulrich passed away on January 1, 2020 from complications following abdominal surgery. She was 94 years old.
Duane was born on June 15, 1925 in Happy Valley Oregon to Henry and Pearl. She was the first born followed by three brothers, Delmer, Ken and Roger. They all worked hard on the family farm growing up and the family regularly attended Happy Valley Evangelical church down the road where Duane would later sing and play piano. The family would drive to church in their 1927 Star Sedan Automobile, later replaced with a 1949 Mercury four door Sedan. Duane graduated from Milwaukie High School in 1942 and attended Cascade College in Portland. She then went to work for an insurance company in downtown Portland. Following the War years Duane was courted by and eventually married the love of her life Eldon Ulrich in 1946. When Eldon passed away in 2007 they had achieved a loving and devoted marriage of 61 years.
Eldon and Duane had 3 sons, Craig, Ronald and Bradley. They began their family in a house they built in Happy Valley. In 1954 they built their 2nd home amongst the trees surrounding Lake Oswego and raised their family and lived there for 35 years. Their final landing spot was a home they built in Tualatin where Duane lived until moving to an independent retirement community this last year.
In 1959 Duane left the security of working for a large corporation and became one of the cofounders of Neptune Swimming Pool Company, from which she retired in 2005. She continued then to work part-time at Neptune until 2017 when she was 92 years old.
Duane was busy and active all of her 94 years and truly lived a full life. She was always smart and frugal and a main contributor to the ongoing success of the company, especially in the early struggling years of a small business. The initial office for Neptune was located in the basement of the Lake Oswego house for years before moving to their existing location. She was involved, along with Eldon, in The National Swimming Pool Institute and enjoyed traveling to meetings around the country. They also traveled for industry conventions and seminars in and out of the country. Being in the pool business meant the family could enjoy having a pool and having family, church and company parties in the back yard.
Another celebration Duane loved was Christmas. She loved cooking and baking, and the family always looked forward to going to Moms house for the holidays. It didn’t get much better than that. She especially enjoyed the family at Christmas and always worked at making it special from the early days until now. She was very generous and enjoyed searching for just the right gifts. Duane enjoyed spending time with her granddaughter, Tina, going shopping, having their nails done, and spending time together at home. Duane grew up with 3 brothers and raised 3 boys and finally got her wish of a little girl when her granddaughter was born.
Duane enjoyed going to church on a regular basis and being a member of The Portland First Church of the Nazarene. She loved going on outings and excursions, both locally and across the country, with her group of friends. She also loved having family together and kept a tradition of getting together every Tuesday night for dinner. Duane loved to enjoy life, but she was also not afraid of hard work and getting her hands dirty in the process. She worked long and hard at Neptune Pools and at taking great care of her family and household.
Duane was survived by 2 of her sons, Ronald and Bradley, daughter-in-law Sherry, beloved granddaughter Tina, youngest brother Roger, and many nieces and nephews. Craig, her oldest son was tragically lost to cancer in 1997 and Husband Eldon passed in 2007 from complications of diabetes.
Duane, wife, mom, grama, friend, we miss you and love you dearly! Even at 94 years old you were still vibrant and active, (and looked good), and it doesn’t feel right that you had to go just yet. You were such a great wife, mom, grama and friend to us that your shoes will not be filled, nor your person replaced. There will be an emptiness where there once was such a person of love, peace and gentleness. But now you are in a better place, you are at home and at total peace with your creator God. Love You!!
Memorial Service: Sunday, January 19th 1:30 at Portland First Church of the Nazarene. 6100 SW Raab Rd. Portland Ore 97221.
Burial Service: Monday, January 20th 1:00pm at Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 SE Mt Scott Blvd. Happy Valley Ore. 97086. Please plan to arrive to the cemetery by 12:45pm and check in at the main office to receive details on where to drive your vehicles to meet for the procession.
- Memorial Service Sunday, January 19, 2020
- Committal Service Monday, January 20, 2020