Chester Kaszmir Ulrych

April 14, 1922June 30, 2018

Obituary for Chester Ulrych (1922-2018)

Chester Kazimierz Ulrych, age 96, of 1700 Prospect Avenue, Croydon, PA died on Saturday 30 June 2018. He was born on 14 April 1922 in Philadelphia, PA to Kazimierz Ulrych and Maryanna Slowacka Ulrych. In 1928 his family re-emigrated to Poland, and Chester Ulrych spent his childhood in Lódź, Poland. In September 1939 the city was taken by German troops and incorporated as Litzmannstadt into the Third Reich (unlike much of pre-war Poland which was administered as an occupied territory). All Polish schools beyond the 8th grade were closed, so Chester Ulrych was unable to continue his education; however, as a native born citizen of the United States he was able to avoid many German restrictions on personal freedom until December 1941, when German declared war on the United States. In the spring of 1942, Chester Ulrych was taken for forced labor to Germany, where he spent the rest of the war years – primarily in the city of Rostock. It was there that he was compelled to work at the Heinkel Flugzeugwerke producing military aircraft. He was witness to the early testing of German jet planes, which were first developed at this facility. Heavy Allied bombing in 1944 demolished the specific factory where Chester Ulrych was assigned, and at war’s end he found himself in Hamburg, Germany. In the post-war period he found employment as a truck driver for the British Army. During this time he earned his GED with the assistance of the Polish Red Cross. In 1949 he learned from his step brother, Elek Ulrych, of the worsening situation in communist Poland, and he decided not to return to Poland. Through the offices of the American Red Cross he was repatriated to the United States. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1950 and soon married Eugenia Gąsinska, whom he had known as a child. They had two children, Dana Ulrych Laub and Richard Ulrych. In 1957 the young couple moved from Philadelphia to Croydon, which afforded Chester the opportunity to pursue his passion for gardening. He worked as a machine operator in the Philadelphia area for over thirty years. In 1984 he retired from Janney Cylinder Company. With his wife he was active in the Polish American community. He was a long time member of the Polish National Alliance, Polish Home of Philadelphia, the Polish American Congress and was a supporter of the Polish American Cultural Center of Philadelphia. He had a full life and had the opportunity to see his two grandchildren (Andrew and David Laub) grow to maturity and to have their own children (Walker and Caleb Laub). It was only in the last year of his life that he became so infirmed that he could not pursue his many interests. His passing is a sorrow to family and friends.


Chester Kaszmir Ulrych

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Helena Dewees

July 11, 2018

There are so many favorite memories with my Uncle Chester. One is walking in his backyard garden and eating fresh tomatoes right off the vine. He truly had a green thumb. The other is the awesome model train he would set up in this living room during the Christmas holidays. I was memorized by the little trains, twinkling Christmas tree lights and was surrounded by the love of family at our annual family Christmas dinner hosted by my Aunt and Uncle. Uncle Chester always had a quick smile and a warm greeting whenever I saw him.