Sunday, March 14, 2010

Obituary: Beth (Ulrich) Burack - Class of 1962

STOUGHTON - Beth (Ulrich) Burack [age 65] passed away on Monday, March 8, 2010, after a long struggle with cancer. The help given her by her doctors and by HospiceCare in her last days was a true gift of love. Beth was the daughter of Ruth (Andersen) and Wilbert Ulrich. She was born on June 2, 1944, four days before D-Day, and was in the very best sense a warrior in all of her life as in her final 11-month battle with a deadly disease. She was a lady of courage who faced pain and adversity with a dignity and humor that gave care to her caregivers, even in her own hour of direst need. Beth was a native Madisonian from the days when the old downtown Madison Area Technical College was still her own Madison Central High. When cruising the square was the best form of mass transit going. When car clubs, Cary Grant, James Dean and Amelia Earhart all defined excellence for her in their various ways. She was a rebel who whipped into shape the newsboys and newsgirls of the Press Connection and organized a union at the Progressive Magazine. But she also proved she could change her mind and shift gears when her mind and the times told her it was time to move on. Beth's working life took many twists and turns. Among other things, she sold dolls for Pleasant Company, managed an insurance office, was a circulation director and a trade show consultant selling history materials for the schools. In her spare time, she was a sky diver, pilot, amateur geologist, bird watcher, hiker, photographer, and more. In the 1960s and '70s, she and David Dahlk, her husband at the time, raised sons, Eric and Stephen Dahlk. In 1980, she was married again, this time to Jonathan Burack. For the past 30 years, she and Jonathan remained devoted partners in every way, not just the usual ways. A faith united them as well, iron-clad and self-defined, based above all on the evening dinner-time prayer of thanks, they took turns inventing anew each night. For recreation and relaxation, the two traveled the back roads and byways of Wisconsin, driving, reading, reminiscing, listening to the Brewers, and following their instincts in searching out the unheralded wonders of the Wisconsin countryside. For Beth, her children, Eric and Stephen always came first. In them, she gave the world two remarkable men of real integrity. She treasured her six grandchildren, whose unique and well-defined characters are already developing in ways that made her proud. She cared deeply about all her family. The friends and acquaintances whose lives she blessed and altered are too many to be named here. George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) could do no better. With Terry and, especially, with Pat, she stood fast through the highest highs and lowest lows of their lives, as they did with her. As in so much else in her life, Beth was true like steel in this and fiercely loyal to someone who was also fiercely loyal to her. The world was blessed to have her and is diminished by her early departure. Beth is survived by her husband, Jonathan; her mother, Ruth (Andersen) Richards; her sister, Joann Banks; her two sons, Eric Dahlk and Stephen Dahlk; Eric's wife, Candace; Stephen's wife, Paula; and six amazing grandchildren, Eric and Candace's children, Erica and Kirsten, and Stephen and Paula's children, Leif, Meisha, Elizabeth and David; her uncle, Wally Ulrich; and aunt, Lil Ulrich; many nieces and nephews; and her friends, Terry Boehner and Pat Bea. She was preceded in death by her father, Wilbert Ulrich; her brother, Paul Ulrich; and her previous husband, David Dahlk. A memorial service at GUNDERSON STOUGHTON FUNERAL HOME, 1358 Highway 51, Stoughton, is planned and will be announced at a later date. Gunderson Stoughton Funeral and Cremation Centers Highway 51 N. at Jackson St. (608) 873-4590

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on March 14, 2010; submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968)

Note: Beth Ulrich Burack's class year is based on a list of Central High School graduates published in the Wisconsin State Journal on June 16, 1962. She is also pictured among the graduating seniors in the 1962 Tychoberahn, where she is identified as Elizabeth A. Ulrich.

STOUGHTON [Wisconsin] - Beth (Ulrich) Burack passed away on Monday, March 8, 2010, after a long struggle with cancer. Funeral services will be held at GUNDERSON STOUGHTON FUNERAL HOME, 1358 Highway 51, Stoughton, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2010. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1 p.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, we ask for contributions to build a park bench in Beth's name at Lake Kegonsa State Park, where she hiked nearly every day over the past 10 years. If contributions exceed the cost of the bench, remaining proceeds will be donated to the Lake Kegonsa State Park Friends Group. A full obituary ran in the Sunday, March 14, 2010, paper. Gunderson Stoughton Funeral and Cremation Center 1358 Highway 51 (608) 873-459

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 4, 2010; submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968)

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