June 11, 2020
Steven Ulrich, Lamont resident, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday, June 6, 2020 while out for a morning run near his Lamont home. He was 58.
A Memorial Service for family and very close friends will be Friday, June 12th, at 1:00 PM at the Christian Life Assembly in St. John. Pastor Dennis Hinds will officiate.
Steven was born May 23, 1962, in Colfax, Washington; the fourth child born to Harland and Connie Stelzer Ulrich. He grew up in St. John and attended school there, where he excelled in track and cross-country running. For all of his life, Steve was a runner. He held the school record in the two-mile for many years.
Following graduation in 1981 he attended Eastern Washington University where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Education; working summers in Yellowstone National Park. He was proud to be a member of the EWU Cross Country National Championship Team as well.
His first teaching job took him to Roseburg, Oregon where he taught high school and coached basketball. He met Catherine Jean Haight, another school teacher there, and they soon began dating. Cross Country skiing was another love of Steven's and their first date took them on a ski trip to Crater Lake. Steven and Catherine married August 10, 1991, in Roseburg.
They made their home in Roseburg and Steve began working with the handicapped. He treated everyone with the dignity and respect that they so deserved and he found a true calling in a job that he loved. They moved to St. John, Wash., in 1996 and he worked briefly at Empire Disposal in Colfax, as a corrections officer for Whitman County and briefly at the Stepping Stones group home in Moscow before taking a job at Lakeland Village in Medical Lake.
For twenty years he has been working with the dual diagnosed patients in one of the more difficult cottages on the hospital campus. He always felt he was teaching in some form or fashion and he was very good at being able to "de-escalate" most situations. His love for running ran throughout his life and he participated in many marathons including Portland's, Bloomsday, several St. John Hog Jogs and more. He loved the outdoors, hunting, camping, hiking and cross-country skiing. His faith was very strong and the Ulrich's were active members of the Christian Life Assembly in St. John for many years and more recently called the Access Church in Spokane home. He was serving his community of Lamont as Mayor at the time of his death.
He will be missed by many in the community and at his work, but especially by his wife, Catherine; his children, Natalie Grace Ulrich, Portland, Stephen James Ulrich, Lamont, and Caeli Anna (Eric) Lee of Vancouver, Wash; his grandson, Solomon Lee, of whom he was so very proud; his mother, Connie Ulrich, St. John; and siblings, Debra O'Brien of Kent, Wash., Monty Ulrich, St. John and Connie Sutton of Tillamook, Ore .; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Harland, in 2007.
The family suggests memorial gifts in his memory be to Teen Challenge, 85989 Bailey Hill Rd, Eugene, OR, 97405.
On-line guest book is at http://www.bruningfuneralhome.com
Bruning Funeral Home of Colfax is caring for the family.