Ernst Ulmer 1922 - 2009
Bonner Springs — Services for Ernst Ulmer, 86, Bonner Springs, were Saturday, June 13, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Shawnee. Private family burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Kansas City, Kan.
Mr. Ulmer died peacefully Tuesday, June 9, 2009, from a weak heart due to lifelong congestive heart disease.
Mr. Ulmer was born Sept. 21, 1922, in Kansas City, Kan. He was raised in Kansas City, Kan., in a family of immigrant German grocers. In high school, he realized his talent while sketching on the tops of empty boxes at his family’s store.
A well known local artist, Mr. Ulmer was active in the Kansas City art scene for most of his adult life.
He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Malloy, after graduating high school and was drafted soon thereafter. After serving in the military as a Navy aviation mechanic during World War II, he returned home and in 1946 attended Kansas City Art Institute. He later obtained his Master’s in Fine Arts from University of Missouri, Kansas City with additional studies at University of Iowa.
After graduation, he began working for the General Motors plant in Kansas City as an illustrator for tool design. With a talent for technical drawing and an eye for perspective, he later moved into drawing and painting architectural renderings. Working as an architectural delineator allowed him to create a comfortable home for his growing family. He pursued this career for the next 20 years while at the same time growing into the fine artist he would later become.
In the mid-1970s, Ernst and his wife, Mary, moved from Kansas City, Kan., to family land just west of Bonner Springs.
Mr. Ulmer was a huge history buff and he particularly loved the history of the metropolitan area. He was also known for his murals, which grace many public buildings in Kansas City, Kan. He mastered several mediums, including watercolor, oil and pastel and was a skilled sculptor as well. His works are part of private collections around the world.
Mr. Ulmer was active in his local community and the state. He sat on several boards and councils, was active in the promotion of the arts, especially youth and the arts, and was a frequent judge for local and national competitions. He was generous of his time and artwork to various charities, including, the Catholic Church, St. Mary’s College, the American Heart Association, Leavenworth County and many more.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius honored him in 2006 as Kansas Artist of the Year.
Survivors include his wife, Mary, of the home; four children, Connie Breidenthal and husband, Jay, Bonner Springs, Kurt, California, Dan, Colorado, and Steve,New Mexico; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The family requests memorials to the Kansas City Art Institute or the American Heart Association, both sent in care of Alden-Harrington Funeral Home, 214 Oak St., Bonner Springs, KS 66012.