Funeral Mass at Holy Cross, Champaign, Saturday for Deacon J. Robert Ulbrich, 75

Deacon J. Robert Ulbrich

CHAMPAIGN — A funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at Holy Cross Church here for Deacon J. Robert Ulbrich, a permanent deacon who served the parish since his ordination in 2007.

Deacon Ulbrich died on Aug. 23, 2018, at Evanston Hospital in Evanston. He was 75.

Visitation is scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at Holy Cross Parish Center, 403 W. Clark St., with a rosary service beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Born Dec. 6, 1942, in Bloomington to Edward B. and Anne Marie Capodice Ulbrich, he graduated from Trinity High School, where he was senior class president. He earned education degrees from Illinois State University (bachelor’s) and the University of Illinois (master’s) and taught high school in the Chicago suburbs for several years and also served as a school administrator.

For more than three decades, he taught in the Department of Business and Agri-Industries at Parkland College, Champaign. He also farmed in the Homer area for many years.


Deacon Ulbrich’s father had been a permanent deacon, and at age 59 — after much thought and prayer — his son decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. After five years of formation, he was ordained by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, with 28 other members of the diocese’s eighth class of deacons on May 19, 2007.

In addition to his parish duties, Deacon Ulbrich was a spiritual director with Cursillo, an adviser to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, and served on the foundation board of OSF HealthCare. He enjoyed fishing, golfing, time spent with friends and especially family vacations.

He is survived by his wife of more than 51 years, Karen (Satterfield) Ulbrich; a son, Tim (Sarah) Ulbrich of Omaha, Nebraska; a daughter, Sara (Jay) Greenstein of Winnetka; five grandchildren; two brothers, Ed (Angie) Ulbrich of Normal and Richard (Stephanie) Ulbrich of The Villages, Florida; a sister, Rozanne (Larry) Starkey of Bloomington; as well as nieces and nephews.

Memorial donations may be made in Deacon Ulbrich’s name to the Professional Development Fund at Holy Cross School, 410 W. White St., Champaign IL 61820, or The Parkland Foundation, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign, IL 61821.

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