In 2002 Ulli suffered the loss of her best friend, her mum Else. Else had become ill the year before and knew that she had to start making arrangements for Ulli, who still lived at home. Shortly afterwards, Ulli was welcomed by Community Living Oakville where she received support from the Supported Independent Living team. The transition was difficult for both. As Else’s condition worsened, the friends she had made over the years were there to lend a helping hand. Supporting Else meant supporting Ulli also. Ulli was always very busy with Special Olympic sports and required help in continuing her activities.
Over the years, Else and Ulli had made great friends in their community, including a local couple named Bob and Margaret. The bonds were built on common interests such as church and gardening. For years Else and Ulli made weekly visits to Bob and Margaret’s home. Winter visits included hot tea by the fireplace and summer visits meant swimming in the backyard and perusing the gardens. The relationship with Bob, Margaret and their family has continued and Ulli can be found lounging in Bob’s recliner knitting away and sipping on her favorite beverage, Coke, every other Sunday. Ulli will always have a place to celebrate holidays and special occasions with friends who love and respect her.
Ulli fought to endure the pain she felt when her mother passed away. Her involvement in swimming and bowling was always a good outlet and helped to fill the void. Circumstances changed once again for Ulli as she moved to two other homes within Community Living Oakville. Her involvement in sports, the bond she shared with her friends and the staff at Community Living Oakville gave her the strengths to cope with new challenges. Ulli’s commitment to hard work and practice was very evident. She quickly ran out of room for trophies on her dresser and now has a display case filled to capacity. In 2013, Ulli was recognized as the Special Olympics “Athlete of the Year”. Her cheering section at the award celebration included the women she lives with, longtime friends Bob and Margaret, Freda and Annaliese. Over the years she has travelled to Nationals with the swim team and continues to participate in swim meets.
This remarkable 52 year old woman is a kind, gentle and a genuine person. As a longtime employee of Speers Place Industries, Ulli shows dedication and commitment to her work. She loves working alongside her boyfriend Larry, and the adoration they share for each other is evident.
Her kind nature, dedication, commitment and zest for life are an inspiration to all of us.