Alta Jean Ulmer

March 20, 1937 ‒ September 06, 2016

Delaware, Ohio

Alta Jean Ulmer, age 79 of Delaware, passed away at Grady Memorial Hospital, Tuesday September 6, 2016, surrounded by her family.

She was born on March 20, 1937 on the family farmstead in Steuben County, Indiana, to the late Clyde and Margie (Tracy) McClish.  Graduating in 1955 from the Salem Center High School, it was there during her freshman year, she met her future husband Russell A. Ulmer. Alta, after Russ and “Jeannie” dated for 5 years, married her high school sweetheart in 1957. Together and for over 64 years, they shared a wonderful, loving journey along life’s twists and turns.

Happiest with a baby in her arms, she not only cared for her own, but her grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well. With her children raised, she graduated from Marion Technical College to become a medical lab technician. She worked at Roche Labs as well as hospitals, retiring from the hematology department at Grady Memorial Hospital, Delaware Ohio.

A longtime member of Bellpoint United Methodist Church, she was active in the Women’s Society (Sisters in Faith). Loving, always kind and gentle, she was particular in nature. As a farm girl at heart, she took pleasure in spending time in her garden, tending to her flowers and vegetables. Her home was always neat and tidy, everything had its place.  Russ and Alta enjoyed many vacations, such as the Hawaiian Islands, Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone, and Monument Valley. Alta took a special interest in the Navajo culture of the American Indians. She also favored the ocean and scouring the beaches of  Florida for shells. She was most proud of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, witnessing their achievements and watching with pleasure, as they exceeded her expectations.

Those left to cherish her memory include her beloved husband Russ,  daughter Colleen (Brad) Dennis of Delaware, son Terry (Cathy) Ulmer of Marysville, 5 grandchildren: Virginia (Chris) Finley, Sarah Dennis, Jessica (Ryan) West, Megan Ulmer (David Nead), Nicholas Russell Ulmer,   2 great-grandchildren: Elizabeth Joy Finley, and Caleb James Finley.

Alta was preceded in death by a brother Donald McClish, sisters Berdina McClish, Helen Grate, and Laura Boyd.

Friends may call 2 – 4 p.m. Saturday, September 24th, at the Bellpoint United Methodist Church, 4771 St. Rt. 257, Delaware, Ohio 43015, where memorial services will follow at 4:00 p.m., Pastor Paul McCullough officiating.  Arrangements have been entrusted to the Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center in Delaware.

Memorial contributions can be made to her church, and to share a memory or condolence, please visit:

  • So sorry to hear about Alta. I have to tell you a story that she is my guardian angel…when I was turning 13 in 1983, I went for the free physical to play volleyball at school that Fall. Alta was doing the urine samples checking for sugar. My understanding is that they are not to tell if anything is wrong, just to say if they pass or not. Anyway, Alta called mom that night and said that she better have Michelle checked out due to her having a high sugar level in her urine. Within a week, we had visited the doctor and I was immediately sent to Children’s Hospital in Columbus where they diagnosed me with Type 1 Diabetes. I have lived with it for 33 years now and still believe that God placed her in that moment since we knew her from church so she could call us and let us know. She was a blessing for us as I could have gone into a coma or worse had we not known what was wrong. Prayers to your family during this sad time.

  • Russell, I’m sorry you have lost Alta. I didn’t know her, but I read about her in my newspaper. Congratulations on your long marriage. Maxine Morley (Vivialeen)