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Anne Franke Ulinski

Anne Franke Ulinski

Anne Franke Ulinski died on July 18 at Elizabeth House in Hendersonville, NC.

Anne was born in Rochester, NY to Bertha Franke and William B. Franke. Her mother was a suffragette and her father believed in the equality of women, ensuring that all of his daughters went to good colleges. Anne earned a BS at Bennington, a progressive women’s college in Vermont, and was a graduate student at Columbia University in NYC, majoring in Chemistry.

During WW II, Anne left Columbia University to work for a small chemical company supporting the war effort. She volunteered for the Red Cross on evenings and weekends, driving wounded soldiers to doctor’s appointments in Manhattan. She saw firsthand the destruction that war wreaked on young men and was a passionate advocate for peace for the rest of her life.

In 1945, Anne married her college sweetheart, Roger (Rod) Taylor,shortly after he returned from the war. They lived in Brooklyn, NY before moving to Miami, FL where they started a business. Five years after they married, and five months after giving birth to their daughter Carol, Rod died suddenly of a brain abscess.

Anne moved back to NYC and eventually to Washington, DC where she worked for the Executive Office of the President at the White House and married a friend of Rod’s, John Ulinski. Their daughter Susan was born in 1952. In 1953, with two children under the age of four and pregnant with their third child, Anne, John and the two girls travelled on a Norwegian freighter to Jakarta, Indonesia, where John had a fellowship with the Ford Foundation. Anne wrote a series of articles about their 63 days on the ship and their first months in Indonesia, which was published by Buffalo’s morning newspaper, The Courier-Express. She gave birth to two more children, Anthony and Judith, in the Indonesian mountain town of Bandung.

They left Indonesia in 1957. While John returned to the Washington, DC area to begin work as a foreign service officer, Anne and the four children lived in Positano, Italy for six months. She gave birth to her fifth child, Matthew, in 1960.

Anne and the children accompanied John on diplomatic assignments in India and Liberia. She loved to travel and was eager to learn about new cultures. In addition to her many responsibilities as the wife of a diplomat, she volunteered in clinics in Indonesia and Liberia that provided health care to women and children.

After leaving Liberia, they lived in McLean, VA for ten years where Anne worked for several organizations including a Ralph Nader task force and the Madeira School where she was the assistant treasurer.

Anne and John moved to Hendersonville, NC in 1981. She volunteered for Head Start for eight years, tutoring young children.

She loved the mountains and the natural beauty of Western North Carolina and became a self taught botanist. She was instrumental in the formation and implementation of the Henderson County Natural Heritage Inventory in 1994. She and another botanist inventoried the wetlands along the Jackson Park Nature Trail and the Mud Creek Wetlands, both of which were later added to the N.C. Registry of Natural Areas. She and two other botanists inventoried 350 plant species at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. The National Park Service hired her to mount specimens from each plant on archival paper, which are preserved in the Sandburg herbarium. She was a member of the Western Carolina Botany Club and served as its president for two years and the editor of its quarterly newsletter, Shordia, for twelve years. She was a member and supporter of numerous environmental organizations.

In 1994, Anne co-founded the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) and served as its volunteer executive director for four years. She felt strongly about the importance of protecting NC’s beautiful land for the enjoyment of future generations. Since its inception, CMLC has protected more than 30,000 acres. This is one of her proudest achievements.

She was the recipient of several awards, including the Lela McBride Stewardship Award (CMLC) and the Founders Award (ECO). She was an avid birder and a weaver.

She lived an extraordinary life with grace, curiosity, courage and optimism. Shortly before her death, she urged friends to “Live Life”.

Anne is preceded in death by her parents William and Bertha Franke, her sisters Phyllis Fowler and Patricia Kouns, and her husbands Roger Taylor and John Ulinski. She is survived by her five children: Carol Freeman (Hendersonville, NC); Susan Ulinski (New York, NY); Anthony Ulinski (Raleigh, NC); Judith Rodriguez (Dumfries, Va); and Matthew Ulinski (Ithaca, NY); eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, 847 Case St., Hendersonville NC 28792.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center are in charge of arrangements.