Member Obituaries

RMOWP recently lost two current members and a former charter member.

Thomas Ulrich, 68, of West Glacier, Montana, died February 10, just 39 days after being diagnosed with T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia, a rare but extremely aggressive form of leukemia.

Tom Ulrich
Thomas J. Ulrich

A self-taught freelance photographer since 1975, Tom joined RMOWP in 1998, was an instructor at RMOWP’s annual photography workshop from 1999 to 2008, photography judge for RMOWP’s annual contest for many years, and presented numerous photography workshops at RMOWP’s annual conferences.

Tom and his partner, Linda Martin, hosted the opening reception for RMOWP’s 2014 conference at their cabin just outside the western boundary of Glacier National Park. Tom led daily photographic field trips into the park during the conference, and amazed conference attendees by getting them to exactly the right spots at the right times to see and photograph the park’s wildlife.

Tom was highly acclaimed around the world for his nature photography skills, well known in the bird photography field, and published in National Geographic, Montana Outdoors, and numerous other magazines. Tom also published seven nature books.

For many years Tom led photographic tours to remote parts of the world, including the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, East Africa, and the Pantanal in Brazil. Additionally, he conducted photography seminars and workshops around the country. He won numerous awards for his photography, including the 1987 International Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the Mammal Behavior category.

Tom grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where he set high school swimming records that still remain unbroken, and later attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale on a swimming scholarship. He taught biological sciences for five years in southern Illinois before moving to Montana to fulfill his dream of becoming a wildlife photographer.

He is survived by life partner Linda Martin, two brothers, one sister, and seven nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a golden retriever named Bud, who he liked to call his “illegitimate son.”

Memorial services will be held Saturday, March 11, 11:30 a.m., at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish in Darien, Illinois; Sunday, April 2, 2:00 p.m. at Fairfield Christian Church in Fairfield, Illinois; and a service will be planned for this summer in the Glacier National Park area of Montana.

Dorothy Hyde, 77, of Sterling, in the northeast corner of Colorado, died January 24. A member of RMOWP since 1989, Dorothy was born in Sterling, raised on a farm three miles north of the community, and attended a two-room schoolhouse. She worked for Skelly Oil Company in Sterling and had various positions in state and federal government, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service and the Colorado Probation Department.

D Hyde
Dorothy Hyde

Dorothy contributed to the newsletters of the Soil Conservation Service and National Probation Association, researched and wrote outdoor articles, and had published her photography. Her articles and photos took top honors in RMOWP’s annual contest, and she was also a Photographic Society of America contest winner. One of her most notable works was a book on outhouses.

In addition to RMOWP, Dorothy was a member of the Sterling Camera Club, South Platte Writers Club, Sterling Elks Lodge (where she was named Sweetheart of the Year in 1979), and the Red Raspberry Tarts Red Hat Society. She enjoyed gardening, canning, flowers, cooking, reading, and photography.

Dorothy is survived by her husband Bob, who joined RMOWP in 1975 and is a past president. Survivors also include two daughters and a son. Even though they have been unable to attend recent conferences she and Bob have remained loyal members of RMOWP.

Services were held in late January at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Sterling. Memorials may be made to the Dorothy Hyde Memorial Fund in care of Tennant Funeral Home, PO Box 1547, Sterling, Colorado 80751.

Former RMOWP member Richard A. “Bud” Smith, 78, of Ft. Collins, Colorado, died January 22 at his vacation home in Amado, Arizona. Bud, as he was known to his friends and family, was a charter member of RMOWP – meaning that although not an organizer of the group he joined before the first conference, held in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, in 1974. He remained a member through 2006.

RA "Bud" Smith
Bud Smith

Bud was born and raised in Greeley, Colorado and received a degree in journalism from the University of Colorado in Boulder. An avid photographer since the age of 15, during college he was the official photographer for the first graduating class of the newly formed Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

He was information officer with the Colorado Division of Wildlife for 36 years, and his photographs were published in Life Magazine plus statewide publications. He was also a wood artist and carver.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara Smith of Ft. Collins, son Brian of Amado, Arizona, and other relatives. A private memorial service is planned at the family farm in Fleming, Colorado later in the spring. To contact the family send cards or letters to the Smith family, PO Box 6355, Amado, Arizona 85645.