In the morning light of Aug. 13, 2021, Jeanne Marie “Jeannie” Ulmer passed away at the age of 50 in Longmont, Colorado. An adventurer, educator, runner, friend, devoted dog lover, and beautiful soul, she leaves an indelible imprint on our hearts.
Jeanne was born to Mary and Dave Ulmer in Denver, Colorado, on Oct. 27, 1970, and raised in Colorado Springs with her sister. Jeanne was magnetic from the start. Her striking blue eyes, natural curls and impish smile often drew the attention of anyone in her presence. Her childhood was spent hiking, playing with the family dog, racing on swim teams, tap dancing, playing the flute, and traveling with her family. Jeanne spent many family Christmases with her grandmothers and other relatives in San Francisco.
After graduating from Wasson High School in 1989, she continued studying at Colorado College, graduating in 1993. As part of a long lineage of teachers, Jeanne eventually focused on academic administration, completing a masters degree at Oregon State University in 1998. During these years she traveled to Spain and studied in Canada and Mexico. She spent the last 16 years working as a curricular specialist for the University of Colorado Boulder.
Jeanne’s altruistic and humanitarian heart led her around the world. Beyond being an active member of the Delta Gamma sorority, she spent a year after her undergraduate degree touring with the inspirational group Up With People. She lived with 80 different families in a dozen countries during this time. She was often chosen to be part of leadership teams that set up community service in the many countries to which the group travelled. One of these opportunities allowed her to meet and spend time with Pope John Paul II. Later, Jeanne spent several years working at the world headquarters of Up With People. Forever a student at heart, Jeanne studied French, Spanish and German throughout her life.
Jeanne was a quiet force of strength and integrity who added depth to all that she put her mind and energy toward. Her natural stillness generated kindness, acceptance, and was filled with deep caring. Never one to seek center stage, she continued to give to causes around the world that sponsored children in third world countries, local community kitchens, animal rescue organizations, and global disaster relief—simply because people and animals needed help.
Jeanne touched people in the best of all ways. She was a dear and steady friend to those who needed her. Many people have reflected on her capacity to listen with equanimity and offer support. Perhaps one of the greatest legacies that she leaves, this type of true leadership brought healing to a world full of people who need to be heard and understood. All who knew Jeanne experienced her wit, love of funny people, and love of a good belly laugh. Her mirth was contagious and always refreshing.
Always eclectic, Jeanne loved the Iditarod, was fascinated with different religions, relished New York City, was an outstanding writer, and her insights, when they were shared, were thoughtful and reflective. She often sought solace in running, spending time eating Indian food and drinking chai with friends, walking the family dog and listening to John Denver. Jeanne’s devotion to family was evident in the attentiveness she gave her parents, Mary and Dave. Their collective travels took them across several continents, and together they generated stories filled with humor, spontaneity, and adventure.
Jeanne is preceded in death by her beloved father and running partner Dave Ulmer. Surviving relatives are her mother, Mary Ulmer, sister Christine (and Paul) Madar, and nieces Alexandra and Vivienna Madar. Her kindness now lives on through the hearts of many.
“We bow deeply to the presence of Grace that falls upon us from the celestial realms. We open our souls to the mystery of the dusk — to the moments of threshold in our lives. We embrace the wonder of the fading of the day into night, as the Holy inner light winds its precious way deeper into form and the first stars beckon and twinkle in the inner sky.
We call the wonder of Grace to go to work in our inner lives, to come and live with us, to create hidden passageways of harmony in the fractal tendrils of our life.” ~Seven Sacred Seals
Jeanne requested that donations in honor of her memory go to the VanGerven First Generation Merit Scholarship in the Honors Program or the Marching Band Scholarship Fund.