In Memoriam: Edward Ambrose Ulicny, Emeritus Faculty in the Radiation Chemistry Lab

Author: Kelli Brown

In Memoriam Feature Candles at the Grotto

Edward Ambrose Ulicny, 92, died peacefully on December 22, 2019. Ed was born on November 16, 1927, to George and Mary Ulicny, in Latrobe, PA. He grew up on a small farm, the youngest of his six brothers, Jack, Joseph, Sy, Michael and Paul, and one sister, Mary Lucas, all of whom preceded him in death. Ed’s coal miner father and mother were Slovak immigrants, and he grew up speaking only Slovak at home until he attended a local one-room schoolhouse.  

Ed attended Greensburg High School, and upon graduating, joined the United States Navy. He was a WWII-era veteran, although the war was over by the time he was through basic training. He joined the submarine corps, and toured South America on a peacekeeping mission. He was aboard the first submarine, the USS Sea Robin, to round Cape Horn submerged, sailing close to Antarctica, a feat documented in National Geographic.  

After the Navy, Ed graduated from St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, PA, in 1953. Later, in 1963, he earned an M.B.A. from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. 

He met Mildred McClain, of Crabtree, PA, the love of his life, and they married in 1954. Mildred passed away earlier this year. He is survived by their three children, Marian (Adam) Szczepanski of Houston, TX; Maureen Ulicny (Colin Marshall) of Evanston, IL, and Brian (Sarah) Ulicny of Winchester, MA. Ed and Mildred had seven grandchildren and two great-grandsons, all of whom made them immensely proud and brought them great joy.  

Ed was emeritus faculty at the University of Notre Dame, where he had worked in the radiation chemistry laboratory since 1976. Ed was part of a contingent that moved to Notre Dame to merge Carnegie Mellon’s radiation lab with Notre Dame’s. He was a beloved and trusted colleague to all.  

Ed enjoyed bridge, Notre Dame sports, and making things for others in his woodshop. He enjoyed exchanging jokes with his “Lunch Bunch” and other friends. He and Mildred loved to take the children and grandchildren camping, exploring nature. They later traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, including a memorable tour of Morocco.  

Ed was devoted to his wife and family and to his church. He was a pillar of Christ the King Parish and always looked for opportunities to do good and bring justice to the world. He took seriously the motto of the Benedictines who educated him: our mission in life is to pray and to work.

Memorial visitation will be held on Friday, February 7, 2020, from 2-3 PM at Palmer Funeral Home-Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Rd, South Bend.  Following the memorial visitation, Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 3:30 PM at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.  Private internment will take place at a later date at Cedar Grove Cemetery, University of Notre Dame.

Online condolences may be left for the family at