Published: February 14, 2018
WALLINGFORD, CONN. — William C. Ulbrich, 86, of Ashlar Village in Wallingford, died Monday, January 29, at MidState Medical Center. He was the husband of Virginia C. Behan Ulbrich, who survives him.
Ulbrich was born in Meriden, Conn., on May 10, 1931, a son of the late William J. and Elizabeth Reynolds Ulbrich. He owned Ulbrich Plumbing for more than 30 years but found satisfaction as an auctioneer, first as president of Maison Auction Company, where he worked alongside his sister, Laraine Smith, and gallery manager Terry Masai.
Reporting on Maison’s final auction in January 2005, Antiques and The Arts Weekly described Maison’s founding in 1965. Ulbrich said of it, “We bought a lot of stuff that we were going to sell to another auctioneer, and somebody said, ‘Why don’t you sell it yourselves?’’ Editor and publisher R. Scudder Smith noted at the time, “Pretty much everyone ran their auction ads with just text in the early days. Laraine came up one day and wanted to run some photographs in her ad, so we did it for her and soon everyone in the industry followed her lead. I guess it is just one of the many ways that Bill, Laraine and Terry positively impacted and changed the auction business over the last 40 years. They will surely be missed.”
After Maison closed, Ulbrich helped fellow Wallingford auctioneers Rick Termini Jr and Rick Termini Sr of Rick’s Old School Auctions and Estate Service. “We worked with Bill for about a decade. Even after he quit calling sales for us, he still came for the auctions,” Termini Jr said. Of note, he said, was Ulbrich’s role in the company’s sale of the contents of the Yankee Silversmith Inn in 2008.
As reported by the Wallingford Record Journal, Ulbrich, active in town affairs, was a member of the local housing authority board and an official in the Democratic Town Committee.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his niece, Karin Smith; his nephew, Thomas Smith; and his lifelong friend, Terry Masai. He was predeceased by his sister and brother-in-law, Laraine and Harold Smith.
Services were February 5. Gifts in Ulbrich’s memory may be sent to the American Heart Association, 5 Brookside Drive, Wallingford CT 06492.
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