In remembrance of our father Martin Jose Ulery Jr.:
Martin whose name was originally Jose was born in Costa Rica, July 29, 1956. He grew up in Costa Rica for approximately eight years with his birth mother and father and a large number of brothers and sisters (including his brother David who was originally named Raphael). Martin and David were separated from their family in approximately 1964 and ended up in an orphanage where they were adopted by Martin Nelson Ulery Sr. and Phoebe Louise Jones Ulery who brought them to the United States to live in Tacoma, Washington.
Martin Sr. And Phoebe were the biggest blessing to have come into the young tico’s (costa rican boys) lives and a year later they adopted their sister Maria Alicia Ulery (originally named Alicia (pronounced: Ah-lee-si-ah)) and together they raised their children in a home filled with love, understanding and compassion. Martin Jr. often said his real parents were the ones who adopted him and the ones who blessed him with such a wonderful life. They were truly two amazing people who cared so much for their children that they ensured they would live the best life they could provide.
Martin Jr. went on to marry Joann Mildred Olivier in 1981 just before having their first son Daniel Jose Ulery on June 29, 1981. They had their second son on December 16, 1984 which they named Michael Nelson Ulery. Then their daughter Jessica Phoebe Ulery on June 16, 1988 and their son Larry Martin Ulery on October 18, 1992. They raised their family in Tacoma, Washington until they separated after 23 years together. Though separated they maintained a good relationship to co-parent and raised their children together.
Martin loved to spend his time listening to oldies (old school Rock-N-Roll) he loved, ACDC, Willie Nelson, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The doobie brothers and many other bands related to classic rock. He loved to ride his bike, to look for unique rocks, to go fishing, to enjoy nature, to paint, draw and he also loved the Raiders and the Seahawks (NFL)!! He had an old soul and tried to enjoy the little things in life. Us kids often joke saying he was always drawing a picture of a mountain! He was so creative.
Martin will survive through his four children, Daniel Jose Ulery (38 y/o), Michael Nelson Ulery (35 y/o), Jessica Phoebe Ulery (31 y/o), Larry Martin Ulery (27 y/o), his two granddaughters, Naomi Marie Ulery (14 y/o) and Hannah Brooke Ulery (12 y/o), and through his brother David Raphael Ulery and his sister Maria Alicia Ulery Axtell.
Roughly a year or so ago, Martin was diagnosed with lung cancer and decided to not express his diagnosis with his family and instead kept it to himself to bear the burden that it can cause on a family when a person is diagnosed with a chronic illness. He went without treatment for several months until finally looking into help in September of 2019. For the first month and a half he was unable to get adequate care and help, let alone compassion from doctors that he had reached out to to find care to help with his cancer diagnosis. In October of 2019, Martin was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, Washington for approximately 3 days to get treatment for breathing issues he was having and that’s when everyone was notified about his diagnosis and found out that he had in fact stage 4 lung cancer. Up until then my dad was unable to get the proper adequate help for future treatments. He eventually was referred to Tacoma General Hospital to their Chemo and Radiation department where he was finally giving the love and compassion from a set of doctors who would set him up with treatment. It was at that point that he finally felt hope, felt like he was being heard, as well as understood and it was there that he finally felt the compassion that he had so longed for since he was originally diagnosed a year or so earlier. They even paid for him to have an Uber sent to his address in Spanaway for each of his chemo treatments and the Uber would also bring him home following the treatments, so he didn’t have to take the bus or walk home. I remember he would always call me up and he would tell me about how his appointment went each time that he went and he would tell me how they always took care of him and made him feel welcome. Along about mid-December he had even told me that the doctor told him that it looked like the cancer was shrinking and told him to not miss any more appointments to ensure that it would help him live longer with his diagnosis. Around Christmas, he missed about four appointments and he got pneumonia due to his body immunity being bad from the chemo and radiation and it caused him to pass on the night of December 29, 2019. Just days after he enjoyed Costa Rican Christmas Tamales on Christmas with his kids one last time for the holidays, a memory that will be cherished for the rest of our lives.
Martin loved his family and was always there when we needed him, he will be forever missed and forever in our hearts. With a lifetime of memories, our dad will always be with us in spirit. He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed, as a father, son, brother, grandfather and as a friend. We all love you dad!!
Memorial Services Sunday January 19, 2020 2-4pm at Scott Funeral Home 1215 Martin Luther King Jr. Way Tacoma, WA 98405.