John Harden Ulsh, 73, of Rock Hill, SC passed away peacefully at home in his sleep on May 28, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was the fourth child born in Mt. Union, PA, at Milford Street on September 28, 1946 to Robert and Grace Ulsh. He will be most fondly remembered for the love he gave to those around him and the many stories he enjoyed using to regale everyone.
John literally lived his life with his head in the clouds, but he was one of the most grounded men you would ever meet. He began his forty-five-year aviation career in 1966 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After basic training and flight school, he started flying Hueys and would later move onto piloting the Cobra gun ship helicopter in Vietnam. He achieved the rank of Chief Warrant Officer II and was awarded the Purple Heart, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and several Air Medals. His courage, integrity, and dedication to duty pioneered strategic flying techniques and saved American lives.
After he completed his service in the military, John went on to fly for Sky Brothers which segued into a 20-year position as the Chief Corporate Pilot for Belk. His extensive flying career came to an end when he retired in 2011 from his role at Belk, ushering in more time to do the many other things he loved, such as hunting, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.
He was a deeply devoted Christian and displayed his love for the Lord in everything he did and said. While he did pursue theology and a traditional ministry role, he felt compelled instead to minister to everyone around him wherever God placed him. He poignantly called these one-on-one inspirational moments “God Points”. He would tell everyone that would listen, that God was the one in control of his life and everything he had was because he was truly blessed.
He was preceded in death by his brother Bobby Ulsh, his father Robert Ulsh and mother Grace Ulsh. He is survived by his spouse Judie Ulsh; five children Michael Ulsh, Julie Davis, Jennifer Thorne, Mark Ulsh, and Joy Wood; and sixteen grandchildren Natalia Ulsh, Sophia Ulsh, Isabella Ulsh, Robert Ulsh, Brendan Davis, Caleb Davis, Kaitlin Davis, Abigail Davis, John Ulsh, Evan Ulsh, Aaron Ulsh, Gideon Ulsh, Addyson Thorne, Aiden Thorne, Phoebe Wood, and Charlotte Wood. He is also survived by his siblings Nancy Doran, Sue Wasson, Margaret Hall, Ellen Stoner, and Melissa Holder.
Funeral arrangements will be conducted by Kreamer’s Funeral Home in Annville, Pa. A viewing will be held at 3:00 PM Thursday June 4, 2020 at Kreamer’s Funeral Home and a small service will follow. There will be no graveside service. Immediate family members only may view his internment at 11:00 AM Friday at Indian Town Gap National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, John requested that donations be made to The Wilds Christian Camp 3201 Rutherford Rd, Taylors, SC 29687. For more information, or questions contact Kreamer’s Funeral Home in Annville, Pa.