Pearl Estelle James Ulmer

Published in The Capital Gazette on May 10, 2017

Pearl Estelle Ulmer 96

A memorial gathering of friends and family of
Pearl Estelle Ulmer is to be held at the John M.
Taylor Funeral Home, 147 Duke of Gloucester
Street, on Monday, May 15, from 12:00 to
1:30 pm.

Born in Washington, DC, on October 2, 1920,
Pearl Ulmer died of natural causes on August
16, 2016 in Annapolis, to which she had moved
just a few years before to be closer to her
daughter Jean Opilla.

Most of her life had been spent in Washington,
DC, Muncy, PA, and Falls Church, VA. She was in the first class to graduate from
Anacostia High School (1937) and met her late husband Don E Ulmer when they
attended the Lewis Hotel Training School together in Washington, DC.

She served as a telephone operator at the Navy Yard during World War II while her
husband was in the U.S. Air Force overseas. After the war, the two of them raised
their family and owned a handsome country inn, Ashurst Manor, overlooking the
Susquehana River outside of Muncy, PA.

In 1961, she returned to the Washington, DC area, living first in Arlington, VA, and
then in Falls Church. She returned also to her work as a telephone operator, with A
T & T and later Verizon.

Pearl Ulmer is survived by her daughters Donna Chitwood of San Antonio, TX, and
Jean Opilla of Annapolis and her grandson Christopher Opilla also of Annapolis.

Her love of writing and drawing inspired both her daughters and her grandson.
Either of her daughters will tell you she was just about the best mother in the world;
and anyone who knew her would be eager to add that she was bright, beautiful,
warm, imaginative, and fun to be around.

If you plan to attend her memorial, please RSVP to

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in honor of Pearl Ulmer to the Chesapeake
Bay Foundation, via (Donations - Make a Gift in Honor) or mail: Attn:
Membership Department, 6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis 21403;

An online guest book is available at