Ulysses A. Carlini Sr., age 89, of North Platte, passed away on August 24, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family. Ulysses was born on January 23, 1925 in Chicago, Ill, to Primo and Iride (Galassi) Carlini.
Ulysses graduated from Crane Tech High School in Chicago in 1943. He then entered the US Army where he served in Europe during WWII. He was wounded in action, earning a Purple Heart Medal. After his discharge on February 2, 1946, he returned to DePaul University where he received his Bachelors degree. Ulysses then completed his education from Northwestern University with a Masters in Oral Interpretation in Literature. During his college years, Ulysses had the opportunity to tutor Georgene Heitkotter. The two were married on February 18, 1950 in Aurora, IL at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Ulysses was a pioneer in television. In 2005, he was inducted into the Nebraska Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame, joining other inductees including Johnny Carson and Tom Brokaw. Ulysses began his television career in the production department at WEHT-TV, Henderson, Kentucky, in 1953. His responsibilities included announcing, writing, sales and production. He even hosted his own kids programs, “Mr. Skeeter” and “Peppo the Clown” in “live” weekly hour long children’s programs on Saturday mornings. In 1959 he moved to Evansville, Indiana at WTVW-TV as Program Director. He continued to entertain kids with the creation of the “Fire Chief Andy” another children’s program.
In 1968 he moved to North Platte, Nebraska, assuming position of Vice President/General Manager of KNOP-TV. He took a fledging, struggling television station and propelled it into a prominent, respected and trusted source for entertainment, news and information. Only through his vision, hard work and dedication was this transformation made possible. Mr. Carlini was instrumental in obtaining a license for a second station in North Platte, KIIT-TV, a low-power VHF station, which signed on in August 1995. In 1997, North Platte Television Inc purchased KHAS-TV in Hastings, and made valuable contributions to the reorganization of what is now Greater Nebraska Television, Inc.
He served the Nebraska Broadcaster’s Association as board member in the 1970’s and also has a long history of being involved as a community leader in North Platte. “He is a broadcaster of high integrity, who is honest, is respectful of others, and remains positive and optimistic regardless of the situation, and is a gentleman…a true broadcast pioneer.” Up until recently, he frequently spent time at KNOP-TV, dedicating himself to the improvement of those beginning careers in broadcast journalism, mentoring reporters and anchors.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Georgene of North Platte; 8 children, Theresa (Chris) Carson of Greenbrook, New Jersey, Greg (his wife Jodi Ritacca) Carlini of Woodbury, MN, Mary Higgins of North Platte, Judith (Saeed) Ahmadian of Houston, TX, John (Shari Schwartz) Carlini of Lincoln, Claudia Carlini of Hastings, Ulysses (Diane) Carlini Jr. of Grand Island, and Lewys (Holly) Carlini of North Platte; 18 grandchildren, Christian (Monique) Carson of Denver, Kathleen (Joe) Njau of Manville, NJ, Christina Carlini (Tyler) Souter of Chicago, Joe Carlini of Los Angeles, Sonya (Mario) Cloud of Corpus Christi, TX, Frankie Higgins of Grand Island, Nikita Higgins of Lincoln, Josh Schultheiss of College Station, TX, Georgene Sommer of Hastings, Ulysses “Adam” Carlini III of Grand Island, Angelica Carlini of Lincoln, Alexandra Carlini of Grand Island, Gabriella Carlini of Grand Island, Giavanna Carlini of Grand Island, Dane (Randi) Carlini of Scottsdale, AZ, Brianna Carlini of Lincoln, Zandra Carlini of North Platte, and Teya Carlini of North Platte; 6 great grandchildren, Cambria Carson, Natalya Carson, Nya Njau, Eva Njau, Kyla Cloud, and Aiden Souter; and numerous other family members and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Joe, Mary, Peter, and Lily; a daughter-in-law, Verna Carlini, and a granddaughter, Sitarah. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Holy Spirit Catholic Church, North Platte Catholic School Endowment, Callahan Cancer Center, or to the Noon Rotary Club, and online condolences can be made at www.adamsswanson.com.
Christian Wake Services will be 7:30 P.M. Wednesday August 27, 2014 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 A.M. Thursday August 28, 2014 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church with the Rev. James Novakowski as celebrant. Burial will be at Fort McPherson National Cemetery near Maxwell with full military honors. Visitation will be Tuesday from 9 A.M. until 9 P.M. and Wednesday from 9 A.M. until 5 P.M. at Adams & Swanson Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.