Earlier today at 10AM, a small gathering of family and friends of the late John Ulibarri braved freezing temperatures and icy road conditions to pay their respects for the Colorado boxing legend at the Pax Christi Catholic Church in Littleton, Colorado, for a mass and celebration of his life before proceeding to Ft. Logan National Cemetery where he would be laid to rest.
Ulibarri passed away February 6, 2015, at the age of 90 years-young.
Freezing temperatures in the single digits with snow levels approaching 15 inches in Denver and the surrounding areas meant for most, choosing between last night’s 7PM rosary (the conditions even worse) or today’s services.
Today’s mass was conducted by Pax Christi Associate Pastor, Father Michael Buckley (nephew of John Ulibarri) with Father Buckley’s mother (and sister of John Ulibarri), Mary Buckley and his brother (and Ulibarri nephew) Paul Buckley in attendance, them fortunate in making it to Denver from Salt Lake City, Utah, for the rosary and service.
The Colorado Knights of Columbus led the funeral procession and following the mass, presented the family of John Ulibarri with a commemorative document presented by a local representative.
Mass concluded, there was a brief reception held at the church reception hall where friends and family recounted some of their many memorable times spent with ‘Uncle John’.
Colorado boxing dignitaries made their way to the podium with Colorado Boxing Commissioner Josef Mason, Colorado Golden Gloves Chairman Jess Mora and USA Boxing Colorado LBC President Jeanne DePriest each very emotional when recalling their fondest memories of their longtime friend, Mr. John Ulibarri.
Colorado amateur and professional boxing was well represented with Jeanne and Glenn DePriest, Jesse and Julie Mora, Carmen Beall, E. Paul Kelly, Jr., Ric Ericson, Beau Campbell and Shel Gottshall in attendance along with boxers (retired) Danny Hermosillo, (active) Ricky Lopez, Jr. and Shon Mondragon, Jr. (Mondragon, Jr. the grandson of John Ulibarri) along with their families, braving the extreme weather conditions.
Thanks extended to the ladies of Pax Christi Catholic Church auxiliary for providing a delicious meal that included an assortment of salads, beverages and desserts for lunch, well deserved.
The Ulibarri family expressed sincere appreciation for those coming out and sharing their thoughts of John Ulibarri, a man who is widely recognized as one of the greatest officials and ‘champions of the cause’ in Colorado (amateur and professional) boxing history.
R.I.P. ‘Champ’, you will forever be missed but never forgotten…