Woodley, Ubl recognized as Brown County’s Outstanding Senior Citizens

Staff photo by Kevin Sweeney Gerald Woodley, left, and Elroy Ubl were recognized on Thursday as Brown County’s Outstanding Senior Citizens at the Brown County Fair.

NEW ULM — Two New Ulm men with a long record of volunteer service and activities in New Ulm were recognized Thursday as Brown County’s Outstanding Senior Citizens at the Brown County Free Fair.

Elroy Ubl and Gerald Woodley were honored at the Senior Citizens program on Thursday in the New Ulm Civic Center.

Woodley and Ubl have given their service in different areas, but both share a committment and a passion for their volunteerism.

Ubl is well known as an amateur New Ulm historian. His passion for telling the story of New Ulm’s past have led to the publication of several books. Some of his books are compilations of the Historial Notes columns he wrote for The Journal starting in 1978 and into the ’80s. He has a large collection of historical photos of New Ulm from years gone by, and has been active in trying to preserve the look of New Ulm’s unique architecture and historic buildings.

Ubl worked as a science instructor at Shattuck Military Academy in Faribault, and came back to New Ulm to serve as administrator of the Highland Manor Nursing Home. He later worked as Benefits Administrator for AMPI. He is a charter member of the German-Bohemian Society, and served as Commission Chairman for the centennial of the laying of the Hermann Monument cornerstone, and the centennial of the Hermann Monument dedication.

Woodley’s activism centers around his church, St. John’s Lutheran, and around the cause of humane treatment of our animal friends.

He is currently the Assistant Finance Secretary at St. John’s, writes a monthly column for the church’s newsletter, and has served as a delegate to the Minnesota District Convention of WELS. He chaired a committee to review and revise the constitution of the church.

Woodley has served on the Board of Directors of the Brown County Humane Society, and then with Mending Spirits Animal Rescue in Mankato, where he was Event Coordinator. He still does fundraising for Mending Spirits. He has also made home visits to people who have applied to adopt Mending Spirits pets, to make sure they are going to a good home.

Woodley has lobbied for the Breeders Bill, a law which now regulates puppy mills.

Woodley takes care of people as well. He has given rides to an elderly neighbor to the Mayo Clinic in Mankato. During the COVID-19 lockdown he purchased lunches for postal workers from the Ulmer Cafe, and he delivers home meals in New Ulm about three times a month. He also serves on the Board of Directors for First Choice Pregnancy Services, which offers counseling, ultrasounds and other assistance to expectant mothers in hopes of reducing abortions.


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