Milton “Uncle Milty” Ueleke

This photo of Milton W. “Uncle Milty” Ueleke is technically flawed, but I think it captures his body language and bemused expression perfectly. I’m not exactly sure when he left Central’s science department for SEMO, but he retired from the university in 1981.

Missourian stories mentioning Ueleke

  • May 27, 1931 –  Milton Ueleke was elected Reporter by the members of the Central High School Electrical Engineers Club.
  • June 2, 1932 – Central High Band to present first concert of the year in Court House Park, under the direction of W.A. Shivelbine. Milton Ueleke was listed in the band. In announcing the concert, Supt. J.A. Whitford said the public should recall that the band is re-organized every semester, the personnel changing as members graduate and new 0nes enter high school. [Editor’s note: that s0unds like Supt. Whitford had heard the band play and didn’t want to oversell it.]
  • Dad had a photo of the 1931 band in his scrapbook. Ueleke is in it.
  • Oct. 26, 1937 – Milton Ueleke has been elected vice president of the newly-formed Physics Club at the Teachers College.  (The same story mentioned that Tom O’Loughlin, business manager for the Sagamore, announced that photos for the 1938 yearbook were being taken at Kassel’s Studio.
  • Sept. 15, 1945 – Milton Ueleke, a member of the Central High School faculty, recently discharged from the Army Air Forces, spoke to the Kiwanis Club about his stay in India. Ueleke, a former lieutenant, was a navigator aboard a heavy bomber and a veteran of 47 mission in the China-Burma-India theater of operations.

{It’s interesting how many of the science teachers at Central had served in bombers in World War II. Howard Bock, who had been a B-26 engineer gunner, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, five air medals, the American Defense Medal and campaign ribbons (Battle of Europe, Battle of the Rhineland and Battle of Ardennes-The Bulge).

Tom O’Loughlin had been a bomber pilot. Maybe that made it possible for them to remain calm in the midst of classroom explosions and hijinks.]

15 Replies to “Milton “Uncle Milty” Ueleke”

  1. I had Milton W. Ueleke for Home Room teacher or perhaps Science. Had Mary Ellen Miller for Home Economics at Franklin School. Mr. Ueleke and Miss Miller were married while I was in her class. Remember the kids teasing her.

  2. Mr. Ueleke was my home room teacher at CHS my senior year (59 – 60). He was well respected; however, we did refer to him outside of his hearing as “Uncle Milty” but always as Mr. Ueleke in the classroom. He was by all descriptions a true gentleman.

  3. Being a scientist (OK nerd) in high school, Mr Ueleke played an important role in helping to shape and encourage our future careers. As our Senior “prank” we bugged his classroom with a ham radio remote control and it almost worked but the radio drifted off frequency. He got a real kick out of our efforts and was impressed with the complexity of the project. A real inspiration as a teacher in the old cloth that we remember.

  4. Mr. Ueleke (Uncle Milty outside the class room) was a very good physics teacher. He really understood and had a fondness for physics, and could helpfully illustrate his points with anecdotal incidents and at this he was really good. He could be very entertaining. His classes seemed to fly by.

    I really enjoy hearing things about some of our very special teachers.

  5. Mr. Ueleke was a good teacher, and I learned more from him than Physics. He used the following quotation to teach us something about ‘interpreting’ data: “Time flies. You can’t. They fly too fast.” He assured us that the short passage would make sense when we figured it out, and he was right. I used that quotation in lectures for years, always giving him credit.

  6. One day his Radio & Electronics class pulled a prank. We all left the classroom before he arrived and hid in the store room. For some reason, he knew to come directly to the store room.

  7. Retired? I am pretty certain I saw Mr. Ueleke working in retailing at a jewelry store in the mall in the 1980s after he retired from SEMO – seems like he was a man who always kept busy!

    1. Yes, He worked at a jewelry store for a few years after he retired from the university. Laura Ueleke Whitten (daughter-in-law

  8. Uncle Milty died Feb 20 1999. His wife Mary died Dec 30 2007. Their son, Dr William Ueleke died Dec 12, 2005. Quite a nice family that devoted their lives to education.

    1. Thanks, Bob. I finally found the obit. Google didn’t have it indexed, so it didn’t show up in the searches and won’t link. You can find it on page 4B of The Missourian on Feb. 23, 1999.

      It said that he taught in Dexter and was at Cape Central for 17 years before going to SEMO for another 19 years.

      What’s curious is that the story said he was a SEMO from 1963 until he retired in 1982. I could have sworn he was still there for the Class of 65, but the high school yearbook doesn’t show his photo.

  9. Mr. Ueleke was my Electricty Merit Badge counselor for Boy Scouts. I can understand why he was a great teacher. He was very helpful in finding resources for my electrical project to demonstrate my understanding of electrical principles.

  10. Ken, I think the story is wrong. I had him for physics during the 63-64 school year at Central. He was at SEMO at least by the 65-66 school year.

    1. Bob,

      Your recollection is closer to mine. I was trying to remember the usual science sequence at Central. I think I had biology as a freshman; earth science as a sophomore; chemistry as a junior and physics as a senior.

      I had Frank Jost for biology, Ernie Chiles for earth science, and General O for chemistry. I would have sworn I had Mr. Ueleke for physics, but it sounds like he would have been gone by the 64-65 school year.

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