Oldest of alumni, 1938 graduate, passes away at 107 in California

By University Communications
February 6, 2015
Henry Hulter, with his daughter, Marilynn Hulter Ackermann, enjoys his 107th birthday party in November.

Photo: Henry Hulter, with his daughter, Marilynn Hulter Ackermann

Henry Hulter, believed to be the oldest UW-Stout alumni at 107, passed away Jan. 16, at his home in San Rafael, Calif.

Hulter, who died in his sleep, lived at home and remained healthy, mentally sharp and active until his final days, according to his family. He regularly went to a community center near his home to work out on a stationary bike and did so two days before his death. He said eating blueberries was the key to his longevity.

Hulter's daughter, Marilynn Hulter Ackermann, of Denver, Colo., said he loved American history, humor and had a booming voice and great laugh. "He loved his independence and he never met a stranger. Everyone was his friend once he spoke to them," Ackermann said.

“He loved deeply; his kids, his grandkids and the people he spent time with at home and at the gym. His smile and his laugh were contagious,” she added.

He was born Nov. 20, 1907, in Superior and attended college there, playing on the school’s undefeated 1931 football team. He later returned to school at UW-Stout, then known as Stout Institute, and graduated in 1938 with a degree in industrial education.

“My dad had great stories of his time at Stout. He never had any money so he charged money to buddies who needed transportation back home to Superior or points north. He rigged a heater in his homemade Model T (made from scrap) and built a suitcase box on the back for amenities for his passengers,” Ackermann said.

He worked odd jobs to help pay for his education and pay his rent at an off-campus home in Menomonie.

Hulter was one of about 80 students in the class of 1938. He was in the Arts and Crafts Club and a member of the social fraternity K.F.S., which stood for knowledge, friendship, society.

After graduating, he moved to Detroit to join a seven-man construction crew, which built 27 tract homes. He then taught shop, drafting and architecture at Cooley High School in Detroit for 32 years.

He also built two homes for his family and earned a master’s degree in education from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Hulter and his wife, Margaret, who died in 1992, had two children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in San Rafael. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Hank Hulter Senior Scholarship Fund at the center, 200 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael, CA 94903.