Jyoti Ulrych | AspenTimes.com

Jyoti Ulrych

WOW! What a powerful and inspirational life!

Jyoti Ulrych passed away at home on December 12, 2018, at the age of 75. She was buried on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband, Andre, who predeceased her by almost 6 years.

Born Sandra Block, she later changed her name to Jyoti, Sanskrit for "light," and chosen for her by an Indian holy man. She grew up in Chicago. At the age of 15, her stepfather took a job with Aerojet and her parents moved Jyoti and her sister, Liana, to Sacramento, CA. At 19, she opened what became a very successful wig company. Early business trips to Europe instilled a lifelong passion for travel and adventure.

In 1974, Jyoti traveled to Aspen with friends for a week of skiing, and she stayed. In Aspen, she met her husband, Andre Ulrych. It is impossible to contemplate her life without Andre. As one friend said, "I never believed in 'soulmates' until I met Andre and Jyoti." They were inseparable. Together they opened the new Andre's Nightclub and Restaurant on Galena Street, Aspen's renowned discotheque. In the mid '80s, they helped found Seeds of Change, and held the first Seeds of Change Summit at their ranch on Star Mesa. They traveled extensively to remote corners of the world, growing and sharing their passion for environmental issues, natural farming, natural healthcare and sustainability. A friend remarked how he loved to stop by their place in the evening, because inevitably the most interesting dinner guests sat at their table — medicine men, spiritual leaders, foreign dignitaries, forward thinkers … Likely, Jyoti's signature Mung Dal was cooking on the stove.

In 2000, due to Andre's health, they spent a significant amount of time in the warmer climes of Hawaii. While handling their businesses, and caring so dearly for Andre, Jyoti continued her well-disciplined yoga practice. She took up paddling with the Kawaihae Canoe Club, competing competitively into her 70s. Given a free moment, she was dancing.

In her last years, she suffered with dementia. An incredible team of caregivers, loyal friends and family made this process more joyful than thought imaginable. She touched her "tribe," and had a profound impact on our lives and how we lived them. We are forever grateful, and we will forever love our "Dancing Queen."

A celebration of Jyoti's life will be planned for the Springtime. Please email jyotiandre@me.com to request more information about this gathering.

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