Volume 74, Number 3 | June 8- 14, 2005

Obituaries


June Aulick, 98, former Chelsea Clinton News editor

By Albert Amateau

June Aulick, a Chelsea resident for more than 40 years and former editor of the Chelsea Clinton News, a weekly community newspaper, died Thurs., June 2, at the age of 98 at Gouverneur Nursing Facility where she resided for the past five years.

A memorial service, organized by her Chelsea friends and neighbors, will be held at Chelsea Community Church, 346 W. 20th St. at 1 p.m. June 19, the 99th anniversary of her birth.

In her later years, June Aulick was a familiar figure as she strolled the streets of Chelsea dressed in a flowing gown or a tailored suit, wearing a large hat and carrying a long walking staff topped by an artificial flower that was changed with the seasons.

After she became too frail to stay in her walkup on W. 21st St., she moved to the nursing home on the Lower East Side where she was visited weekly by her friends, including Paul Trevoy, Joanne Downs, Lynn Ramsey, Hilda Regier and Pamela Wolfe, with whom she had founded the Chelsea West 200 Block Association.

“She was delightful and lively almost to the very end,” said Ramsey, Aulick’s fellow member of Chelsea Community Church.

“If you asked her how she was when you met her on the street she would say, ‘At least I’m not in a nursing home yet.’ And when we went to visit her at Gouverneur, she’d say, ‘At least I’m not 6 feet under,’ ” Ramsey recalled.

Downs recalled conversations in which Aulick would drop some astounding names. “I remember her saying once ‘…Oh, well when I had dinner with Eleanor and Franklin at Hyde Park…’”

Aulick had been married for a time to James M. Kieran, Jr., who became press secretary for Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1934 and had been Albany correspondent for The New York Times when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was governor.

Aulick liked to say she had printer’s ink in her blood. She was the daughter of Letitia and W.W. Aulick, who was a sportswriter for The New York Times and for many years editor of the old Morning Telegraph, a horse racing and sports daily. Her father died when she was 7 years old and she was raised by her mother.

“My first publication was a poem in the West Chester, Pa., newspaper when I was 13,” she told the Chelsea Clinton News in a 1997 profile. Born in Manhattan, Aulick went to Wadleigh High School on W. 111th St. and remembered playing field hockey in Central Park.

She went to Syracuse University and married Kieran after graduation. “We lived in a walkup on Morton St. in the Village and I dabbled in freelance writing. I had articles published in the American Legion magazine and Good Housekeeping,” she told the Chelsea Clinton News in 1997.

After her divorce from Kieran, she became an associate of Kathleen Cravens, a radio correspondent during World War II who founded a public relations practice in New York after the war. “When we got tired of what we were doing in New York, we went to Hollywood to do publicity for the movie version of Ernest Hemingway’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ ” she said in 1997.

Aulick then worked for the New York World Telegram, a now-defunct evening newspaper, in the early 1950s. “We had something called ‘Society’ with a capital ‘S’ in those days. It doesn’t exist anymore. I was the Society reporter for the World Telegram, working in Palm Beach in the winter and Southampton in the summer,” she said.

Aulick came to Chelsea after the building where she lived on E. 56th St. was demolished in 1956 to make way for a high-rise.

In 1957 she walked into the Chelsea Clinton News office of then-publisher Ted Epstein and became a reporter and then editor, serving until 1964 just before Epstein sold the paper to Robert S. Trentlyon.

In 1960 Aulick wrote about neighborhood outrage at the Rockefeller administration’s discontinuance of milk carton dating. The dating requirement was soon restored. “Imagine little me, helping to move Rockefeller and I was always a registered Republican,” she told her interviewer.

Trentlyon, who bought the paper soon after Aulick left the Chelsea Clinton News, recalled Aulick as a representative of the neighborhood “who really knew what it meant to be a good neighbor and to help people.”

Regier, who became a close friend when Aulick joined Chelsea Community Church around 1975, said, “June was the kind of person who never said a bad word about anyone. She would always have something positive to say about anyone she knew and would always remember one thing that a person was interested in that she could start a conversation about.”

In the 1970s, Aulick made a trip to Taiwan where she lived for a time among a group of English and American “old China hands” who had fled the mainland when the Communists took over. Back home, she and some Americans she had met in Taiwan who called themselves The Shanghai Tiffin Club would gather for lunch once a month at a Chinese restaurant on Fifth Ave. and 23rd St.

In the late 1970s, she became an editor at World Trade Academy Press, which publishes business directories. Trevoy, also an editor at the firm, became a fast friend and constant visitor to the nursing home where Aulick spent her last years.

In the mid-1990s, the McBurney YMCA honored Aulick with its Service to Youth Award and in 1998 she received the Hudson Guild Council’s Senior Citation for Community Activities. Janice McGuire, the Guild’s executive director, cited Aulick’s long association as a reading tutor to young members of the Guild. “She was a wonderful example in her later years of the potential for staying active, vibrant and relevant by focusing on the young and their future,” McGuire said.

For more information about the June 19 memorial service, phone 212-886-5463.

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