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The letters that Uhlmann received from the bank reminded him that he and his personal trust had guaranteed the loans.
Uhlmann never sold his conservatism to his wife, Patricia. She gave money to both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton in advance of the 2008 election.
The Uhlmanns learned to stop arguing and coexist as political opposites. The marriage lasted 37 years.
Once, when John Uhlmann was visiting Washington, D.C., he ate lunch at the same restaurant as Helen Thomas, the White House correspondent who had trouble concealing her contempt for George W. Bush. John Altevogt, who was also at the restaurant, says Uhlmann asked Thomas to sign a menu, which he intended to present to his wife as a gift. "We teased him about it," Altevogt says.
Of two minds in the voting booth, the Uhlmanns shared an interest in philanthropy. They wrote six-figure checks and gave of their time, particularly to Jewish causes. In 1997, John was elected chairman of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City. Trish, as Patricia is known, is a former president of the federation's Women's Division, and has been active with other nonprofit groups.
In time, John, who taught himself Hebrew and belonged to conservative pro-Israel groups, decided that the liberal New Reform Temple was not the place for him. He attended Congregation B'nai Jehudah — a more traditional Reform temple — at the time of his death.
August 21, 2009, was an unseasonably cool day, with winds picking up in the afternoon. Uhlmann spent part of the day at the Bullet Hole, a shooting range in Overland Park. It was his third visit in three months, according to receipts that the coroner would find, a day later, among Uhlmann's silver money clip, cell phone and other personal items.
Uhlmann died of a gunshot wound. He was seated in a car parked outside his house when he aimed a .38-caliber revolver into his mouth. He was 64.
The coroner's report indicates that Uhlmann had a "history of depression and financial problems." The report does not say if this information came from the suicide notes that Uhlmann left or from statements that the police took. Patricia Uhlmann declined to speak to The Pitch about his death and the events that led up to it.
Uhlmann's death shocked the community. The Bullet Hole receipts suggest that he had been considering suicide for several weeks. But he hid his inner turmoil. Martin says he spoke to Uhlmann on the phone shortly before his death. "He didn't seem distraught at all," he says.
Martin says he doesn't understand how the financial pressures of Hillside Village could have overwhelmed Uhlmann so much that he wanted to end his life. Bankrupty and foreclosure, after all, are relatively common events. "Lots of businesses don't make it," he says.
Of course, the Uhlmanns are not wheeler-dealers who make and lose fortunes. The name has been synonymous with prosperity for generations. Perhaps Uhlmann became incapacitated by the idea that his wealth or his reputation might be irreparably damaged.
A tall brunette with natural curves shimmies up the pole. Her thighs clamp the stainless steel, as she begins her descent. This ceiling-to-floor display of technique draws a couple of men to the lip of the stage, where they leave tips.
The dancer, introduced as Amber, is wearing a bra, panties and rainbow-colored socks that reach her knees. She works the day shift at Pure. High-backed red chairs surround tables in the area between the bar and the stage. Strands of silver beads mark the entrance to the room where lap dances are performed.