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Published: Thursday, 7/29/2004

Physics teacher's firing led to founding of local ACLU

Julian E. Bulley, 80, the second-generation owner of the Toledo Pipe Organ Co., whose abrupt discharge as a University of Toledo physics instructor during the McCarthy era led to the founding of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, died of renal failure yesterday in a Keene, N.H., assisted-living apartment, where he had been since April, 2003.

Mr. Bulley and his wife, Janice, were honored as co-founders in 1992 during the 40th anniversary dinner of the northwest Ohio ACLU chapter.

"The cinders of an ACLU chapter had been smoldering for many years," the dinner program said, "and the discharge of Julian Bulley from the University of Toledo caused the situation to ignite and out of that fire arose the first ACLU chapter in Toledo."

He was never told officially why President Asa S. Knowles ordered that he be fired as a part-time physics lecturer three weeks into the fall, 1951, term. The Bulleys had been involved in groups that supported peace, racial justice, and the United Nations. And they knew activists who were communists, daughter Dr. Joanne Bulley said.

"But they weren't themselves," she said. "There was no doubt he was concerned for the plight of other humans besides himself."

He returned to the university in 1960, after Dr. Knowles' departure, as a lecturer in mathematics.

The family moved to Dayton in 1967, and Mr. Bulley worked for the peace education division of the American Friends Service Committee.

But he continued to be involved in the Toledo Pipe Organ Co., which was founded by his father, Roy, and which made organs for churches nationwide.

Mr. Bulley visited Toledo regularly to install and repair organs until 2001.

Mr. Bulley grew up in Perrysburg and Fostoria. He received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Toledo and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan.

He and his wife converted to Reform Judaism and were members of Temple Israel, Dayton. The couple married Sept. 4, 1945. Mrs. Bulley died Aug. 23, 2002.

Surviving are his daughters, Jessica Bulley and Dr. Joanne Bulley, and three grandchildren.

At his request, Mr. Bulley's body was donated to the Dartmouth Medical School.

Memorial services are pending.

The family suggests tributes to the ACLU of Ohio Foundation or peace education programs of the American Friends Service Committee in Dayton.

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