Julius von Uhl, Lion Trainer, age 79, passed away on January 23,2018, at Parkview Hospital Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was born March 11, 1938, in Budapest, Hungary, the son of Gyula and Emilia von Uhl.
Julius was an only child of an European Baron and experienced the ordeals of WW2 which set the tone for the rest of his exciting life. Julius came to the United States in 1956 as a Hungarian Freedom Fighter refugee after losing the Hungarian revolution to the Russians. As a family of nobility, Julius and his family suffered tremendously in Russian prison camps.
Before the Hungarian revolution, Julius enjoyed sailing on Lake Balaton as a young boy as well as riding horses and driving his grandfather's Lipizzans. Classically trained in Hungary as a young man, Julius continued developing his riding system which some have called the most "horse-friendly" system in the world, with the best results in performance. Julius passed on his mastery in the equine arts to trainers and students on a global scale. Never staying still for very long and his ability to innovate, Julius was able to quickly understand the different disciplines of riding in America. From Thoroughbred and Standardbred Racing, Open Jumping and Fox Hunting, to Carriage Driving, Liberty training, High School, Reining, Western and English Pleasure, Gaited and, of course, Dressage, he mastered it all.
As a young boy Julius played "hooky" from school to play with the lions at his Uncle's job at the zoo in Hungary. This experience started a lifetime of training the "big cats", performing across America and abroad. Julius was the first breeder of white tigers in the United States which set the stage of becoming a circus legend. Julius never missed an opportunity to entertain masses of people across the globe. Known in the Circus world as the “Baron”, he pursued his passion to work with animals and performed in venues such as the Shrine Circus, big and small tent shows, stadiums, fairs, carnivals, promotional appearances and expositions. Eventually traveling with his own circus of performing animals which included lions, tigers, horses, ponies, goats and elephant.
Soon after coming to America Julius served in the US Army as a Dog Trainer and as Coach to the Modern US Olympic Pentathlon Team. After an honorable discharge, he left the Army and went back to the Big Top. Julius’s legacy will forever live on through the spirit of the circus community, his family and generations of equestrian students.
He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Linda von Uhl of Macy, IN; daughters Katheryn Jeneel Albright and her husband Dirk Allen, Charlene von Uhl and Victoria von Uhl; sons Julius Jason von Uhl, Nathan S. von Uhl and his wife Buffie and Doug von Uhl; ten grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
A memorial celebration will be held Friday, February 2, 2018 from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M., at the Peru Circus City Festival Building, 154 N. Broadway, Peru. Military Rites will be provided at 7:00 P.M. by the Miami County Military Rites Unit.
Memorial donations may be made through www.gofundme.com/support-of-family-of-julius-von-uhl.