Obituary: DJ Ugly Del Roberts dies at 58
Trudi Hahn, Star Tribune

Published March 20, 2003 MULR20

Disc jockey Ugly Del Roberts loved to spin oldies. Darrell Mulroy loved law enforcement and taught self-defense with firearms.

Mulroy, who as Ugly Del played Saturday night oldies on WWTC Radio (1280 AM), died in his sleep Sunday (March 16). He was 58 and had suffered from heart problems, said his daughter Courtnee Mulroy of Pierre, S.D.

Besides being a DJ and firearms instructor, Mulroy also was a policeman, private investigator and Vietnam War photographer for United Press International.

"His mind went so fast, one thing couldn't keep his interest," said his wife, Tiffany Ring of Minneapolis. They married in 1996.

Since his early teens he had hung around nightclubs and radio stations in downtown Minneapolis to hear rock 'n' roll, Mulroy said.

When he graduated from Brown Institute in August 1965, KDWB Radio (101.3 FM) hired him the same day to do traffic reports.

He bounced around radio and television for five years then left the media for work in private investigation.

He joined WWTC in 1979 as it changed from an all-news format to oldies. He was back on the nightclub scene, too. By the late 1980s he was at Jukebox Saturday Night in downtown Minneapolis, spinning oldies -- which for Ugly Del meant music from the 1950s and early 1960s -- and working the crowd.

"Make 'em dance and sweat, that was his theory," said Ray Erick, a disc jockey at KQRS Radio (92.5 FM) whom Mulroy mentored.

Around 1991 Mulroy founded Plus P Technology, where he taught shooting and other self-defense measures.

In 2001, WWTC-AM, by then a conservative talk station, called on Mulroy to fill a Saturday night slot with an echo of the station's past -- an oldies show.

"We couldn't think of anyone better," said David Christian, program director at WWTC-AM. "He's one of those positive people."

Wrote Mulroy in his online autobiography: "If you are in your 50s, please don't slow down. Keep rockin'."

In addition to his wife and daughter, survivors include a son, Del Mulroy of Minneapolis; daughter Wendee Mulroy of Pierre, S.D.; stepson Adam Ring of Minneapolis; four grandchildren; a brother, Jack, and sister Marilyn O'Neal of the Twin Cities.

The family plans a celebration at 4 p.m. today at Broadway Pizza, 2025 N. West River Rd., Minneapolis.

Trudi Hahn is at thahn@startribune.com.

Copyright 2003 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

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