John Francis "Jack" Sullivan II passed away on August 25th after a long hard fought battle with Parkinson's Disease. A longtime resident of Waltham, MA. Jack leaves behind his devoted wife of 61 years, Anne (formerly McIsaac), his sister Gertrude Sullivan also of Waltham and his six children - Mark (Maura) Sullivan of Wilmington, MA, Eileen Sullivan of Winter Garden, FL, Carole Birse of Merrimack, NH, Elizabeth (Stephen) Repoza of Auburn, NH, John Duff (Allison) of Jacksonville, FL and Mary (Tony) Barnea of Stratham, NH. In addition, Jack's leaves behind his dozen grandchildren - Brendan, Sara, Bridget, Maeve, Cameron, Jacob, Maura, Molly, Ian, Megan, Lilianne, and Callie - and his beloved Golden Retriever, Keeva.
Born in 1936 in Boston, Jack was the one of three siblings (Sisters Ginger and Kate) with their parents LTC US Army John and Gertrude (Gleason) Sullivan. Given his father's military status, Jack spent his younger years living in a variety of places - from Hollywood, FL to Malden, MA, Jack always had a great memory to share - a baseball game he won or some outlandish teenage antic. Throughout all of this moving, the one constant was the family's Cape house on Popponesset Beach - a location where they eventually settled permanently - and a place that was always close to Jack's heart as it's where he made lifelong friends and found his passion for fishing.
In1956 Jack met the love of his life - Anne: his perfect match and ever loving companion. According to his story, he met Anne on the library steps of Regis College where he "threw a net over her" and he immediately fell in love. They married on April 22nd, 1961. After starting a family in Watertown, the Sullivans moved their growing family to Waltham where they remained for the entirety of their marriage. With six children, a dozen grandchildren and at least one or two Golden Retrievers at a time, the Sullivan house was rarely quiet. But the loud everyday chaos made Jack happy and it was never too loud for him to take a nap… smack dab in the middle of the chaos.
From his days working as Deputy Mayor in Waltham City Hall to his final role as CEO of New England Fuel Institute, Jack worked tirelessly to achieve his goals winning many awards and promotions throughout his career. He was named Waltham's Outstanding Man of the Year for his many community services. One of his biggest career accomplishments was the creation of NORA - National Oilheat Research Alliance - a nationally funded "check-off" program for heating oil. He was alway a gregarious character who was comfortable in the office or in front of executives and many political figures throughout the years. Jack was the model and teacher that your word is your bond and it will lead to your success in life.
Balancing his large family and a demanding career, Jack always took solace in his favorite place - the ocean. When the weather was right (or even if it wasn't), Jack would be on his boat down the Cape plugging away for blues or trolling for bass in the Nantucket Sound or off the Vineyard. He would be up before dawn ready to drive to Falmouth for a day of fishing with friends - no matter how tired he was or how rough the waves were, he always found enjoyment on the water. Any friend or family member knew Jack's one cardinal rule - He would never attend an event taking place on a Saturday during fishing season.
After retirement, Jack enjoyed the simple pleasures of life - his impossibly green lawn, a jelly donut, a "magnificent" car wash and a trip to wander around The Home Depot. Each summer he looked forward to relocating his family's chaos to Drakes Island, ME for a few weeks where Jack could be found watching the ocean for fish, getting pulled into board games with his grandchildren, enjoying a family lobster meal, sneaking out for a black russian and oysters or (naturally) enjoying a midday nap surrounded by the family dogs. On these vacations, one could often find Jack sitting quietly simply surveying his loud large family with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Jack's legacy will live on through his children and grandchildren as they've all inherited a piece of him - be it his love of the ocean (and the belief that it "heals everything"), his dry sarcasm, his quick wit, or his core belief that family meant everything, Jack passed on his greatest traits to his family. None of his offspring will ever hear phrases like "Many hands make the workload lighter" or "See the forest through the trees" without smiling as they think of Dad.
May the sky always be "red at night", Dad. We'll miss you.
Family and friends will honor and remember Jack's life by gathering for calling hours on Friday, September 2nd, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street, (Rte. 20), Waltham and again on Saturday at 9 a.m. before leaving in procession to Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church, 880 Trapelo Road, Waltham, where his Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Mount Feake Cemetery, Waltham.
In lieu of flowers, the Sullivan family has requested that donations be made to the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, 637 Cambridge Street Boston, Massachusetts, 02135 or Our Lady's Comforter of the Afflicted, 920-R Trapelo Road Waltham, MA 02452.