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James Sullivan

July 12, 1945 December 19, 2018
James Sullivan
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Obituary for James Sullivan

James “Jim” Sullivan
July 12, 1945-December 19, 2018
Middletown, NY (and Clearwater, FL)

James Michael Thomas Sullivan, devoted husband, father, and pinochle player, died on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at his son’s home in NY. He was 73 years old.

Jim was the second son of the late John Sullivan and Anna Nazarchyk Sullivan Lutz, and was born on July 12, 1945 in Philadelphia, PA. After several years of driving the nuns crazy, Jim dropped out of high school and worked a variety of jobs until he turned 18 and joined the United States Coast Guard. He was aboard ship as a Seaman Recruit E-1 for about three years, and then was stationed at the USCG Base, Governors Island, New York, NY. In May of 1967, at a dance hosted on the base, he met Annelie Rau, a nursing school student, and a year and a half later made the best decision of his life and married her. After his honorable discharge from the USCG, he got a job at an aluminum extrusion plant, and made sure to tell everyone he came in contact with what aluminum extrusion actually entailed; we cannot confirm or deny how much or little he embellished.

A few years later, Jim wanted to attend Philco-Ford to become an electronic technician, but could not enroll in the course without a high school diploma. He then went and took his GED through Temple University and aced it, and a new career began when he was hired at Sony Corporation and worked his way up to a Regional Director of Service during his 20+ years with the company.

Jim and Annelie started their family in Pennsylvania, but moved with their four wonderful children to Southern California in 1982. While continuing to advance at Sony, he also made time to teach his amazing kids, the apples of his eye, to body surf, climb trees, camp, and ride bikes. Then in 1991, he transferred back to the east coast, and moved the family to Northern NJ. In California, New Jersey, and eventually in New York, Jim was a Boy Scout Leader, youth group chaperone, and church sound board technician.

In the late 1990s, Jim decided to make a drastic career change and tried to open a truck driving school. Although the school never took off, he enjoyed driving truck locally for various companies. We are pretty sure he just wanted an excuse to talk to people on the CB radio.

Jim and Annelie moved to Florida in 2011, but often made the trip back to New York to visit his practically perfect children and grandchildren, always stopping in Philadelphia along the way to bring soft pretzels for everyone. He was a man of many words, and let’s be honest, sometime too many words, but he knew and reluctantly admitted he could learn from anyone and from any situation. He always pushed the boundaries with people, whether it was to capitalize on a teaching moment, espouse his strong political beliefs, or simply just to annoy someone for sport. He did it all with a sparkle in his eye and a Tastycake in his hand.

Ultimately, Jim was a family man. His love for his superb wife, magnificent children, and beautiful grandchildren went even deeper than his love for French onion soup. Jim passed on his contagious passion for life to his brilliant children and reminded his grandchildren that no matter what, to just keep smiling. Jim’s life message was to always be there for family no matter what because family is everything; he said as long as we had each other, we are all set in life.

Jim is survived by his loving wife Annelie, son Jason Sullivan (Allison), daughter Jenna Tatar (Christopher), daughter Erin Frank (Patrick), daughter Alisa Miner (Daniel), and five grandchildren (Layne, Maya, Haley, Amanda, Zoey), two sister in-laws and two brother in-laws, nieces and nephews, several cousins, and his fellow card sharks at the Japanese Gardens club house in Clearwater, FL.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Harmony Baptist Church, 1790 NY-211, Middletown, NY 10941 on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 11am. Cremation will be private. Memorial contributions in Jim’s name can be made to Wounded Warrior Project

Arrangements are under the direction of Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc.

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