Sullivan 50th Anniversary Captain Kenneth D. Sullivan, USN (ret.) and Kathryn Ann Surratt Sullivan, of Chapin, SC, were wed fifty years ago, 2 August, 1964 at Bessemer United Methodist Church in Greensboro, NC. Ken was an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and enrolled in pilot training at Corpus Christi, TX. Ann had just finished graduate studies in Elementary Education at UNC Greensboro, and had secured teaching employment in Corpus Christi. After Ken won his "Wings of Gold" they commenced a 28 year "storybook" military life, living in nine states, twelve cities, and too many residences to accurately remember. Their time together was often punctuated and made more meaningful by Ken's seven operational deployments around the world, ashore and afloat, including Vietnam service. In 1973 and 1977 their union was made even more complete by the birth of their two lovely and loving daughters, Heather Ann and Farrah Lea, who respectively earned graduate degrees from USC and Clemson, and have enjoyed professional careers in Finance, Public Relations and Mass Communications. Ken retired from the Navy, as Professor of Naval Science and Commanding Officer of the University of South Carolina NROTC Unit in 1991. He "really and finally" retired in the late nineties from international military management services contracting and consulting. Ann retired in 2010 from Richland School District Two after thirty plus years teaching, all across the Country. No matter the excitement and achievement garnered from their professional careers, Ann's and Ken's greatest blessing in life is "the family", that is, their daughters and the special people flowing from their life choices. Heather was married in 1999 to Mark D. Mudd, an attorney in La Plata, MD, and they have four children: Dolan (12), Tyler (10) and twins Kinsey and Addison (6). Farrah was married in 1999 to David E. Brown III (Trey), a pediatric pulmonologist in Columbia, and they have three children: Anna Kathryn (9), Sanders (7) and Van (3). Ann and Ken are now celebrating their Golden Anniversary with "the family" at Fripp Island, SC, one of their all time favorite places. Noteworthy, and in humor, Ken's advice to young men seeking a wife is: "Marry a girl having a wonderful Christian Mother's grace and disposition. And while you are at it, see if your college 'Head Cheerleader' is a fit, if so, you will be happy ever after." Ann says: "This is one of the 'sometimes' in Ken's life when he deviates from his usual Irish malarkey and gets things right without my considerable assistance." And to young women, she simply says: "Read up on and fully understand 'Testosterone' and its impact on male behavior; marry a likable man that, above all else, keeps his word and promises; and, if you want or need additional excitement, join up with a fellow who, in his youth, could continuously and miraculously play with matches without burning the house down."
Published in The State on August 3, 2014