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Eugene E. "Gene" Sullivan

SULLIVAN, EUGENE E. "GENE," 82, of Louisville, passed away on January 21, 2012, surrounded by family.

To many people who knew and loved Gene, he will always be remembered as a fun-loving, generous, devoted, outgoing, family man who never met a stranger. He will be dearly missed.

Gene was predeceased by his brother, William "Bill" Sullivan.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, the former Mary Catherine Burdiss; his daughter, Teri Glick (Bob); sons, Pat (Amy), Tim (Bridget), and Scott; seven grandsons, Connor and Aaron Glick, Patrick, Ben and Andrew Sullivan, and Adam and Neal Strothman; and brother George (Carol).

Gene's love for his family was matched only his lifelong love for the game of golf and his commitment to teaching the game to others. He served as head golf professional at Wildwood Country Club for 42 years, before retiring in 1996. With a focus on developing golfers from an early age, Gene initiated the Louisville Junior Golf Association since 1952 and honored as a life member, Gene was involved in more than 150 charitable golf tournaments, chairing more than half of them. He had a special passion for the annual Cerebral Palsy School Golf Tournament, which he founded in 1974 and was an integral part of for 20 years.

As the first KPGA member to receive the honor twice, Gene was named Kentucky Golf Professional of the Year in 1966 and 1983. He was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in 1991. Gene is a former member of the Kentucky Derby Festival Board of Directors, where he helped launch the initial Hole-In-One Golf Contest, and was later honored as a lifetime director. He hosted a weekly radio talk show, "Tee-To-Green," on WTMT-620, promoting local, state, and national golf events, along with weekly golf tips.

Gene was an avid U of L fan. He was a veteran of the Korean War and a Kentucky Colonel. In 1991, he was named Irishman of the Year by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Continuing his commitment to helping others, Gene donated his body to the University of Louisville Medical School.

The family would like to express its gratitude to Dr. Danny Woo and the many healthcare professionals who cared for and supported Gene in his battle for good health.

A Memorial Mass will be held 10 a.m. Thursday at the Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. 5th Street. Visitation will be 3-8 p.m. Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at Pearson- Ratterman Bros. Funeral Home, 12900 Shelbyville Road, Middletown.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 2501 E. Liberty Street, Suite 710, Louisville, KY 40202 or Donor's Favorite Charity.

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Published in The Courier-Journal from January 24 to January 26, 2012.
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