Willard Franklin Sullenberger, 90, passed away October 3, 2013 in Canon City, CO. Willard was born on September 3, 1923 to missionary parents, Linn Perry and Jessie Ann (Kennedy) Sullenberger, who preceded him to heaven, along with his sister, Jessie Margaret Kimrey, brother-in-law, Chester Kimrey; and brother, Perry K. Sullenberger. Willard is survived by his wife, Jeraldeen Faye Sullenberger; children, James Linn (Judy) Sullenberger, Martha Ann (Dale) Fry, Robert Franklin (Carole) Sullenberger, and Michael (Cynthia) Sullenberger; grandchildren, Clinton, Danny, Jessica, Crystal, Emily, and Christopher; and numerous nieces and nephews. Sully, as he was best known, was born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, but lived his youth years in Guatemala City. The church where his father was pastor was located on one corner of the lot of the Presidential Palace and across the street from the government building, so he was familiar with both religious and political life. He enjoyed touring the countryside and climbing the volcanos. He was home schooled by his mother through high school and then attended Park College (now University) where he met his future bride. Upon graduation with a degree in Business Administration, he was drafted by both the U.S. Army and the Guatemalan Army, as he had dual citizenships. He choose the U.S. Army and served as a Spanish interpreter both in Missouri and Kansas until December, 1946, upon discharge as a Sergeant. He and Jeraldeen were married on January 5, 1947 in South Bend, Indiana, her home town. His father officiated at the wedding and his brother sang. The couple honeymooned for 3 weeks in Guatemala, visiting the countryside and friends. They then traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to live. There Sully began his life long career as an accountant. Chicago was the next stop for him to attend Northwestern University and to work. They left Chicago to enjoy the mountains of Colorado and settled in Denver where all four of their children were born in the fifties. When the company was sold, they moved to Colorado Springs where camping was an enjoyable pastime. He was then asked to head the accounting department for E.G. and G. in Los Alamos, New Mexico. This was an isolated community, full of activities for children and trips around the country. After 20 years there, Sully retired and the couple moved to Canon City, Colorado to again enjoy the environment, the many friends, and the clubs. They have been here for 23 years, and just celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary this year. His laughter, puns, and friendliness will be remembered and our greatest joy goes with him on this new adventure. A private celebration of his life service will be held. Arrangements are under the care of Holt Family Funeral Home.
Published in The Canon City Daily Record on Oct. 4, 2013