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James Ralph Sullivan


1938 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
James Ralph Sullivan Obituary
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, James Ralph Sullivan, 75, of El Paso, our dad, grandfather, uncle and friend, went with to be with our Father in heaven after his battle with Alzheimer's. Graveside service: 2:30 p.m. Monday in Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso. Visitation: 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Hillcrest Funeral Home, 1060 Carolina Drive, El Paso. James was born in Llano on Jan. 27, 1938, to Cecil and Eula Sullivan. He attended Technical High School in Fort Worth and graduated there in 1956. He attended Arlington State College before joining the Army in 1957. James received training at Fort Monmouth, N.J., as a radar repairman and was stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. He was discharged from the Army in 1960 and hired by Raytheon in December 1961 as an engineer in charge of designing test equipment for the Hawk air defense missile system. For the next 41 years James worked his way up to upper-level management by working with various foreign governments and contractors on projects in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Iran and Saudi Arabia to modify and upgrade both the Hawk and later Patriot air defense missile systems. In doing so, James traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East. He lived in Paris, France, for three years, various locations in Germany and the Netherlands for two years and finally in Saudi Arabia for two years. While working in the U.S., he worked closely with the Army and Marine Corps and lived in Alabama, California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and his beloved Texas. After his retirement in 2003, he bought a diesel pusher motor home that had been his dream and traveled extensively throughout the western states, Alaska and Mexico. He often joked that he had to travel at least 1,000 miles in any direction to get somewhere that he hadn't been before. Although not a lifelong resident of El Paso, he maintained a residence there for 41 years and considered El Paso his home. Quite the life accomplishment for a child born to a poor sharecropper's family from West Texas. Well done, Dad, well done. He was preceded in death by his father, Cecil Sullivan; mother, Eula Sullivan; sisters, Doris Simpson and Anne Bird; and brother, Cecil "Bud" Sullivan. Survivors: Son, Jeff Sullivan; grandson, Jimmy Sullivan; former wife, Cinda Sullivan of Memphis, Tenn.; and sister, Virginia Atkinson of Boyd.
Published in Star-Telegram on Oct. 6, 2013
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