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C.P. Patrick Sullivan
1931 - 2013
C. P. (Patrick) Sullivan passed away peacefully Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, at Froedtert Hospital.
He was born to Ola B. (Hutchinson) and Timothy Sullivan in Washington County (Otis), Colorado on Sept. 5, 1931, a true son of the American West. On his parents cattle ranch, which spread across thousands of acres in the northeastern Colorado plains, he learned to ride at a young age and to live with and care for a variety animals which became one of his defining passions. There was no 4H for him; he was a working, contributing member of the ranch from the beginning. He had a hands-on education and his father was a stern taskmaster. He demanded excellence and attention to detail and his son was a quick study. Patrick raised, bread, and showed his own cattle and developed his own herd while still very young. He also developed a fierce self reliance and a need to be free. As a teen Patrick was gifted with a rich voice that he used professionally to sing for innumerable local weddings and funerals and found a love of music he carried with him the rest of his life.
After graduating from University of Colorado, Greeley, Patrick taught grade school in rural Montana where he fell in love with a number of children and their families. Some he kept in touch with for years afterward and some, lost to war in Viet Nam, he still mourned. After a brief time in Evansville, IN he landed in Chicago where he worked as a night auditor for a large hotel in the Hyde Park neighborhood and told many stories of celebrities he met there such as Aretha Franklin and Ernie Banks. Simultaneously he returned to teaching. At Immaculate Conception in the mid 1960s he combined his Catholic faith with his love of children and learning. His kids and the nuns revered him and he made many long lasting friendships there as well.
While in Hyde Park, he also opened Hyde N Seec Antiques, which sent him traveling the country in search of buried treasure. What caught his eye was unpredictable but he lived for the hunt and the opportunities to take what was dusty and forgotten and find it a home where it could be appreciated and valued again. Some treasures of course he kept for himself and years later could still tell tales of where and when each was found and rescued.
He left teaching to manage Henricis Steakhouse OHare at a time when waitresses also performed floor shows every evening. Like his father, he was a stern taskmaster and brokered no ground when it came to quality service. He dined with Carol Channing and others, met and served many other stars who were frequent guests at Henricis. He sometimes told the story of a late night of drinking with the folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary. He counted Henrietta Mahler, co-founder of Henris Dressings, as a friend. But he was never impressed with either fame or money. His yardstick was always integrity and character. Like any Irishman worth his salt, he could regale you for hours with stories from this and other parts of his life all with a wry smile and a twinkle in his eye.
After a brief retirement in Palm Springs, an area and time he loved, he returned to the Midwest in the early 80s. In 1985 he settled in Kenosha and by then had returned to work, this time at Loyola Hospital in Maywood, IL. There he helped set up the Lifestar helicopter division when air ambulances were new and how insurances would reimburse for that service was still being established. As with every challenge he was tenacious in getting every detail exactly right and every benefit he could for patients. He retired for the last time in 1993.
After retirement he brought his antique business out of mothballs and put his interest in civic involvement to work with the Kenosha Lakeshore Business Improvement District. He also threw himself into the role of guardian of his neighborhood and received an award of appreciation from the Kenosha Police for working tirelessly to close a drug house on his block. His generosity and big heart took many concerns of his neighbors directly to the mayor; he was never shy in the cause of righting a wrong. It earned him the reputation as a problem solver and a go-to guy. He was always looking for opportunities to help others and improve the lives of the community around him without ever seeking or comfortable in the limelight.
At home he lived for his animals dogs and cats too numerous to mention, strays and rescues included every one of which he loved. He could name a string of animals going back to his youth on the ranch. A favorite family photo is of him as a young child rearing bareback with one hand on the reins and one arm outstretched clutching his cowboy hat in typical Western-matinee-idol pose while on his beloved horse Tony. Once you were in his heart he never forgot you. It was true of his animals, his kids and his family and friends.
He loved his perennial flower garden and when he could not get outside he enjoyed keeping an eye on what was blooming from his kitchen window; and his kitchen, cooking, cookbooks, gadgets, all provided yet another constant source of joy and pride throughout his life.
As he often said, Ive had a good life. He leaves behind his partner of 30 plus years, Keith LaBrecque, his sister, Frances (Frammy) Baker, nieces, nephews (great and otherwise), in-laws and out-laws on both sides as well as many other family, friends, and neighbors all of whom found a special place in his heart and he in theirs.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Ola Laurea, a special niece Patsy Navis as well as others near and dear, all of whom were there at the end to help him ease from this life to the next peacefully.
Services will be private. Remembrances can be made in the form of a Catholic Mass or Rosary said in his honor or a card with a personal memory addressed to his partner.
Proko Funeral Home &Crematory
5111 - 60th Street
Visit Patricks Online Memorial Book at:
Proko Funeral Home
5111 W. 60th St. Kenosha, WI 53140
Published online at KenoshaNews.com on Sept. 15, 2013