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SULLIVAN, John "Jack" Jr. Retired Boston Fire Fighter John "Jack" Sullivan, Jr., 79, formerly of West Roxbury died on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at The Rose Monahan Hospice House in Worcester, MA, surrounded by his family. He was born in Jamaica Plain, Boston to John J. and Mary (Molly) T. (McCarthy) Sullivan. No matter how many times Jack got knocked down, he got up twice as many. Jack fought hard as hell to stay. Alzheimers and lung cancer couldn't keep Jack from wanting to live. He had the strength, stability, and determination of an ox. Jack's life, first and foremost, was centered around his family. He always said, "There's nothing like family." He was there whenever we needed him. There was nothing he wouldn't do for us. He was kind, generous, hardworking, honest and full of pride and integrity. Jack lived his life every day with optimism. He brought happiness to each and every person, every day. He was always helping others. Jack proudly served in the United States Marine Corps. And afterwards, went on to work in Local 534 Boston Plasterers and Cement Masons Union for more than 35 years. He used to joke and say that Boston was his city because he helped build it, which he did. He worked on all the major buildings in the 60's through the early 90's like the Prudential, The John Hancock, The Marriot Long Wharf, The Westin at Copley Place, The Ted Williams Tunnel; you name it, he most likely worked on it. He worked sometimes round the clock, pouring and finishing concrete. He loved Boston. In 1973, Jack became a Boston Firefighter. He was first stationed in Brighton at Oak Square. He transferred to Ladder 7 at Meetinghouse Hill in Dorchester, Ma. because he wanted to be at a busier house and a busier house he surely got. Ladder 7 during the 70's and early 80's was literally blazing. A June 16, 1982 New York Times headline read "Boston is Becoming the Hub of Arson." Jack was fearless. At one point in time, Ladder 7 was one of the busiest firehouses in the nation. Jack worked both jobs his entire career. He loved them both. He loved the guys, he always said "they were good guys." He loved to laugh and joke around. Every summer Jack took his family camping. He took his family all over the place. From salmon fishing on Lake Ontario in New York to one of his favorite places, Scusset Beach, Cape Cod. He loved to fish and was self-taught. Every spring he would stop at Jamaica Pond on the way to work to throw a few casts in to catch trout. In the winter he ice fished. In the summer, he fished the canal with his son John. In his earlier days he hunted. He loved being outdoors. Jack took pride in his home and spent countless hours working outside landscaping and gardening. After his first wife, Beverly "Sis," died of cancer in 1992, Jack began another journey. He took his grief and poured it into raising money to help find a cure for cancer. In 1993 he started riding the Pan Mass Challenge. A 192 mile bike ride from Sturbridge to Provincetown over the course of one weekend. He loved it. He did this for many years. When he was 59 years old he decided to do even more. He entered into The Big Ride. A six and a half week, 3,300 mile ride from Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C. for American Lung Cancer. In the months leading up to the ride, he trained relentlessly. On The Big Ride he endured all kinds of weather. One day the weather was so bad at Mount Helena that the support vehicle picked up all the riders and brought them to the next base camp for that night. The next morning Jack got up, found a rancher and paid him $100 to bring him back to the spot where he was picked up the day before. Jack wanted to make sure he pedaled every step of the way. He did about 150 miles just on that day; Jack made lifelong friends on that trip. Jack raised $10,000 alone for American Lung Cancer that year and many $1000's for the Pan Mass Challenge over the years. In 2013, Jack married Joyce (Dwyer) Sullivan. They met ballroom dancing in 1998 and shared 21 years together. They enjoyed Boynton Beach in the winter and Mashpee, Cape Cod in the summer. They enjoyed life. Together they ballroom danced, went to the beach, dined out and traveled all over Europe and across the United States. They were always on the go. They lived life to the fullest. Jack was a magnet. Everywhere he went people were drawn to him. He knew everyone. It didn't matter where he was, he would always bump into someone he knew. He loved people; he loved to make them laugh. Jack was also notorious for being lucky. People he knew would actually rub his arm, hoping that some of his luck would rub off on them. If you were at any event that had a raffle, you could bet money that Jack would win something. One year he won the raffle at The Pan Mass Challenge. He won a trip for two to cycle through Italy which he and his son did. He did have a little luck of the Irish. Jack will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Joyce of Mashpee; his son, John Sullivan and his wife, Karen of Waltham; his daughter, Jacqueline Sullivan Wyco and her husband, Mark of Hubbardston; Joseph and Johnna MacLean of Franklin; his sister, Mary O'Grady of West Roxbury; his grandchildren, Beverly Mae Sullivan, Daniel and Kelsey Wyco, Sheila Tison, Dylan and Caleb MacLean. Jack was predeceased by his first wife, Beverly "Sis" (Penna) Sullivan; and his sisters, Sheila Lydon and Ann Welcome. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Jack's family from 3 until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18 at the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 19, at St. Jude Catholic Church, 86 Main Street, Norfolk. Interment will follow the Mass at Norfolk Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the , 51 Blossom Street, Boston, MA 02114. To share a memory or leave a condolence, please visit: www.milessfuneralhome.com 508-829-4434

View the online memorial for John "Jack" Jr. SULLIVAN
Published in The Boston Globe on Sept. 16, 2018
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