William J. Sullivan II, 77, of The Villages, FL, a retired professor and college Dean, died Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, after a long illness.
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Born in Boston, MA, he was a 1955 graduate of Westerly High School in R.I., a 1959 and 1963 graduate of Springfield College in MA and completed his doctorate at Indiana University in 1970.
Dr. Sullivan spent a summer playing semi-professional baseball in Nova Scotia before beginning what would become a lifelong career in education. He taught elementary school and was a teacher and coach at Chariho in R.I. before coaching in NJ and leading the now Kean University basketball team to their first NJAC college championship. In 1970, he joined the faculty at Springfield College teaching statistics and research while working in the Graduate department, eventually becoming Dean of the Graduate School prior to his retirement in 1999. For twenty years he also spent his winter evenings preparing tax returns in Springfield for H&R Block.
At a young age, the YMCA in Westerly instilled in him a love of sport which he carried his whole life, be it watching, teaching, playing or coaching; his passion perhaps best observed while watching a NY Giants football game with him. He was fortunate to remain an avid golfer and, a few years back, achieve his longtime goal of "shooting his age". But one of his fondest achievements of which he was humbly proud was being inducted into the Westerly High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
Dr. Sullivan is survived by his wife of 52 years, Anne; a son, William J. III of Cary, NC; a daughter, Amy of Waltham, MA; two sisters, Frances Bestwick of Wood River Junction, R.I. and Brenda Laspee of Bradford, R.I.; a brother, James of Charlestown, R.I.; five beautiful grandchildren and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Robert Sullivan.
A memorial gathering will be planned later in the year in R.I. Donations in Bill's memory may be made to the Ocean Community YMCA in Westerly, R.I.
Published in The Westerly Sun from Jan. 19 to Jan. 31, 2014