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Robert E. Sullivan

Bob Sullivan was the kind of a guy who you just loved knowing. His greatest responsibility and joy in life was taking care of his wife Helen and 'the kids', Michael, Maureen and Mark. More than that he was larger than life. Known in his Hillcroft Road neighborhood as the go-to-guy if you needed help with anything, Bob always "had a guy for that"; whether it was fixing your sink; helping you find an apartment for your own kid or simply knowing where to go to get the best deal on a used car. To say that Bob was a 'connector' was an understatement. Bob organized the neighborhood parties for all the major holidays; July 4th, Labor Day and sometimes just to have a good time in honor of someone's accomplishment in life . . . if you lived in the neighborhood putting up a back- yard fence was verboten . . . you see Bob needed the space in everyone's yard to make sure that everyone had a peer group and an activity and plenty to eat. On Monday nights the place to be to watch Monday Night Football wasn't a football stadium; it was in Bob's basement where Howard Cosell couldn't hold a candle to Bob's play-by-play abilities and color commentary. Over the years Bob and Helen found particular delight being a part of their children's lives in school, in sports and in life . . . and as they got older the arrival of grandchildren took them to new heights of happiness and satisfaction . . . and the arrival two weeks ago of the newest addition to the family, great-granddaughter Samantha, brought a smile to Bob's face that he hadn't known in a while. The reason why all this is important you see is that one of the greatest love stories ever written came to an end the morning of Sunday, October 6th . . . at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Brighton where Bob was brought after suffering a heart attack. He was 83. The real cause of death though was a broken heart. His beloved Helen died just ten days earlier, on the 26th of September, after a hard battle with Alzheimer's disease. Bob always had a way with words too . . . and he'd be the first to tell you . . . as far as this being so sad for those left on this side of the grass . . . don't feel sorry for him. It was a great run and a life well lived with few regrets and a boatload of happy memories. For Bob and Helen their life together was faith filled. It began in Manchester, New Hampshire where Bob married his 22 year old sweetheart, Helen F. McLauglin, on March 24, 1952 while he was serving with the United States Army. A native of Berlin, New Hampshire Bob graduated from Berlin High School in 1949 before being drafted into the service during the Korean War. Their first year of married life brought them to Germany and to another Berlin where Bob was serving as a military police corporal. A year later the expectant Helen returned home to New Hampshire while Bob finished his tour of duty overseas. In 1954 the couple moved to Waltham where they bought their lifelong home and stayed to raise their family. They joined Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Parish where they both remained active until illness forced them both to slow down. During the kids growing up years Bob and Helen were not only regulars at Mass but served on every committee where help was needed. They were, as they say, among that group of people at every church, who are the blood and the bone of the parish. They didn't preach their faith . . . they lived it . . . every day and through every season . . . in the good times and in the not so good times. The faith that sustained them both so well in this life is what has reunited them in the life they so long prepared for. They both, as the words of scripture so eloquently proclaim, " . . . fought the good fight, . . . finished the course, and . . . kept the faith." It can truly be said of them that they both fulfilled the purpose for which they were created. And that all by itself is life's greatest glory. Bob was born on March 1, 1930, one of five children and the only son born to the late Wilbur and Victoria (Paquette) Sullivan. In addition to taking care of his family and his friends he worked for years as a food brokerage sales manager at Wilson Foods and before that at New England Provisions. He leaves his children, Michael P. Sullivan and his wife, Patricia, of Scarborough, Maine, Maureen P. Sullivan Garcia and her husband, Kevin, of Salem, New Hampshire and Mark P. Sullivan of Woburn; his grandchildren, Courtney Jacek, Jamie and Lauren Sullivan; Lindsey Garcia and Sean and Kayla Sullivan; his great-grandchild, Samantha Jacek; his siblings, Joyce Dulligan of Bayside, Long Island., New York, Barbara Mady of Durham, North Carolina, Janet Jensen of San Mateo, California and Mary Gail Cauley of Naples, Florida and many loving nieces and nephews. He was also the father-in-law of the late Debra A. (Vanaria) Sullivan. Family and friends gathered Friday morning, October 11th, in The Joyce Funeral Home in Waltham before leaving in procession to Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church, 880 Trapelo Road, Waltham where his Funeral Mass was celebrated. Burial followed in Bedford, New Hampshire where Bob will be laid to rest next to Helen in Saint Joseph's Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the , PO Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241. To offer online condolences, please visit www.joycefuneral home.com.

Funeral Home

Joyce Funeral Home
245 Main Street Waltham, MA 02453
(781) 894-2895

Published in Waltham News Tribune from Oct. 11 to Oct. 18, 2013
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