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Joseph Sullivan

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Joseph Sullivan Obituary
Ret. Salem Fire Chief, Joseph Francis Sullivan 83, of Salem, beloved husband of sixty two years to Louise (Grasso) Sullivan, died on his birthday, June 15th, 2012 at his home surrounded by his family and at the side of his treasured wife following a lengthy illness. Born in Salem, he was the son of the late Joseph F and Annie Louise (Trabucco) Sullivan. He was raised and educated in Peabody and attended St. Johns School in Peabody. At the age of 16, Sully, joined the Merchant Marines and served his country as a member of the United States Navy during the Korean War. During Sullys younger years he had been employed alongside his father at the former A.C. Lawrence Leather Company in Peabody and at the former T.J. OKeefe Leather Company. His years as a leather worker cemented the hard work ethic instilled by his parents and siblings. A dedicated and lifelong learner, Chief Sullivan earned his bachelors degree from Boston State College in Business and his Masters Degree of Public Administration from Suffolk University. Chief Sullivan began a career serving the public as a fire fighter with the City of Salem in 1963. He rose through the ranks of the department being named Lieutenant in 1966, Captain in 1971, and Deputy Fire Chief in 1972 and eventually earning the designation as Chief of the City of Salem Fire Department in 1986. Throughout his years of service Chief Sullivan always placed the lives of the residents of the City of Salem and his brother fire fighters above all else. Professionally, Chief Sullivan will be remembered as dedicated firefighter, a national expert and instructor of Fire Safety Training and the Fire Chief who brought growth, educational advancement, technological improvement and national recognition to the Salem Fire Department. When the bell rang, Sully answered in every aspect of his life. Always the dedicated husband, father and grandfather, he faithfully encouraged his family and friends to give their all and best to each of their endeavors. His spirit and enthusiasm for life will live on through the accomplishments of his family. He was always very proud of both his Sullivan Family and his Salem Fire Department family. A well versed instructor of fire safety training, Chief Sullivan mentored many young aspiring fire fighters through his teaching of Fire Science courses at Dartmouth College through the National Fire Academy and was the Coordinator of the Fire Science Program at Salem State College and North Shore Community College. He was the First President of the Local 1780 Fire fighters Association; he was appointed the Head of the Boston Arson Task force by Governor Dukakis. With Louise as his most ardent supporter, confidant and love of his life, it is only fitting that they enter heaven together by each others side for eternity. Chief Sullivan is survived by his daughters, Shirley Sullivan of Salem and her ex-husband, Nelson Higgins of Peabody, Joanne Parent and her husband Richard of Salem, Janet Sullivan Roos and her husband Christopher of Topsfield and Joyce Sullivan and her husband Jon Klingensmith of Topsfield, his ten grandchildren, David Higgins and his wife Melissa of Merrimack, NH, Nicole Salemi and her husband Stephen of Marblehead, Christine Gross and her husband Jason of Danvers, Amy Parent of Salem, Michelle Higgins and her fianc Stefan St. Amand of Salem, Brian Higgins and his fianc Valarie Sturiale of Stoneham, Kimberly Wilson and her husband David of Salem, Joe Sullivan Klingensmith, Jake Klingensmith of Topsfield and Christopher Roos of Topsfield. His 5 great grandchildren, his siblings, Rose Voderis of Rowley, Margaret Lessor of San Antonio, Texas, Susan Ballou of Pennsylvania, Richard Sullivan of Danvers and John Sullivan of Sanborn, N.H. and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family including his greatest friend Richard Arno of Salem. He was also the brother of the late George, Charles and William Sullivan, Elizabeth Davidson, Mary Ann Ridell and Bernadette Daley. ARRANGEMENTS: Sully & Louises funeral will be held from The ODonnell Funeral Home 46 Washington Sq., (At Salem Common) Salem, Thursday at 10 A.M. followed by their funeral Mass in St. John the Baptist Church, Church St., Peabody at 11 A.M. Relatives and friends invited. Burial in St. Marys Cemetery, Salem. Visiting hours Wednesday from 3 to 8 P.M. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Sullys name to the Salem Firefighters Relief Association, 48 Lafayette St., Salem, MA 01970. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com

Published in The Tri-Town Transcript from June 19 to June 26, 2012
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