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1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Claudia F. Sullivan Obituary
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October 17, 2018

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Preview Entry
October 17, 2018

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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 Memories & Condolences
This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of Baird Funeral Home.
September 17, 2017
Claudia and I began our teaching careers together in September 1959 at Clifton Springs High School. She was a respected colleague and friend. When she transferred to her "Geneva High School" home she was missed but left with good wishes. It was great knowing you, Claudia. You are remembered by unknown number of friends.
September 16, 2017
Mrs. Sullivan was an inspiration to most who took her classes. I for one enjoyed learning from her. She treated us like we were her children,listening when we complained but never critizing. She made us feel important and special. Her classroom, and her friend, also an art teacher, Mrs. Johnson made us feel like we mattered.
Mrs. Sullivan knew me as a student, but also got to know me and my grandparents outside of school. She would visit, have coffee and talk about all sorts of things, and about her husband. Some of us thought of her classes as a homelike experiance, where we could meet up, learn, not feel out of place, and feel safe. She treated us like her family. She was an extrodinary teacher,and a compassionate lady. She will be greatly missed. She has moved on to a higher place. Painting stars and sunsets I'm sure. God Bless and Rest In Peace.
Sadly missed.
Laurie Pane
September 16, 2017
September 16, 2017
My Memories of Mrs. Sullivan.
By Dave Aldwinckle/Debito Arudou GHS '83

Mrs. Sullivan was the high school teacher you remember for the rest of your life.

My most vibrant memories are of her in the new art room at the brand-new high school on Carter Road (she loved that classroom), where you could hear her chewing her gum, appraising student artwork in her gentle, cajoling manner, and knowing when you'd gotten something right when she'd effuse, That's NICE!

She and Mrs. Johnson, her classroommate, created a remarkably warm, friendly environment that I would spend two or three hours per day, often getting an excuse note to skip gym class, so I could work on my latest oil painting or cartoon for the school newspaper. It was my homeroom in school.

Mrs. Sullivan was also a very sympathetic listener. I'm a teacher now too, and to this day, whenever I need to emote with someone without sounding like I'm being judgmental, I use Mrs. Sullivan's words: I hear you. That's just about perfect.

I last saw her in 2007, when I was back in Geneva for the first time in decades (I was living in Japan at the time), and I met her (and her husband) for lunch at their beautiful old house, surrounded by her artwork.

There I remembered back in 1982 how we painted in acrylic a still life in class of a pot of geraniums. After we had all completed our works, she showed us how she had once rendered the subject impressionistically, not photo-realistically like we students had done. It was beautiful in content and flow, and signed Claudia in her immaculate penmanship.

And I remember asking her in 1982, Why didn't you show us this earlier? She said, Because I didn't want to influence your paintings. You had to work on your own style, not mimic mine. And she was right.

In 2007, I asked to see it, and there it was, on her wall. I asked what would be happening to it someday, and she said, I'm afraid it's been spoken for. Of course it had been. If only I could have taken a picture of it.

I will forever miss Mrs. Sullivan (to this day, I can't call her Claudia; she's Mrs. Sullivan!). And although I didn't go into Graphic Design as a career (I'm a university professor in Hawaii with a doctorate teaching social sciences, and a writer of eight books so far), I have proudly displayed next to all of my degrees, certificates, and diplomas on my wall her Outstanding Art Student award for 1983, with her lovely Claudia Sullivan signature on the bottom. It's as much of an achievement to me as all those degrees.

Farewell, Mrs. Sullivan. You are the high school teacher I will remember for the rest of my life. And I know that hundreds if not thousands of students share the same memory. Thank you.

Dave Aldwinckle / Debito Arudou GHS '83, Cornell '87, UCSD '91, Meiji Gakuin University '14
University of Hawaii

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PS for next of kin: If any of Mrs. Sullivan's artwork remains after the spoken-fors have been claimed, could you please send me some to put on my wall? I will pay shipping costs COD. My address:

Debito Arudou
PO Box 62076
Honolulu, HI 96839
[email protected]

If you need a street address for a COD or advance payment for postage, could you please contact me via the above email? Thank you very much.