JOAN SULLIVAN

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Obituary

SULLIVAN--Joan Rigney, age 83, of Cold Spring Harbor, New York, passed away peacefully June 26, 2014, after a sudden illness. She and her husband Robert J. Sullivan were one week away from their 60th wedding anniversary. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughter Kathleen and sons Robert and James Sullivan, her niece Margaret Schmitt, and her grandchildren Kira, Daniel and Sean Sullivan. Beautifully elegant, athletically gifted, and possessed of an avid intellectual curiosity, she had a life force that her family experienced as nothing short of amazing, and that made all of her children and grandchildren who they are. Born in Queens, New York on January 21, 1931, she attended Our Lady of Wisdom High School and obtained a B.A. in 1953 from Queens College, where she marched in 2013 with her 60th reunion class. In the 1950s, she taught elementary school in New York City public schools and to Ojibway schoolchildren in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, where her husband Bob was stationed in the Air Force and her daughter Kathleen was born. Upon her return to New York, she devoted herself to her family and extended family, took up tennis in her forties and golf in her fifties (winning numerous prizes in golf tournaments at the Huntington Country Club), and swam regularly into her eighties. No one could have a better wife, mother and grandmother, and all of her family are deeply grateful for the gift of her magnificent life. Donations in her honor may be made to the Cold Spring Harbor Library, 95 Harbor Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724.

Published in The New York Times on June 28, 2014
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