Dr. Joseph Sullivan
January 19, 1949 - April 23, 2021
Wichita, Kansas - Dr. Joseph "Joe" B. Sullivan, age 72, died Friday, April 23, 2021. He was born January 19, 1949 in Wichita, KS to Botious and Tess Sullivan.
Joe attended college in Kansas City, where he met his future wife Pat. After graduating from Illinois College of Optometry, they returned to Wichita and Joe began practicing optometry with his father, Dr. Botious Sullivan. Through his 45 years practicing optometry, Joe was dedicated to providing exceptional patient care, and specialized in providing vision therapy to patients of all ages.
Joe was a Fellow in the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and served on the Board of Directors for multiple local, state, and national organizations, including 14 years on the Optometric Extension Program Board of Directors. In 1993, Joe received the Kansas Optometric Association's Distinguished Service Award for his part in the formation of the See to Learn program and again in 1999 for his work on children's vision research. He co-authored several articles about vision development and vision therapy, and was a guest lecturer at several optometry schools and at optometric meetings in the United States, England, Australia, and Europe.
Joe enjoyed a lifelong hobby of model trains, which were enjoyed by visitors to his office which featured two suspended train loops, especially during the holidays when his Christmas themed train exceeded the length of the track! Joe also enjoyed restoring classic British MG cars and was often seen driving around Wichita in one of his green MGs, often with a dog in the passenger seat enjoying the fresh air.
Joe was an active golfer and an avid tennis player, helping lead a tennis group of 15 men of all ages. Joe could often be found at sporting events, whether attending his children's games, mowing athletic fields at his children's school, attending Notre Dame football games with his wife and children, or traveling to notable sporting events throughout the country.
Joe was a passionate dog owner and could usually be found with a dog at his side, either the therapy dogs at his office, in his car while running errands around Wichita, or on his frequent walks around his neighborhood. Joe's dog walks were a pillar of his neighborhood for more than 30 years and formed the start of many new relationships as new neighbors would stop to meet his dogs.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife Patricia (Pat) Sullivan (McKay) and his parents, Botious and Theresa Sullivan of Wichita. He is survived by his three children, Meghan Sullivan of Chicago, Illinois; Sean Sullivan of Overland Park, Kansas; and Kevin Sullivan of Chicago, Illinois; one sister Margaret (Tom) Slankas of Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and his loyal four-legged companion, Peter.
A funeral mass and celebration of his life will be held when it is safer for friends and family to travel and gather in large groups.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to See to Learn Foundation (1266 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS 66612), an organization Joe helped form which seeks to make sure children's early learning is unaffected by vision problems.
Services in care of Downing & Lahey East Mortuary. Share tributes online at: www.dlwichita.com