John B. "Sully" Sullivan
1940 - 2020
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John B. 'Sully' Sullivan

Born: May 29, 1940; Stockton

Died: August 10, 2020; Dubuque, Iowa

ELIZABETH – John Bradley "Sully" Sullivan, age 80, of Elizabeth, IL, passed away Monday, August 10th, 2020, at Mercy One hospital in Dubuque, Iowa.

A private Mass will be held for immediate family only on Saturday, August 15th, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic church in Stockton, IL. John will be laid to rest with full military rites at the Holy Cross Catholic cemetery immediately following Mass.

John was born May 29, 1940 in Stockton, IL. He was one of 10 children born to Philip and Leonilla (Carroll) Sullivan. He lived in Stockton throughout his childhood until he graduated from Stockton High School in 1958.

After high school, John met his love, his confidant and soulmate and his rock, June Ann (Webster) Sullivan. He enlisted in the Army on April 15th, 1959 and shortly thereafter, John and June were married on June 27. John embraced patriotism and achieved the rank of E-4 before being honorably discharged on February 6th, 1961 

After completion of his military service, John returned to Stockton for one year until relocating to Platteville, WI, where he began his career as a full time meat cutter for Dicks Supermarket. During his 7 years in Platteville, he learned more of the meat cutting trade and other valuable tools for success. Most significant was how important it is to be fair to your employees, vendors, and his customers. In September 1967, John and June moved to Savanna, IL where they purchased their own grocery store, previously under the banner Sullivan's Super Valu, and now known as Sullivan's Foods. He went on to expand his stores, at highest count a total of 16 grocery stores and two Ben Franklins, quite an achievement as an jndependent grocer.

John was successful in expanding because he was an entrepreneur, a visionary man before his time, and an innovator of change. He was one of the first to introduce scanners at the checkout, and to operate 24 hours a day. His marketing skills netted him a world record as he merchandised the largest Pabst Blue Ribbon beer display.

Although John's work ethic was endless, he was also very civic minded and a faithful citizen to his community and his trade. He always felt it important to give back to his community.

His volunteer services included being an active member and President of the Savanna Chamber of Commerce, member of the Savanna School Board of Education, President of Savanna Hospital Board for 10 years, Honorary Fireman (both Savanna and Platteville), he helped establish the Savanna Ambulance Department, Chairman of the Local Redevelopment Authority at the Savanna Army Depot, Knights of Columbus 4th degree, an active member of his church serving on his church council, a member of the American Legion, Moose, VFW and The Elks. Within his trade, he served as a board member of the National Grocers Association, President of the Illinois Food Retailers Association, and in 2006 he was honored with the highest recognition as Illinois Grocer of the Year.

It should be noted, he was also a member of the Savanna Rotary Club on three separate occasions, but was kicked out of the club because he couldn't make the weekly lunch meetings – John was simply too busy gearing up for truckload meat sales, coordinating produce tent sales, preparing customer appreciation days or even scrubbing floors!

Despite being a successful businessman, John would acknowledge his greatest accomplishment was his family.Together, John and June were family oriented, raising six wonderful children. He was a family man, with a loving heart, an iron rule and an Irish spirit. John loved spending time with his family, whether it be on the Mississippi river, traveling the United States loaded up in a motor home, or perhaps the most memorable, a trip of lifetime to Ireland with his full entourage of children and grandchildren by his side.

Outside of his children, John also enjoyed time and conversation with his siblings, as long as it wasn't about politics! He also enjoyed his trips with his many friends, whether it be fishing in Canada, hunting, rafting or jeeping in Colorado, or his annual Wisconsin motor cycle adventures. But his ultimate paradise was his time spent with June on their farm in Derinda.

As John would say, "I think I've said enough, it's time to get back to work!"

John will be forever missed by his wife, June Sullivan of Elizabeth, IL; six children, Kathryn (Steven) Christensen of Savanna, IL, Scott (Jeanie) Sullivan of Savanna, IL, Bryan (Christine) Sullivan of Savanna, IL, Susan (Kent) Dauphin of Elizabeth, IL, John Michael (Jennifer) Sullivan of Savanna, IL, and Julie (Andrew) Mensendike of Stockton, IL; 16 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and eight siblings, Philip (Mona Lisa) Sullivan, Judy Doherty, Peggy (Richard) Magee, Ann Testa, Stephen (JoAn) Sullivan, Jim (Deb) Sullivan, Kelly (Doug) Dawson and Mary Stanton, in addition, many nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Philip and Leonilla; and one sister, Colleen McNett.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.hermannfuneralhome.com.

Due to the pandemic, there will be a celebration of life announced at a later date.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Prairie Advocate on Aug. 13, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
AUG
15
Funeral Mass
11:00 AM
Holy Cross Catholic church
AUG
15
Graveside service
Holy Cross Catholic cemetery
Memories & Condolences
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84 entries
September 27, 2020
June and Family, I am so saddened seeing John's obituary. He was such a great friend of Lyle and had a good laugh when "Santa" Lyle had a problem sitting on a display of red Budweiser Beer cartons one year waiting for kids to arrive in the store. John found a bright green blanket to cover a seat for Santa and supplied an ornate gold and red velvet chair the following years! I will always remember his laugh, not only at Jack's after football games but when I came banging into his office asking him WHY he rearranged his grocery aisles.....I gave 20 minutes of shopping once a week during my lunch hour at the newspaper and knew where every vegetable and soup can was in the store....until that day! He just laughed and off I went. It was fun seeing the kids grow up along side our Chris and Jennifer. So many thank him for the summer jobs he furnished the kids, including ours. I will always have memories of good times with John around........especially during Champaign State Wrestling week. He laughed the hardest when Lyle "got lost" in LaQuinta Hotel halls and nearly missed breakfast! Chris, Jen and I are thinking of you with prayers and good memories in our hearts.
Linda Exstrom
Friend
August 19, 2020
Our sincere condolences to the Sullivan family. We were sorry to hear of your loss.
Eric & Kathy Dahlman
August 18, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. I always admired his business ethics and his devotion to his wife and family. I came to know John through his work with the Illinois Food Retailers Association and then Sullivan Foods became a customer of Concord EFS. He was always so friendly. It was a pleasure to know him as well as his wife and sons. May he rest in peace. With My Deepest Sympathy, Colette Camerano
Colette Camerano
Acquaintance
August 18, 2020
Condolences to the Sullivan Family. John was a great business man and mentor. Always fair and pleasant to be around. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to June and the family.
Mark C. And Carol
Mark Castiglioni
Coworker
August 17, 2020
So sorry to hear about John. Our hearts go out to June and the whole family.
Greg & Laurie Starrett
Greg & Laurie Starrett
Friend
August 17, 2020
Please know that you are in our thoughts. We will miss John's smile and his great sense of humor at the Venice Yacht Club.
Glenn and Pamela Davis
Friend
August 17, 2020
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Alice Mensendike
August 17, 2020
June, condolences to you and your family in the passing of John. May his memories bring you comfort.
Kim Forster
August 17, 2020
To the Sullivan Family,

We are so very sorry for your loss, praying for you and your wonderful family during this time.
Bill & Jill Woodlock
Acquaintance
August 17, 2020
John Sullivan is a real-life example of The American Dream. He served his country, returned to his roots, and started a business, a family and a life that would create opportunities for thousands of his fellow citizens. He was always a 'regular guy'. I saw him mop floors, stock shelves and cut meat. He seemed most 'at home' serving others. Because of John and his great family, I have had the privilege of doing business with Sullivan's Foods for over 25 years, and have enjoyed every minute of it. The first time I called on John, he let me introduce myself, stopped me, reached in his pocket, slid a $5 bill across the table, and said "Get a haircut. Go see my guy down the street. We'll talk when you get back." I did. We did, and after that day, I never darkened his office door without a fresh haircut. I've told the story a thousand times, and I will always remember it, and the great John Sullivan. Straight home, Sully. My deepest condolences to June, the kids, and all those who knew and loved John.
Shannon Trimble
Coworker
August 17, 2020
To the entire Sullivan family. I would like to express my deepest condolences to you. May God keep you and Bless you.
Sherry Hood
Acquaintance
August 16, 2020
Dear June,

Our prayers are with you and your family. We only knew him a short time but always enjoyed his jovial smile and way. What a loss. We enjoyed being his neighbors in Florida at Calusa Lakes.

Bill and Sandy Boos
Sandra Boos
Neighbor
August 16, 2020
I will always Remember John's smile
Patrick Mckasy
August 15, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during the loss of your husband and father. He will be very missed.
Pete & Lisa Evans
Friend
August 15, 2020
Deepest Sympathy to the Sullivan Family,
Mr and Mrs Alfred Rooker, Savanna
Elaine and Alfred Rooker
Friend
August 15, 2020
We pray the love of God enfolds you during your journey through grief and may God give John eternal rest and the family the strength to bear the great pain of the loss of a husband, father, and grandfather. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Keep all those wonderful memories close to your heart always.

Janet & Martin Altensey
Friend
August 15, 2020
Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day, unseen, unheard, but always near.
Richard Dick
Grandparent
August 15, 2020
Dear June and family,
I am so sorry to learn that John has passed away. He was such a wonderful man and truly one of my favorite clients. I am sorry not to be able to be there to say this in person but that’s not meant to be at this time. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all. John will be greatly missed by you his loving family and all of us who knew him. A great man!
Chuck Burgmeier
Friend
August 14, 2020
So sorry to hear about John’s passing. He was a great man with a great family - all very good people. Take care, Sullivan Family - he will be missed!
Pat Finn
August 14, 2020
My deepest sympathy goes out to the Sullivan clan. Whenever I saw him he always had to say hello and had that grin and laugh like he had a smart comment to say. I'm gonna miss him.
Starla Kustes
August 14, 2020
To the Sullivan families: My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you for your loss. He will surely be missed by many. John was a good man.
Robin Green
August 14, 2020
I'm so sorry for you loss..prayers to all
Sarah Robinson knott Knott
Friend
August 14, 2020
Sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers for the family.
Tracey Williams
August 14, 2020
Many a great time spent with John & June. John will be greatly missed by many. My condolences to June and her whole family.
John & June Bimm
John Bimm
Friend
August 14, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to the Sullivan family ! John was my boss for over 25 yrs at the Stockton store. Johnny and June have been our friends forever !! We will miss him and will never forget all the fun we had over the years. The circle has been broken !! RIP Johnny !!
Beverly Gille
August 14, 2020
Dear June, Kathy, Scott and all the family. Was so sorry to hear about your loss. We have so many fond memories of visits with John over the years at IFRA events,etc... He was an inspiration to us- always. His personality was off the charts. Usually ended up talking Harleys. Love and prayers to you all!
BRIAN STEFFEN
Friend
August 14, 2020
he will truly be missed one of the last good guys
john coari
Friend
August 14, 2020
Sending our prayers to the Sullivan family. I graduated with John and played Football with him great guy may God watch over him.
Paul& Shirley Fox
Friend
August 14, 2020
My sincere condolences to the Sullivan Family
David Pluym
Acquaintance
August 14, 2020
My condolences to June and the entire family. I enjoyed all of the time and conversations that I had with John, June and the family. I can't say enough and our prayers go out to the entire family.
Mike Brummer
Friend
August 14, 2020
Sending my thoughts and prayers to June and the whole Sullivan family. I am very sorry for you loss, John was a great man and will never be forgotten. My heart goes out to the whole family.
Bryan Ranchino
Friend
August 13, 2020
We are so sorry for your loss and the loss of many. Carroll n Vicki Curboy
Vicki Curboy
Friend
August 13, 2020
I knew Johnny , as we called him, during his growing years in Stockton. Later I followed his journey in the Food Business and admired his accomplishments. I did know all of his family and was close in age to him. May he rest now.
He was my cousin.
William Eich
Family
August 13, 2020
my condolences to the family, my heart is hurting for you all.
Deborah Gilmore
Friend
August 13, 2020
I first met John when he and June were going together and also attended their wedding. I was one of the first employees when he started the grocery store in Savanna. He was always a very good employer and a good friend. He will always be in our hearts forever. Our deepest sympathy to June and the whole family. Our prayers to all of you.
Lou & Karen Ranchino
Friend
August 13, 2020
Sending my sincere sympathy and prayers to the Sullivan family! John was a great man and lived life to the fullest! He will definitely be missed!
Mary Wild
Friend
August 13, 2020
The trick is to get off of this earth with the love and respect of Family and Friends, Good job my friend, rest in peace. Prayers June and Family. Carole and jack murphy.
Jack Murphy
August 13, 2020
I didn't have an opportunity to spend a lot of time with John, but whenever I did see him, he was always a very friendly and kind man with a good sense of humor. There are some people you meet and you know right away they are a good person with high character. John was one of those people. He will certainly be missed and I send my thoughts and prayers to June and the rest of the Sullivan family.
Roy Ward
Friend
August 13, 2020
Our condolences to the Sullivan family during this sorrowful time. John certainly leaves a legacy on so many levels and hopefully that brings your family comfort in the coming days. Prayers for peace to all. Sincerely, Cathy and Nichols
Cathy Hamilton-Nichols
August 13, 2020
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Alexandra Hunter
August 13, 2020
What I remember most about Johnnie was his sense of humor. Actually this describes most of the Sullivans. I've been gone from Stockton quite a while, but I still have memories of "The good old days" Condolences to all the
family....Jim Buske
Jim Buske
August 13, 2020
So sorry to hear about John. Our deepest sympathy to the Sullivan family. May the many memories help you through this difficult time.
Spencer and Gayle Woodward
Acquaintance
August 13, 2020
My deepest condolences to the Sullivan family. I always enjoyed visiting with John when I worked at Sullivan's in Savanna. Hugs and prayers to all of you. Diane Pidde
Diane Pidde
August 13, 2020
Our deepest sympathies, Thoughts and Prayers to the family
Anna Rice
Friend
August 13, 2020
My deepest sympathy to everyone. Never did a time go by that I didn't see a smile on his face. I was a classmate of Kathy's.
Elaine McCue Neumiller
August 13, 2020
So sorry to hear about John may he rest in peace
Norm Coppernoll
August 13, 2020
So sorry for you loss. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Jason Krumwiede
August 13, 2020
I am sorry for your loss. I was blessed to have known him. He was one of the good guys.
Wallace.A Locke
August 13, 2020
My sympathy to the Sullivan family. God Bless.
Russ Schwartz
Coworker
August 12, 2020
Many fond memories of John, June, Kathy, Scott, Bryan, Susie, Mike, and Julie from spending time on the snowmobiles, on the Mississippi, and countless hours at their house. They always made us feel welcome and were amazing friends to our family. John was a great man, he had a great family, and his legacy will never be forgotten. Prayers and love to the family; you are in our families' prayers. Rest in peace, John, you will be missed.
David White
Friend
August 12, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the sullivan family. John was a great guy down to earth fun. He will be missed dearly.
Russ Tippett
Acquaintance
August 12, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the family. John was a special man, so community minded, and really, a visionary in his time! I know you have wonderful memories that will strengthen you as you face this difficult time.
Jean Ferris
Friend
August 12, 2020
My sympathies to the Sullivan family. May you find comfort in your memories.
Liz Schott Garver
Acquaintance
August 12, 2020
Sending our love to you all. Rob and Carol Canier
Carol Canier
Friend
August 12, 2020
H was a good friend and will be missed.
Paul Hartman
Friend
August 12, 2020
My deepest sympathy for the Sullivan family. When I worked part time at the Business Office I remember John always had a smile and a friendly "Hello" for you.
Sharon Eckstein
August 12, 2020
I have known a John since I was a young boy. He and my folks were close friends for years. John was always very good to my folks. He was there for us when they passed. John is and will be missed by so many. My condolences to the Sullivan family. May God be with you all in this time.
Sincerely,
Chuck Young
Chuck Young
Friend
August 12, 2020
I have such wonderful memories working for John when his store was at 108 Main Street in Savanna. I worked in the bakery along with Ann Deppa, Iris Hayden, and Sylvia Kelsey. When I burnt my leg, John personally drove me to the hospital to make sure I was taken care of properly. He was always so caring!!! I will miss him! God bless. My sincerest condolences to the family....
Arly Falls Lipscomb
Coworker
August 12, 2020
Our prayers and sympathy offered to the family of John.
Dean & Debra Tillis
Acquaintance
August 12, 2020
The Hanover VFW will surely miss John! What a dear sweetheart!!... and my dad would tell me, "There is a man(John) who said what he was going to do and then did it!!" Prayers to the family ❤.
Darcy Wild
Friend
August 12, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. John was an Icon and a leader. He was truly a great man. We will miss him.
Velma and Bob Fonderoli
Friend
August 12, 2020
Condolences to the family of John Sullivan. He was an icon in the surrounding communities! Surely will be missed by all!
Spencer & LaVonneda Haas
Friend
August 12, 2020
So sorry to hear about John’s passing. I know he will be greatly missed by friends, employees and mostly his family. My thoughts are with you and my prayers.
Cheryl Bourland
Coworker
August 12, 2020
My condolences to all of the Sullivan family. John was a great man. I don’t think I ever saw him without a smile on his face!
Debbie (Anderson) Cusack
Friend
August 12, 2020
John always would stop and ask how I was doing with a smile on his face. I’d give a come back and I remember his comments and genuine laugh. I remember shopping at his first store where Savanna Home Center-Ace is at now. He was never ever afraid or too proud to roll up his shirt sleeves and pitch in whatever had to be done. He was an icon. Jeannine Mills
Jeannine Mills
August 12, 2020
John was great to our Community and we appreciate the entire family. Prayers to the entire family. God Bless. Ron Arb
Ron Arb
Friend
August 12, 2020
Prayers and condolences to the Sullivan family
Valareena Ashby DeSpain
Friend
August 12, 2020
Remember him well. Went to school with Scott. RIP
Suellen SHEPPARD
August 12, 2020
I remember going to Savanna on the weekends and going to Sullivan Foods growing up. Always. Nice atmosphere. Sorry to hear of his passing.
Carol (Arnold) Schulmeister
August 12, 2020
John took a chance and hired me in 1972. He allowed me to do almost every job at Super Value in Savanna. It helped pay for College and I developed Management Skills I use everyday. No one could ask for better person or role model than John. Rest in Peace John, you have earned it.
William Brown
Coworker
August 12, 2020
He was such a gentleman with a very good sense of humor. He was so proud and supportive of his family. Will be greatly missed
Karen Klepack
Friend
August 12, 2020
My sincere condolences and prayers for you and your family! John was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed. Tina Eckdahl Princeton Il
Tina Eckdahl
Coworker
August 12, 2020
His impact on so many people will live on through many years to come. The care and generosity of his family will live on through his legacy...May God Bless
Mary Cimino-Chapman
August 12, 2020
Sympathies to the families.
August 12, 2020
We are sorry for your loss. You have our sympathy.
Jerry and Cathy Townsend
Friend
August 12, 2020
My Deepest Sympathy we will always remember John for his big heart ❤ and kindness so sorry to all of you
Sherry Flack
Friend
August 12, 2020
Prayers for all the family. May God bring youi comfort and care.
Julia Bathon
August 12, 2020
So sorry to hear of John's passing. It was always so much fun when he would make it to the coffee shop in Elizabeth. John was a great guy and a truly hard worker. We will surely miss this guy.
Paul Knauer
Friend
August 12, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to June and all of the Sullivan families. We have many memories of great times with you all.
Rod and Lou
Lou Brandt
August 12, 2020
I have lots of great memories of John.
He was a hardworking, generous man
who will be missed!
Gordy Strauss
Friend
August 12, 2020
Roger and Terry Miller
Friend
August 12, 2020
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a loved one
August 12, 2020
Our condolences go out to the entire Sullivan Family.
John was "one of a kind". We served together on the Savanna School Board as well as participated in Many Savanna High School Sports Booster Clubs.
Angie & I are lighting a Candle for Him, June & the whole Family

Angie & Bill Ernst
August 12, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Thinking of you all,
Delbert & JoDeen Bunker & family
JoDeen Bunker
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