Mike Sullivan was remembered at a Memorial Service in Battell Chapel on June 5, 2009 during our 45th reunion. Below are:
Memorial Service reading
by Paul Manchester, '64
I first met Mike Sullivan in the 2nd or 3rd grade in Winsted, CT, a town of about 10,000 50 miles north of New Haven. We were in school together through the rest of elementary school, in middle school, and at the Gilbert School, which serves as Winsted's high school. Mike's mother was a teacher, and his father ran Sullivan's Glass Shoppe.
Our high school yearbook said "Sully" was "scientifically inclined" and "sarcastic," and the quote attributed to Mike was "Now let's examine that for logic." Mike was the winner of the Oratorical Contest, and at another point the yearbook referred to him as a "walking dictionary." Finally, our class's "Last Will and Testament" in the yearbook said that "Michael Sullivan leaves his opponent speechless."
In the summer after our junior year in high school Mike was one of our town's two delegates to American Legion's Boys' State, a high honor. That was exactly 50 years ago, in the summer of 1959. There Mike met one of our future Yale classmates who was a delegate from Stamford — namely, Senator Joe Lieberman.
Mike and I roomed together freshman year, on the first floor of the corner entry of Bingham Hall. Our two roommates were Lee Sigal, who is here today, and Bob Post, who is not. It was a very spacious room — when I revisited it some years ago, Yale was packing six students into the space that the four of us had occupied. It was something of a wild dorm, with beer-can fights in the spacious entryway.
The four of us moved on to Davenport College, where Art Reagin joined us as a roommate sophomore year. Subsequently, Bruce Scherling joined us.
Mike majored in sociology at Yale. At the time, "soc." had a reputation as something of a "gut" major (apologies to any soc. majors in the audience), a point about which Mike was very sensitive. He was involved in the humor magazine, which as I recall was called the Yale Record. Mike was a good writer, and he took the daily themes course, which somewhat amazed me, as I had trouble churning out enough words for my occasional term papers.
In our sophomore year Mike met Jerrie Johnson, who was a nursing student at Grace New Haven Hospital School of Nursing and a resident of Hamden. Mike fell head over heels for Jerrie, and they married in our junior year, moving into a flat near the hockey rink. Mike and Jerrie were here for our 40th reunion five years ago, but sadly, Jerrie passed away later that year.
After graduating from Yale, Mike went on to law school at the University of Chicago, where two of his fellow students were also our classmates from Yale — Bruce Scherling and John Ashcroft. Mike worked very hard in law school, and graduated somewhat early.
Mike then took a position with the law firm of Bricker & Eckler, the third largest (but best) law firm in Columbus, Ohio. Mike did very well there and was very highly regarded, so he remained with the firm for his entire 40-year career. He specialized in business law, and often came to Washington for SEC filings. As a baseball fan, I was most impressed with the work he did for the Pittsburgh Pirates as outside counsel in connection with major financing and sale of assets transactions.
Mike and Jerrie had 3 daughters — Kristen, who lives near Columbus; Kate, who also went to Yale and who lives in Portland, Maine; and Megan, also a lawyer who lives in Columbus. He is also survived by his younger brother Brian, who lives in Torrington, CT, and by 4 grandchildren.
Mike was a proud Irishman and a member of the Shamrock Club of Columbus. He was an avid reader and traveler. Tragically, he contracted an illness on a cruise with his family in early 2007, and passed away in a Houston hospital on January 29, 2007 on his return to Columbus.
My wife Ruth and I attended the memorial service for Mike in Westerville, Ohio. One of his law partners delivered a eulogy for Mike in which he mentioned his many achievements, but he focused most on Mike's work as a mentor to the many new law associates who came through the doors over those forty years. Mike is missed greatly by all who knew him.
Michael F. Sullivan
April 7, 1942 - January 29, 2007
Feb. 2, 2007
Michael F. Sullivan passed away following a sudden illness on January 29th upon returning from a family cruise. He was surrounded by loved ones at the time of his death. He was a graduate of Gilbert High School, Winsted, Connecticut, Yale University, and the University of Chicago Law School. Throughout his education, he maintained a high level of academic achievement. Michael was a senior partner in the law firm of Bricker & Eckler of Columbus, Ohio, where he practiced law for more than 40 years, specializing in securities law. He was considered an expert in his field by his peers; he was a mentor and friend and, in that context, he will be most sorely missed. He was an avid traveler, reader, and a member of the Shamrock Club of Columbus, Ohio. He was a loving father, grandfather, brother, and friend who enjoyed life to the fullest. His beloved wife of 44 years, Jerrie, pre-deceased him in 2004. He is survived by his three daughters, Kristen of Hilliard, Ohio, Kate of Portland, Maine, and Megan of Columbus, Ohio; one brother, Brian Sullivan of Torrington, Connecticut; and four grandchildren, Patrick, Emily, Nathan, and Michael. He is also survived by his loving girlfriend, Diane Crossland, who brought much joy to his life. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 3rd at 1 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 313 North State Street, Westerville, Ohio. In accordance with his wishes, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to International Rescue Committee, www.theirc.org or P.O. Box 98152, Washington, D.C. 20090-8152 or to CARE, www.care.org. Arrangements by O'SHAUGHNESSY FUNERAL HOME, 405 E. Town St., 221-2311.