E. Joseph “Sully” Sullivan, Lieut., Warwick FD, Ret., 63, died Wednesday, May 5, 2021. A lifelong resident of Warwick, he was a son of the late Ellworth J. and Catherine (McCabe) Sullivan. Sully served as a firefighter for 30 years and had worked in Station 6, Station 4, and Station 3. He was very proud to serve on ladder 3 for the last 15 years of his career. He was the loving father of Joseph P. and Jennie R. Sullivan. He also leaves his siblings Kathleen S. Kenwood, (Thomas), Charleen E. S. Pysz, (Paul), and Kevin F. Sullivan, (Cynthia).
Sully was a devoted family man, starting with the way he treated his mother Kay. He made it a point to bring a coffee to her every morning. His favorite memory growing up was going to Sunday dinner at his grandparents’ home in Apponaug after church at Saint Catherine’s. There he shared happy memories with his siblings. A true Warwick man through and through, he never strayed too far from that Apponaug home.
He was a hard worker starting as a paperboy when he was 11-years-old. His next job was at Bassett’s Inn as a dishwasher. Later, he worked many years in the deli department at Almacs in Buttonwoods, until he earned a position on the Warwick Fire Department in 1984. The consummate professional, he followed protocol to a T and took pride in his efforts to do the job. He ended his career as a highly respected Lieutenant in 2014. Sully had a passion for the job and truly loved it.
Sully’s greatest passion, however, was his children. He selflessly devoted himself to Joey and Jennie, and he loved to spend as much time as he could with them above all else. A main goal of his life was to provide the best he could for his children and he made countless sacrifices for them. He was Joey’s T-ball coach, an avid member of the Boy Scout Troop 7 Buttonwoods committee, and he attended every one of Joey’s performances for the Toll Gate Mock Trial team. Every year Sully and Jennie looked forward to the Father-Daughter dance at Greenwood Elementary School. He never missed one of Jennie’s soccer and field hockey games. Later, he prided himself in their accomplishments, and shared in the joy of their successes at every level, through elementary and high school to college and graduate school. He was always there for them.
He was a man of simple pleasures and rituals, whether it was Laki’s Pizza and Papa’s Ice Cream on Fridays, or Han Palace on Tuesdays with the kids. There was always a place at the table for friends too. In fact, many of his friends met each other and also became buddies in the process. Sully was an ardent Patriots fan, and relished attending their games. His daily walks in Warwick City Park, following the clearly marked one-way signs, he often included conversations with friends he ran into along the path. He supported those he cared about in their passions, from music and sports to family gatherings and events. He was happiest when he was among those he cared about. No matter what the event was, he was a man dressed for the occasion. His Irish wit and charm was like no other. Sully was a class act in word and deed, and he had the brightest of spirits even in the darkest of times. He will be sorely missed.
A visitation will be held Sunday, May 9, 2021 from 3-6 p.m. in the Thomas & Walter Quinn Funeral Home, 2435 Warwick Avenue, Warwick. Relatives and friends are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial Monday, May 10, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. in St. Kevin Church, Sandy Lane, Warwick. Burial will be in Pawtuxet Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Head and Neck Cancer Fund at Lifespan, 593 Eddy Street, Providence, RI 02903, will be appreciated. Information and condolences, visit theQuinnFuneralHome.Com