Patrick Eugene Sullivan, age 61, of Jefferson City, passed away Friday, August 13, 2010, at his beloved home surrounded by the love of his family and friends.
Pat was born February 4, 1949, the middle child of John L. and Bee Bassmann Sullivan. Pat was married in 1971 to Cynthia Hawkins Sullivan. A lifelong resident of Jefferson City, Pat was a 1967 graduate of Jefferson City High School and a 1971 graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. While at the military academy, Pat played baseball, served as the radio station director and was only one of six to pass his ship's license test the first time (the promise of a three day pass worked wonders for Pat!) Pat was no stranger to hard work. While at the Academy, he carried 20 plus hours per semester in exciting classes like Thermodynamics, Statics and Calculus III. He sailed for the Lykes Shipping Line as part of his training, visiting sea ports from Japan to Belize. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical and Marine Engineering and subsequently obtained his Professional Engineers license. Upon graduation, Pat was eligible to work at any major seaport in the world. However, he quickly made it known that his family was of utmost importance and moved them back to his cherished Jefferson City. Once back, Pat wasted no time becoming involved in serving his community. Pat joined the Host Lion's Club and earned Rookie of the Year honors. He went on to become President, served as a board member and was a Melvin Jones Fellow. For many years, Pat drove corneas for the Eye Tissue Bank. Pat began his career as an engineer at United Telephone in Jefferson City, but soon took a job at Harold G. Butzer, Inc., as a mechanical engineer. He worked there for 28 years, ending his career as the Vice President of the Mechanical Division. In 2001, Pat decided to use his many talents to serve the city where he had lived all his life, and became the Director of Community Development for the City of Jefferson. Taking a tour of Jefferson City you can see his handiwork. The Veteran's Memorial in front of City Hall, its benches and sidewalks are just a small portion of his work. He also designed heating and plumbing for many commercial buildings in mid-Missouri. It is a family joke about how many 'sewer plants' he has designed. Pat took pride in all his work. Pat, a devoted 'family-man', was a strong role model for his children, serving as a Cubmaster and as a football, baseball, and softball coach. If his children were in an activity, he was always there to support and encourage their efforts. Spiritually, he lived his life humbly and quietly, never seeking recognition, always focusing on others rather than himself and worked to inspire his family and friends. Pat served as an Elder, Deacon, and later President of the Central United Church of Christ. During his service to his church (and in all community service in his life) Pat worked hard, stayed on task, and was respectful to everyone. It was not uncommon for Pat to stand up for those who could not for themselves. In addition to his community service, Pat had many hobbies and interests, which usually involved family. He was a master carpenter, and if you go through his children's homes and his own, you can find hundreds of examples of his hand-crafted furniture and projects. He was always the first to volunteer when a family member or friend needed help building, repairing and improving. His unmatched work ethic led to many enrichments in people's lives and he never sought one ounce of repayment, always turning down 'thank-you's' and acknowledgement. Pat built a cabin and man-made lake at his home-away-from-home near Cole Camp, Mo., along with his family. 'Cole Camp' (as he called it) was his favorite place to get away from it all. An avid hunter and fisherman, Pat loved spending time there with family and friends. He also enjoyed quiet time by the fire with a good book while watching the Bald Eagles that claim 'Cole Camp' as a winter home. Another favorite pastime for Pat was horseback riding with his daughter and granddaughter. He was an accomplished rider and loved being a cowboy. He spent many hours on special trail rides with them and helped his granddaughter begin riding at the tender age of three. Pat quietly financed homes for those who needed help, helped college students with expenses and performed hundreds of other acts of random kindness. Pat was a true giver, never seeking recognition, rather finding quiet satisfaction in helping those he could. He would be embarrassed knowing this was being shared, but most who knew Pat were well aware of his philanthropy. Pat is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Cynthia. He is also survived by three adored children: J. Patrick Sullivan of Overland Park, Kan., Rebecca Sullivan Curtit of Jefferson City, Mo., and Brendan Sullivan of Jefferson City. He has three grandchildren, John Michael Sullivan, William Hamilton Sullivan and Stella Josephine Curtit. Pat is also survived by his parents (his heroes), John and Bee Sullivan; sister, Peggy Sullivan Sellers; and adored nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brother, John Michael Sullivan; his paternal grandparents, John F. and Charlotte Sullivan; his maternal grandparents, Eugena and Oscar Bassmann; and his great-aunt, Tena Jones. "The whole earth is a tomb of heroic men, and their story is not only graven on stone over their clay, but abides everywhere without visible symbol woven into the stuff of other men's lives." Pat quietly and humbly touched the lives of everyone he met. We feel honored and blessed that God allowed us to be a part of his life. Memorials are suggested to Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y.; Lions Eye Tissue Bank; Central United Church of Christ; or Jefferson City Animal Shelter. A memorial service in honor of Pat's life will be held Thursday, August 19, at Central United Church of Christ. Visitation will be from 3-5 p.m. with the Memorial Service to follow at 5 p.m.
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