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William A. Sullivan Jr, 1939-2020 | News, Sports, Work




WILLIAMSBURG – On Friday, October 2, 2020, William A. Sullivan Jr., husband, father, grandfather, and beloved brother, died at his home in Williamsburg, Va., At the age of 81 years.

Bill was born on August 8, 1939, in Warren, Ohio, to William A. Sullivan Sr. and Maude (Cavender) Sullivan.

After graduating from Warren G. Harding High School, Bill attended Trinity College Hartford, Conn., Where he was champion of the debate and won the Cambridge International Debate in 1959 as a sophomore. He graduated with a BA degree in philosophy in 1961 and graduated from Columbia University School of Law in New York with a full scholarship.

After graduating from Colombia in 1964, Bill returned to Warren where he was determined to make a difference in his community. He began his career as a lawyer at the law firm of Evans, Gentithes and Meermans. During that time, he ran for and won a seat on the city council where he served from 1965 to 1967. In 1966, he was named Warren Young Man of the Year. In 1967, at the age of 28, he ran a lively campaign for the mayor of Warren.

Bill was deputy director of the Mahoning Valley Government Council and later founder and executive director of the Western Reserve Economic Development Agency (WREDA). He also united community leaders in founding the Coalition of Steel Communities in 1977. The coalition’s mission was to revive the steel industry in Northeast Orio and Western Pennsylvania.

Ever since he was a teenager, Bill has always been passionate about the politics and influence of every American in our government. He worked on many campaigns, including Ronald Reagan’s campaign in Ohio that led to Reagan’s election as president in 1980. Bill then took candidate Reagan on a tour of the closed Youngstown Sheet and Tube factory during Reagan’s visit to Ohio. impressing the candidate for the economic catastrophe caused closure.

In the spring of 1981, Bill was asked to join the Reagan Administration as chief executive officer of the United States Environmental Protection Agency that led to the relocation of the family to Washington, DC. After his time in government service, Bill was consulted for a variety of projects with local and international clients.

Bill was known for his quick wit and great sense of humor. He wanted a good debate and never held a person’s opposite position against them. He read more books than are kept in an average library and never stopped learning and sharing the things he learned with others. Most importantly, he was kind to everyone whose path he crossed and his genuine interest in others meant that he never met a stranger. He loved lively conversation, Ohio state football, Cleveland Indians baseball, both cooking and eating delicious food. It can often be found by searching through cookbooks for an interesting new recipe or an old favorite.

He loved all Irish things and was fiercely proud of his Irish heritage, passing this love on to his children. The trip to Ireland gave him joy and he made lifelong friends there. He loved traditional Irish music and listened to it all year round. Bill and Anne hosted wonderful parties throughout their wedding, including their incredible St. Patrick’s Day celebration and pubs held throughout the years.

Anyone who knew Bill knew that he loved his family more than he loved life itself. There was nothing he would not do for them.

Bill leaves behind his beloved wife of 53 years, Anne (McMahon) and three children, Bill (Nancy) Sullivan III of Williamsburg, Va., Kate (Dave) Richards of Weare, NH and Sean Sullivan of Washington DC He leaves two beloved grandchildren, Liam Patrick Sullivan and Emily Elizabeth Sullivan of Williamsburg, Va .; his favorite sister, Dorothy Ann (Bill) Plasky from Cortland, Ohio; and many granddaughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Bill also leaves two grandchildren, their husbands and some great-grandchildren with whom he shared a special bond and enjoyed visiting whenever he was in New Hampshire.

Services will be held on Friday, October 23, 2020, at 11 a.m. at Bruton Parish Episcopal Church in Williamsburg, Va., Where Bill was parish priest.

There will be a rally, in Bill’s honor, in Ohio in the spring of 2021.

Instead of flowers, please consider donating to Cancer Patient Support Services at the Cleveland Clinic Institute of Philanthropy, Box PO 931517, Cleveland, OH 44193-1655.

“Be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you are dead.”

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