Tom Sullivan, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, passed away on May 7 after a long struggle against medical problems unrelated to the current virus pandemic. He passed away at Evanston Hospital in the presence of caring professionals but, like so many others today, without family at his bedside. We are grateful for all those who cared for Tom in consultation with his long-time and trusted doctor, Tom Neumann. We are also grateful for the loving support and care given to Tom the last few difficult years by his wife, Mary.
Thomas Edward Sullivan, III was born on July 9, 1942, and raised in Glenview at a time which today seems almost quaint and simple. He was the namesake of his grandfather, Thomas E. Sullivan; and his father, Thomas E. Sullivan, Jr. Tom was the first of four sons born to Tom and Ginny Sullivan, and was the last to carry the name, Thomas, in his family. Tom graduated from Glenbrook High School in 1960, and went off to college at Southern Methodist University in Texas and then to Shimer College in Illinois. Tom returned to Glenview and started working. He found his stride in sales, a line of work that allowed him to deploy his engaging manner and sense of humor and the remainder of his life.
Early on he became a sales representative for numerous toy companies, including the plush line manufactured by Steiff, a German company. He made many friends of his customers, some of whom invited him to stay in their homes when he was on sales trips. The thought of Tom brings a smile to our faces. He had a wonderful sense of humor, sometimes self-deprecating, but always entertaining and never mean-spirited. He had the Irish gift of gab, enjoying the company of almost everyone he met.
His wife, Mary, his parents and three brothers, his many nieces and nephews, and countless cousins and friends all were special to him. He was uncommonly generous, perceiving need and doing what he could to lift burdens and sometimes just to make life more fun. His many contributions were made without fanfare and out of public view, but his life made all of our lives better. He will be badly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Tom is survived by his wife, Mary (nee Patton); brothers, Lawrence M. (Sabina), Bryan (Joanna), and Stephen P. (Marie) Sullivan; and his many nieces and nephews. During his working career, Tom was a sales representative for numerous toy companies. He will also be remembered for his passion for antique and pottery collecting, dogs, and spoiling his nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Tunnel to Towers, www.tunnel2towers.org or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, www.stjude.org/donate.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas E Sullivan, III, please visit our floral store.