Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Mary W. Sullivan
Mary W. Sullivan, 98, of South Orange formerly of Interlaken, NJ passed away on May 24, 2023 at home.
Visitation will be held at Preston Funeral Home 153 South Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ on Tuesday May 30th from 4-8pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady Of Sorrows Church, 217 Prospect Street, South Orange on Wednesday at 10:00 AM. Interment Ocean County Memorial Park, Toms River.
Mary was born in Oak Park, IL. She grew up in Rutherford, where, in fifth grade she met the man she would eventually marry. Mary earned her bachelors degree from The New Jersey State Teachers College of Newark. Contrary to her mother’s desires, Mary volunteered for the Navy and served in WWII as an apprentice, first class in a naval hospital. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Mary finished college and taught elementary school in the Nutley school system. In 1951, she married Jim Sullivan, that boy from fifth grade. Jim and Mary had five children, Paul, Will, John, Anne (who sadly died a day after she was born) and Mary Carol. The family lived in Paramus, Cranford, Wayne and eventually moved to Interlaken, which Mary called home for almost 50 years. After being a homemaker and raising her children, Mary went back to work as an administrative assistant for the The US Army at Fort Monmouth in Oceanport. A few years after Jim passed, Mary moved to South Orange to live with her son, John and his wife, Kelly.
Mary was a very intelligent, inquisitive, thoughtful and generous woman. She was a hard worker and extremely self reliant. Having grown up during the depression, Mary saw first hand the effects of unemployment and homelessness. She learned from her parents the beauty of sharing with those who were hungry and less fortunate then she. Mary had an affinity for the plight of Native American Indians and throughout her life donated to various charities and causes benefiting them.
Mary had many friends and loved to travel. While Jim was more of a home body, Mary took many wonderful trips to Europe and elsewhere with friends. The couple enjoyed playing cards and played many bridge games with other couples and friends over the years.
Mary always took a genuine interest in the lives of her children and grandchildren, the latter which lovingly called her “Mimi.” Even in her nineties, when her energy was waning, she was always up for a visit, with a twinkle in her eyes and big smile on her face, especially when they brought her great grandchildren to see her.
Mary lived an exceptional life which spanned almost a century. She was loved by many and will be missed.
Mary was predeceased by her devoted husband James J. Sullivan, son Paul A. Sullivan, daughter Anne Lillian Christine Sullivan & her sister Theresa A. Donnelly. She is survived by her children William J. Sullivan (Barbara), John P. Sullivan (Kelly), Mary Carol Descroix (Gilles), sister Leila Reiman (Davis) & brother Thomas F. Whalen Jr. She is also survived by her grandchildren Patrick Coppa (Laura) (Patrick’s mom, Clare Coppa), Jack Sullivan (Liz), Leigh Fagan (Ryan), Jean Descroix, Alex Descroix and her great grandchildren Paul, Connor, Peter, Rosa and Orly.
In lieu of flowers donations to St. Francis Mission Among the Lakota, P.O. Box 499, St. Francis, South Dakota 57572, would be appreciated.
For more information or to send condolences please visit prestonfuneralhome.net
2122 Millburn Ave | Maplewood, NJ | 07040
153 South Orange Ave. | South Orange NJ | 07079