Obituary of William E. Sullivan
William (Bill) Edward SULLIVAN, 91, of 401 Edgewater Avenue, Westville, NJ, passed away peacefully at Samaritan Hospice in Mt Holly on 27 November 2018 supported by family.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on 29 September, 1927 to William and Elizabeth (Joyce) Sullivan, Bill completed his early schooling in Grand Rapids. He was drafted into the Army Air force in 1945 and spent a year in Tokyo during which time he scaled Mt Fuji in winter earning him an article in Stars and Stripes.
Bill attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids and then his beloved University of Alabama, studying mechanical engineering. After several stints with aircraft companies, Bill landed the role of United Aircraft’s liaison with NASA. Successful negotiations led to NASA adopting UA’s Life Support System for the astronauts’ moon landing in 1969. Bill went on to become the communications trouble shooter for Voyager 1 in 1977; then continuing as RCA’s liaison to NASA for satellite communications.
In his later years, Bill became active in local politics; and in the preservation of the environment through the Old Pine Farm Land Trust. He continued to enjoy his life-long love of boats and cribbage. He enjoyed attending lectures at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, always relishing opportunities to vigorously challenge ideas of those around him. Bill’s generosity of spirit, active mind, and raucous – often self-deprecating – sense of humour will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Bill is pre-deceased by his sister Patricia Good. He is survived by four children: Paula Morelli, 64; Timothy Sullivan, 61 (Maryanne); Amy Sullivan, 58; and Camille Merger, 54 (Richard). He will be sadly missed by his four grandchildren: Christina Scialabba, 30; Melissa Garnett, 29; Benjamin De Groot, 28; and William Sullivan, 26 and two great grandchildren.