Sullivan, William John On the morning of August 23, 2014, William Sullivan, 94, died at his Phoenix home surrounded by family. William, known as Bill or “Chief” to family and friends, was born December 11, 1919 in Duluth, Minnesota, into a loving home full of family, humor, art, ideas, games and adventure. In 1940, Bill moved to Phoenix with his parents, Bill and Adeline, and his sisters, Kathleen and Mary. Bill graduated from Phoenix College where he played on the football team under coach Dutch Hoy and relished the strategy involved in the game. During WWII, Bill served in the South Pacific as an Air Force navigator, retiring from the Air Force Reserve in 1958 with the rank of major. In 1945, Bill met his wife of 65 years, Lois Welling, and they married on June 29, 1946 at Brophy Chapel. Bill and Lois raised their thirteen children, taking them and their friends on many trips in the southwest and Mexico. Bill shared his love of adventure, art, innovation, ideas, and sports with his family. In 1946, Bill founded the W.J. Sullivan Construction Company and designed, built and remodeled homes and businesses all across Arizona. Over the years, he involved his sons in learning the construction trade. Bill loved building and was constantly improving the design of everything around him. Bill was a parishioner of Saint Francis Catholic Church and a life-long fan of the Saint Mary’s High School football team. In their retirement years, Bill and Lois painted, innovated, traveled, read and wrote. Bill became a sculptor, displaying his work in art shows, and wrote several memoirs chronicling his life. Bill and Lois delighted in their retirement years together as they camped on Mexican beaches in Tenacatita and joined family for Christmas vacations in Mazatlan. Bill was preceded in death by his wife Lois, his fifth child Janet, two grandchildren, Charles and Angelina, and his sister Kathleen. Bill is survived by his sister Mary, a dozen children: Bill (Diane), Dennis (Cait), Terry (Jeff), Sally (Peter), Mary (Tom), Sheila (Tom), Joe (Linda), Francis (Mary Jane), Steven (Katie), Linda (Dale), Martin, and Lisa (Nate); more than two dozen grandchildren: Patrick, Braeden (Liza-Jane), Janet, Jesse, Anna (Carl), David, Sarah (Adam), Bennett (Amanda), William, James, John (Laura), Stephen, Matthew, Teresa, Tyrel, Tessa, Benjamin, Spencer, Molly, Nathaniel, Liam, Paulina, Christophe, Ruby, Matthew (Jedebra), and Tim (Cailin); and six great grandchildren: Joey, Camden, Levi, Arlo, Marshall, and Elsie. In celebration of Bill’s life, there will be a Rosary at 9:30 a.m. and a Mass at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 30 at Saint Francis Church in Phoenix. Bill asked that we include the following: In lieu of flowers (the deceased was afflicted by hay fever), donations may be made to the Kino Border Institute or Casa Franciscana Outreach.
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