Obituary : Gerald L. Sullivan
At the cemetery, some who spoke of Gerry recounted stories told and heard hundreds of times, stories easily told and heard once more.
Friends heard of him as a colleague, children of him, as a child, family of him, as family to a great many.
With eloquence, humor, and sincerity, the tangible and intangible qualities that form a man's life were spread before all; and for one afternoon, an afternoon that will stretch into each that follow, Gerald Sullivan was admired and loved openly and deeply by all who knew him.
Most of the days of his life occurred in and around Boston; a child growing up in Newton and Wellesley, Roxbury Latin School, two degrees from Harvard, raising a family in Jamaica Plain, almost four decades as a devoted educator in the Boston Public schools including headmaster of The English High School, the oldest public high school in the country. For all of it though, Gerry really lived on Martha's Vineyard. Over his 66 years, 62 summers were spent on the Island. A man of warm memories and friendships, he would speak at great lengths of a childhood at the St. Pierre Camp, delivering Coca-Cola during the summers of his college years and beyond, running the Second Story Cinema in Vineyard Haven and later in Oak Bluffs. Later there was the Island Limousine Service that generated little money, but many stories. He enjoyed good company and laughter on the Vineyard surrounded by friends, building a home with his wife and growing with his children in the waters of State Beach and in the woods of West Tisbury.
Gerald Leo Sullivan was born at the Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain on August 2, 1943, to Eleanor and William Sullivan. He met and accepted challenges as a part of life and took a decisive role in the challenge that took his life. He succumbed to a long battle with multiple myeloma August 5 of this year. His wife at his side and children nearby, Gerry leaves behind countless friends, his brothers Robert, Richard, and Lawrence, his wife Martha of 36 years, and his sons Richard, David, Gerald, and Daniel, all of whom will never forget the undying love shown them in their father's dying eyes.
A graveside service was held under the care of Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven on August 8. A second event celebrating Gerry's life will be held in Boston at a later date. Donations to the MSPCA can be made in Gerry Sullivan's memory, MSPCA, ATTN: Donations, 350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130.