Donald L. Sullivan

July 19, 1926July 21, 2013
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Donald Lewis Sullivan, age 87, died Sunday, July 21, 2013, at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. He had been living in Bloomington for the last 23 years, with the last two at the Bell Trace Senior Living Center. Born July 19, 1926, in Mattoon, Illinois, he was the son of Edward John and Alberta Mae (Barker) Sullivan. In 1944, after graduating from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and participated in action against the enemy at Okinawa and occupation of China, attaining the rank of Corporal at the time of his discharge. Upon his return, he met and married his wife of 50 years, Joan (Niehoff) Sullivan, and took advantage of the G.I. Bill to earn a degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. He worked as a chemical engineer at Eli Lilly and Company for 35 years, retiring in 1987. After retirement, he and Joan spent winters in Panama City Beach, Florida, with frequent visits from friends and relatives, especially their children and grandchildren. Don and Joan loved to travel, searching out museums and historical sites wherever they went. Don especially loved traveling to France, where he practiced reading and listening to the language that had fascinated him since high school, where he was President of the French Club. After Joan’s death in 1998, he traveled frequently with his children. An avid reader and lifelong learner, Don was a regular patron of public libraries, reading deeply in all subjects and genres.

He is survived by five children, all of Bloomington: Mary Sullivan, Paul Sullivan, Julie Bobay, Tony Sullivan and Laura Kress; two brothers: James William Sullivan, of Dallas, Texas, and Lawrence Edward Sullivan, of Indianapolis; three sisters, Patricia Jean McGovern, of Tucson, Arizona, Sheila Mae Mason, of Eagle, Michigan, and Colleen Marie McVay, of Tucson, Arizona; ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward John Sullivan and Alberta Mae (Barker) Sullivan Leal; his wife, Anna Joan Sullivan; one sister, Shirley Ann Winn; and one brother, Francis Eugene Sullivan.

A reception of friends will be on Saturday, July 27, at Day Funeral Home in Bloomington from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The family suggests to friends who wish to make memorial contributions to consider the Nature Conservancy, Goodwill Industries or the Monroe County Friends of the Library. Please send contributions c/o Day Funeral Home, 4150 E. Third St., Bloomington, IN 47401


  • Receiving of Friends Saturday, July 27, 2013

Donald L. Sullivan

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Greg Koerner

September 9, 2013

Dear Julie and Keith, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Dad. I very much enjoyed looking at all the incredible family photos and how much happiness you all shared. It was very heartwarming, and a wonderful tribute to his Life. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Julie Quebe

July 30, 2013

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Katie Farmer

July 29, 2013

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Debbie & Wallace Myrick

July 29, 2013

To the entire Sullivan family, please accept our condolences. Don became our special friend in PCB. I remember the first day I met him 13 yrs. ago and I will cherish my memories of him. He and I had such fun and became buddies. I really enjoyed viewing the photo gallery of, that is awesome and brought tears to my eyes but I do know Don lived a very full life with a family that loved and cherished him. I am so glad we have met and became friends with all his children and look forward to always staying in touch. May the sadness of your loss one day be replaced with all the beautiful memories of such a special man.
Love, Debbie Myrick and Wallace Rhymes

Deborah Lankford

July 26, 2013

I am so sorry Laura about your Dad's passing. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Deb Lankford

July 25, 2013

To the whole family of Don Sullivan. I was there when you all were going to school .I knew you when I visited at Don' house. He was so proud of you ,and I don't know any of your addresses If you have time I would like one address. My love to you all and I wish I could be there
Jeanne Herrick Sun
City, Ca..

Craig Bobay

July 25, 2013

Dear Sullivan Family-
Your dad/grandpa was a very nice man who always had a smile and kind words for us from the northeastern part of the state. You all made him and Joan very proud, and you took very good, loving care of him especially in the last several years. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Kate Struck

July 24, 2013

Hello Julie, Mary, Paul, Anthony and Laura, I have often had your father in my heart and thoughts. I remember him fondly. He was always kind to me as a child. I loved his sweet smile, gentle ways and sense of humor. I am sorry for your loss. Kate Struck

Jamie Gayer

July 24, 2013

Paul - my condolences to you and your family during this tough time. I pray that peace finds your father and you.

Grace Worley

July 24, 2013

I will always remember Uncle Don as part of the circle of friends that made up him, Aunt Joan, my father and my mother. My dad and Don were soldiers in WWII who rejoined civilian life as young men ready to 'start their lives'. Dad introduced Don to his date's (Mom) sister and double dates led to a long intertwined history of marriage, raising families and friendship in post war Indiana. His death is part of closing chapter for the Greatest Generation. -His niece, Grace Worley.