Robert A Sullivan

February 10, 1934August 4, 2018
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Robert A. Sullivan, 84, of Machesney Park went to be with the Lord on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Robert was born February 10, 1934 in Tuckerman, AR. Son of Audie and Sylvia (Parr) Sullivan. He married Gwen Ford on December 8, 1962 in Rockford. Robert was a member of North Park Church of Christ. Robert worked at the Chrysler plant in Belvidere for 25 years. He loved cowboy movies, working in his garden and taking walks in his neighborhood.

Robert is survived by his wife, Gwen; son, Alan (Debbie) Sullivan; daughter, Beverly Sullivan; grandchildren, Andrew, Summer and Lexi Sullivan; brothers, Ronald (Sherry) Sullivan, Delon Sullivan, Donald Sullivan, Wayne Sullivan, Jimmy Sullivan; sister, Nancy Sullivan; several nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Pamela Bushman; grandson, Brandon Bushman; brothers, Melvin Sullivan, Darrell Sullivan; sister, Betty Lou Owens.

Celebration of Life Funeral Service at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 8 at Sunset Funeral Home, 8800 N. Alpine Rd, Machesney Park. Pastor Jeremy Kemp officiating. Visitation at 9 a.m. until time of service. Entombment following in Sunset Memorial Gardens.


  • Audie Sullivan, Father
  • Sylvia (Parr) Sullivan, Mother
  • Betty Lou Owens, Sister
  • Melvin Sullivan, Brother
  • Darrell Sullivan, Brother
  • Ronald (Sherry) Sullivan, Brother
  • Delon Sullivan, Brother
  • Donald Sullivan, Brother
  • Wayne Sullivan, Brother
  • Jimmy Sullivan, Brother
  • Nancy Sullivan, Sister
  • Virginia Gwen Ford, Wife
  • Alan (Debbie) Sullivan, Son
  • Beverly Sullivan, Daughter
  • Pamela Bushman, Daughter
  • Brandon Bushman, Grandson
  • Andrew Sullivan, Grandson
  • Summer Sullivan, Granddaughter
  • Lexi Sullivan, Granddaughter
  • Also survived by several Nieces and Nephews.


  • Celebration of Life Visitation Wednesday, August 8, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Funeral Service Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Robert A Sullivan

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Patsy Pyles

August 6, 2018

He was good man



If there was ever a person who wanted to heal all the wrongs in the world, it was Robert A Sullivan. He was an idealist who sought to bring harmony to those around him. Even though Robert was enthusiastic and generous, it was sometimes difficult for him to boast about his accomplishments. Robert had strong personal convictions, making it hard for him to relinquish those ideals he held dearest to himself. Despite his outer strengths and beliefs, Robert sometimes struggled in his efforts to see the world as completely positive. Robert's life motto was always to hope for the best and work hard towards that end, but be prepared for some of life's disappointments. This philosophy was a continual driving force in his life, but it did not extinguish the bright light that defined the dreamer in Robert, something that was always there and that he readily shared with everyone around him.

      Robert was born on February 10, 1934 in his home in Tuckerman, Arkansas. The Doctor came to the house for his delivery. His parents were Audie and Sylvia Sullivan. Robert was raised in Tuckerman and Swifton, Arkansas. As a youngster, Robert demonstrated an excellent vocabulary and command of language. He was a compassionate person, a quality that he would carry with him throughout his life. Even at a young age, Robert was sensitive to his parents’ moods and worked hard to please them and live up to their expectations.

      Throughout his life, Robert showed a remarkable ability to mend relationships. This was true even with his siblings. Robert was caring, diplomatic and tolerant of the feelings of those around him. Robert was raised with nine siblings. He had one older sister, Betty Lou; seven younger brothers, Melvin, Ronald, Delon, Darrel, Donald, Wayne and Jimmy; one younger sister Nancy. Robert was constantly involved in activities with his brothers and sisters. Robert and his siblings had the typical rivalries while growing up, but they cared deeply for one another.

      As a young boy, Robert lived a childhood filled with fantasy. He was generally in pursuit of his own identity, but he was also adaptable to almost any situation he faced. Robert took part in Baseball. In his spare time he liked comic books and going to the theatre for 10 cent movies and Saturday movies. Robert's memorable achievements included being praised for his penmanship and for having picked more cotton than most adult males of his family. However, to Robert, the most fun to be had was simply playing, and spending time with his many friends.

      High school was a time for Robert to seek out knowledge. He enjoyed learning and had a natural interest in gathering information. Robert had a flair for the poetic and was very expressive and articulate, especially when it came to his writing. Robert took his education seriously even though he did not graduate from Tuckerman High School. Robert left High School to help his family by working. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. His favorite class in high school was Math. The teacher he enjoyed learning from the most was Mary Lou Dow.

      While those who did not know him well found Robert to be somewhat reserved until they got to know him, he was an authentic and devoted friend. Robert was a tranquil person, with an easygoing and open-minded attitude towards life. He presented a pleasant face to the outside world but concealed the pain and discomfort he felt over his own friends’ difficulties. Robert sought to achieve harmony with everyone and possessed the ability to mend conflicts and avoid interpersonal struggles. While growing up, some of his best friends were Levelle and Byron Parr. Later in life, he became friends with Glen Eldridge, Virgil Morton and Leon James.

      The desire for romance was always present in Robert's life. He succeeded in finding it on December 8, 1962, when Robert exchanged wedding vows with Virginia Gwendona Ford in the Courthouse in Winnebago County of Rockford, Illinois. Robert cared passionately for Virginia lovingly known as Gwen. His deep loyalty and a strong commitment to his vows brought a sense of completeness to their marriage.

      Robert was a gentle person who held deep feelings for his children. He enjoyed having fun with his kids and was at times fiercely protective of them. Robert showed great empathy in his willingness to give every family member a voice in family decisions. He was blessed with three children, one son, Alan Dale and two daughters, Pamela Sue and Beverly Carol. They were also blessed with four grandchildren, Brandon, Andrew, Summer and Lexi.

      Blessed with a strong sense of integrity, Robert was as loyal and committed in his work as he was in the rest of his life. Robert worked well with fellow employees and showed great cooperation in reaching common goals. Though he had a tendency to take on too many tasks, himself; Robert showed great patience with complicated situations. He was ingenious and trusted his intuition. For Robert, the application of logic could be optional, and while that sometimes bothered his co-workers, Robert always seemed to be able to get the job done. He was most comfortable working on the projects and jobs that he strongly supported. His primary occupation was in the Body Shop at Chrysler. He was employed for 25 years. Robert always tried to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

      Robert enjoyed his leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were collecting Baseball Cards, comic books, golf balls and recording western movies. Robert was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but he was also willing to share his interests with others.

      Robert's tremendous enthusiasm for the activities he enjoyed also influenced the pleasure he drew from sports. Robert also enjoyed watching sports and liked following his favorite teams whenever he got the chance to do so. Tops on his list were Baseball, Basketball and Football.

      With a calling to help others and a fierce conviction for the causes in which he believed, Robert would work hard for his values and principles. Politically, Robert was a Democrat.

      Robert took all of his personal and moral obligations seriously. Robert was a strong defender of his faith. He was a member of North Park Church of Christ for the last 50 years.

      Robert enjoyed traveling and going away on vacations. Taking trips provided the chance for him to kick back and relax, to visit new places and see new things. Favorite vacations included Walt Disney World and visiting Family in Arkansas.

      Robert was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of Robert's favorites was Thor, a Siberian Huskie dog and Daphney, a tortie cat. They were best friends with Thor for 4 years and with Daphney for 10 years. His family was rounded out by his tortie cat, Daphney.

      Though Robert always appeared to be dreaming of greener pastures, he was accepting of retirement when it finally came in 1990. Long-range planning skills served him well in preparing for the “golden years. In retirement, he found new pleasure in walking at the CherryVale Mall and recording and watching Western movies from the Western channel. Even in retirement, Robert continued to stay in touch with his old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. He was active in the community and felt fulfilled with the opportunities that retirement offered him.

      Robert passed away on August 4, 2018 at in his house in Machesney Park, Illinois. He had a 20 year history of Heart Disease. He is survived by his wife, Gwen; son, Alan (Debbie) Sullivan; daughter, Beverly Sullivan; grandchildren, Andrew, Summer and Lexi Sullivan; brothers, Ronald (Sherry) Sullivan, Delon Sullivan, Donald Sullivan, Wayne Sullivan, Jimmy Sullivan; sister, Nancy Sullivan; several nieces and nephews. Robert was laid to rest in Sunset Memorial Gardens in Machesney Park, Illinois.

      Robert A Sullivan was someone who was able to see the world as a good and honorable place. He viewed the people who inhabited it as essentially good. A person who tended to see the world in terms of black and white, Robert tried to focus on the good he saw, knowing that there were times he would have to compromise. He was selfless and deeply committed to all things positive and good. Robert was a person who would keep his eye on tomorrow and constantly held onto his dreams. He was capable of being mystical at times, and he could be the seer or shaman of a group. It was this exceptional insight and quiet reserve that that became Robert's trademark qualities for all who knew him, and it was one of the many reasons why all who knew him loved Robert A Sullivan.