Mary Therese Sullivan

September 2, 1932March 6, 2018

Mary Therese Cannon Sullivan passed away peacefully at home in Honolulu, Hawaii on March 6th, 2018. She was 85 years old. Mary was born on September 2nd, 1932 in Champaign, Illinois. Mary grew up on a family farm in Ivesdale, Illinois with her parents John and Agnes Watson, her four brothers-Thomas, John, Frank and Greg, and her sister Ruth Ann. Mary was a polio survivor, contracting the crippling disease at the age of 12. She spent a year in a hospital in Chicago in an iron lung. Mary had to wear a brace on her right leg until she was able to have a surgery that enabled her to walk without a brace. She attended St. Mary’s Academy in Nauvoo, Illinois and graduated at the top of her class in 1950. After graduation, Mary moved to Los Angeles and worked for a newspaper editor as an Executive Administrative Assistant. In 1953, Mary met Thomas Patrick (Pat) Sullivan, her future husband, at a church social and a year later they were married. Against doctors’ orders on account of her polio, she had children, five of them. Mary with her husband were owners of a landscaping business in Arizona. Mary spent her life sharing her knowledge on accessibility issues regarding living in a world with physical challenges and was an advocate and supporter of various post-polio groups. After Mary retired, she moved to Hawaii and due to post-polio conditions and strokes was blessed to call Maunalani Nursing and Rehabilitation Center home. Maunalani provided the delicate care she needed and Mary loved all the staff and considered them family. Mary enjoyed field trips, family visits and attending the Maunalani Resident Council meetings. Mary loved to share stories of her Aunt Sadie and her adventures growing up on the farm like the time her dog Buster saved her life, and the tornado near misses she grew up with. Over the years as Mary’s health declined, her strong spirit, abundant wisdom, sparkling blue eyes, and contagious smile never waned. Mary cherished her time with family and friends. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and friend. Mary is survived by her 5 children, Joseph Sullivan, Patrick Sullivan, Michael Sullivan, Christopher Sullivan,and Mary Sullivan-Bueche, 21 grandchildren, and 35 great grandchildren, her sister Ruth Ann Younger, and brothers Greg and Frank Cannon. We are saddened to not be able to see her Irish eyes smiling one more time. “Those we love don’t go away; They walk beside us every day; Unseen, unheard, but always near; Still loved, still missed and very dear.”(author unknown) Friends and family are invited to attend the Rosary, Visitation, and Funeral Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 4200 88th St. NE, Marysville, Washington, at 10 a.m. on Friday March 23rd, 2018. Following the Funeral Mass will be a reception at the Church hall.


  • Funeral Mass Friday, March 23, 2018
  • Graveside Service Friday, March 23, 2018

Mary Therese Sullivan

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