Roger B. Sullivan

December 28, 1950January 4, 2019

Roger B. Sullivan, 68 of Otego and Sunset Beach, North Carolina, peacefully passed from this life on Jan. 4, 2019, at his home in Otego. Roger was born on Dec. 28, 1950, in Ogdensburg, the son of Roger P. and Velma I. (O'Shaughnessy) Sullivan. He graduated from Lisbon Central High School and later earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from SUNY Potsdam and Bowling Green State University (Ohio), respectively, before beginning a distinguished 40-year career at the State University of New York. In 1996 he was hired by President Alan Donovan of SUNY Oneonta to grow and strengthen the college's enrollment, an assignment that would both enrich and define his career. During the next 13 years, working closely with a great many talented and dedicated faculty and staff colleagues on the hill, Roger oversaw the college's enrollment growth as well as the enrollment of a more diverse and academically talented student body. As a result of that work Oneonta gained national recognition, most notably reflected in its rise in the U.S. News rankings to a Tier One Public Masters College as well as its recognition as a Top 10 Best Public College in the North. After retiring from SUNY Oneonta in 2014, Roger was employed as an enrollment consultant by the national Registry of College and University Presidents. During his professional career Roger was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service, was a founding member and a president of the New York State Transfer and Articulation Association, was an invited faculty member at several international Strategic Enrollment Management Conferences, and participated in many SUNY-wide Task Forces in recognition of his expertise. Roger was always involved in the communities in which he lived. Roger served on the Clinton Central School Board of Education, served on and was president of the Otego Zoning Board of Appeals, co-chaired SUNY Oneonta's annual United Way Campaign and was a member of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors to name but a few of his many civic contributions. Roger was also a member of the First United Presbyterian Church of Oneonta where he was ordained as an elder and where he served on multiple church sessions. For those who knew him well, Roger played as hard as he worked. He was an enthusiastic golfer, he fly fished often and poorly with his best friend, Gary Scherzer, and he and his wife hosted numerous social gatherings at "The Hulk" for his many friends and acquaintances where his college roommate and friend, Tim Rybinski, would often play the banjo. In addition, Roger enjoyed gardening and was particularly adept at growing a vast array of weeds in both the perennial and vegetable gardens that surrounded his Otego home. Most of all, he enjoyed a good laugh, even when at his own expense. Roger is survived by his college sweetheart, the love of his life and devoted wife of 45 years, Jane "Henry" Sullivan, to whom he was married on Aug. 18, 1973; daughter, Sarah Dubowsky (Eric Dubowsky) of Ridgewood, New Jersey; son, Shaun Sullivan (Tiffany Hurd) of Hampton, New Hampshire, his cherished grandchildren, Alexis, Magnus, Aoife, Kahlen and Isabella; and numerous aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews. In addition to his parents, Roger was predeceased by his younger brother, Todd of Rochester. A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life for Roger will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 26, at the First United Presbyterian Church ("Red Door" Church), 381 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820. Contributions in Roger's memory may be given to the Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 297 River Street Service Road, Oneonta, NY 13820, or the United Way of Otsego County, c/o 31 Maple St., Oneonta, NY 13820, or to the philanthropy of one's choosing. Arrangements are with the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, January 26, 2019

Roger B. Sullivan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Don Moore

January 16, 2019

Over the years Jane and I spent quite a bit of time with Roger and Henry. We always found Roger to be an interesting conversationalist with a great sense of humor. Whether having dinner with them or on the golf course, you could always expect to have an interesting conversation with Roger. We enjoyed their company in Otego and looked forward to their move to Sunset Beach and are truly sad how that dream ended so suddenly for Roger. Sincere sympathy is extended to Henry and the family. Don and Jane Moore

Mack "Macker" Culpepper

January 15, 2019

Hey Roger, it's Macker!
I honestly don't know where to start...from day one (and i don't rec all how we met at SUNY Oneonta) you were a true friend to cared about my family, me and my feelings...i knew i could speak honestly with you on any work or life issue and it stayed between us...i will miss our breakfasts and our sport chats.
In closing buddy, i will always treasure our last get together at your house.
Roger i miss you and love ya".

Mack "Macker" J Culpepper

Andy Abler

January 15, 2019

Roger and I played golf together for the first time last June. We shared a golf cart on a beautiful early summer day; Roger was the pilot. By the third hole I knew we both loved golf in the same way. By the end of the round I felt like we had been lifelong friends. We talked about many things and I enjoyed hearing stories of his family and career. He clearly loved his wife, children, and grandchildren with all his heart. I'm so grateful that we played together that day, that I have that memory. I send my condolences and prayers to his wife Henry and all of Roger's family.

Daniel Tramuta

January 14, 2019

I came to know Roger about ten years ago at SUNY Central Enrollment Planning meetings.

Roger was one of the most intelligent, articulate, caring and compassionate people that I have ever known. And he was as tenacious and strategic as an enrollment manager - he'd "eat your lunch."

I will miss him dearly - my sincere condolences to his wife and family.

tom harrington

January 14, 2019

I'm sad to hear that one of my golf buddies has gone to the big golf course in the sky . I had the pleasure of staying with Roger and Henry last year in there North Carolina home and playing a round of golf with Roger.

Roger was a true gentleman who cared deeply about his family and his wife Henry. I promised Henry before I left for the south for the winter that I would try my best to get a Hole in One for Roger.

Roger," the next one is for you".

Laura Emmett

January 14, 2019

I am at a loss for words but I’ll never forget the kindness and generosity he showed me during my battle(s) with cancer. He always had a way of making me smile or laugh. I enjoyed his stories immensely and missed them when he retired from SUNY Oneonta. My heart goes out to Henry and the rest of Rogers family, and his grandchildren in particular. God bless you all.

DeeDee Matthews-Smith

January 14, 2019

I am so sad to hear of Roger's passing but I do know he is in a better place more than we can imagine. My condolences to Henry and the family. He was the best neighbor anyone could have growing up. I think all of us sisters had a crush on him one time or another:) He was always thoughtful and very giving. Humorous as well. Such a great guy even though I hadn't seen him for years! He wrote a beautiful letter about my sister, Kathy, who passed in 2012 from cancer. He was a very special person and will always be in mine and my family's memories. Prayers to you all.

Snapper Petta

January 14, 2019

I first met Roger when he started work at SUCO. I don't ever remember having a conversation with him that he didn't bring a smile to my face. Over all those years, be the conversation serious or not, he had a way of lightening the mood and making you feel like you mattered. This year when I pull out my fly rod for those first casts of the season, I'll smile again while thinking of Roger and our many talks about fishing and being outdoors.

Danielle Tonner

January 11, 2019

I am very saddened to hear of the passing of Roger. I will never forget his warmth and compassion, while he always maintained exceptional professionalism. He never forgot a name or face. I recall him sharing stories with me about his poetry he wrote for his wife and I asked him the secret to their long marriage. He explained that he and his wife sought out things they could do together so that after the children had grown and were out of the house, they would still have something they could share together. I know he enjoyed every moment with his family as his eyes always lit up when he spoke of Henry. I will miss Roger very much. My thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.