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July 28, 2017

Obituary for Paul Sullivan


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Paul Sullivan, 73, died peacefully on June 22, 2017, at home in Newport, Rhode Island.

Paul was the second child of Thomas and Rita Sullivan (Jennings) born on September 24 1943, in Philadelphia, PA. The Sullivan’s resided in the Westgate Hills section of Haverford, PA. In his youth Paul was the recipient of the golf caddy of the year honors for the city of Philadelphia, an accomplishment he was proud of and happy to recall with regularity.

The Sullivan family relocated to Allendale, N.J. where Paul attended Saint Luke’s High School.

Paul returned to Philadelphia to attend Saint Joseph’s College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1966. He was a dedicated member of the College’s theater company, Cap and Bells and active with the Hawk basketball booster club. He sold many an orange drink to parched Philly basketball fans during Big 5 double-headers at UPENN’s famed Palestra.

Paul served as a United States Marine Corps reservist after completing basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Paris Island, South Carolina.

Paul then embarked on a career in business in various enterprises which allowed him to see foreign shores and experience many cultures. He began as an account executive for the advertising agency, Benton and Bowles in Manhattan. He later relocated to Rhode Island to work with Hasbro toys. He took great pleasure in bringing joy to the lives of boys and girls through the development of children’s toys, an endeavor he excelled at naturally by bringing his own zest for life and fun to every project.  He was deeply involved with “Weebles” while with Hasbro, and “Baby Talk” and “Video Smarts” later on.  He was also, in his role with Hasbro, able to spend meaningful time in Hong Kong where his parents lived for a time.

After leaving Hasbro, Paul undertook various professional projects ranging from Real Estate development to video gaming, eventually returning to his greatest passion: Toys. His time spent in the hospitality business was so enjoyable for him because it combined several of his great pleasures: A phenomenal meal, a nice drink and the people of what became his eventual adopted hometown, Newport Rhode Island. Paul enjoyed the waters of Narragansett Bay and the beauty of the Ocean State.  Paul’s friends mourn his loss – they were a great treasure of his life.

Paul’s love for life accompanied by an infectious smile was contagious. A generous spirit and personal commitment led to unadvertised acts of aid, support and comfort extended freely and authentically, perhaps part of what made others feel they were so special to him—indeed they were.

Paul was given his happiest moments in past years spending time with his grandsons, Timothy (b. 2012) and Gabriel (b. 2013). He was an amazing grandfather.

Paul was predeceased by his brother, John Kavanaugh Sullivan.  He was formerly married to Mary K. Sullivan (Bourgholtzer). He is survived by daughter Christine, son Joe (Paula), grandsons Timothy and Gabriel and granddaughter Margaret. He also leaves behind brother Thomas Sullivan Jr., sister Anne Sullivan Young, and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday June 29, 2017 between 6:00-8:00 pm in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport, RI. A Funeral Mass will take place on Friday, June 30th at St. Augustin’s Church, 2 Eastnor Road, Newport at 10:00 am. Following services, guests are invited to The Clarke Cooke House, 285 Thames Street/Bannister’s Wharf, Newport.

Paul’s family asks that, in lieu of flowers, relatives and friends come prepared to share happy memories and celebrate friendship.

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