via O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home

Mortimer A. Sullivan of Newport, RI passed away on March 2, 2020, at his home surrounded by his family. Married for 64 years, he was the husband of Rosemary Cooney Sullivan.

Born in Newport in 1927, the son of Honorable Judge Mortimer A. Sullivan and Dorothy Rooney Sullivan, “Mort” was a lifelong Newporter.

He graduated from Rogers High School and went on to attend Providence College and Boston University School of Law where he earned his Degree in Juris Prudence. He served in the U.S. Army Air corps near the end of WW ll.

Mort enjoyed tennis and spending time with Rosemary sailing up and down the Bay. However, his greatest love was music- he was an accomplished classical pianist, playing recitals throughout New England while at Providence College.

Mort was in the private practice of law in Newport before serving as Probate Judge for many years. He was proud to have established new law in the case of Newport socialite Carolyn Skelley’s will which was probated by him and which resulted in the Superior Court of Rhode Island upholding his decisions in the case. He also served as Councilman from the second ward in Newport as well as a Municipal Court Judge.

He was a Communicant of St. Mary’s Church.

Mort was a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association, Redwood Library and Hazard’s Beach. Besides his wife, he leaves two sons; Matthew R. Sullivan and Mark E. Sullivan (Maureen Full) and three grandchildren, Colin, Alexandra and Ryan. He Leaves his sister Margaret L. Palmer of Newport and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Dorothy Palmer and brother Blake Sullivan.

Mort was a fair and kind gentleman who was well liked and respected among his peers and the community. He believed in the rule of law and was proud to have followed in his father’s footsteps to the judicial bench.

Calling hours are omitted.

In lieu of flowers donation may be made to the James L Maher Center.

A mass of Christian burial will be held Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at St Mary’s Church, Spring Street, Newport at 10:00 a.m. Burial will take place at St. Columba Cemetery in Middletown. For more information or online condolences please visit,

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