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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Robert Francis Sullivan, Major, USAF (Retired)September 15, 1928 – September 20, 2014
South Hadley – Robert Francis Sullivan , 86, of Skyline Dr. passed away on September 20, 2014.
Born September 15, 1928 in Newport, RI, he was the son of Robert I. and Mary (Maher) Sullivan.
Robert was a graduate of De La Salle Academy in Newport, RI in 1946. He went on to receive his BBA in Personnel Management. From 1946-1950, Robert served in the US Army 11th Airborne Division. On May 4, 1951 in Greenville, SC, he married Barbara Ann Nass of Newport, RI. He proudly served his country in Korea in the US Air Force where he flew 75 combat Missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He retired as Chief of Maintenance and Director of Material Atlantic Air Rescue from the USAF, obtaining the rank of Major after 22 years of service.
From 1970-1989, Robert worked for the FAA and was supervisor of the Operations Unit at Barnes. As a Command and Test pilot, Robert was qualified as a Flight Instructor, Ground Instructor, Airline Transport Pilot, Airframe Mechanic, Airplane- single and multi-engine land and sea, rotorcraft-helicopter. After his retirement, he owned and operated Sullivan Assoc., an Aviation Consulting Firm. A distinguished pilot, Robert was a proud member of the Quiet Birdmen Assoc., American Helicopter Society, NE Helicopter Pilots Assoc., Air Resupply and Communications Assoc., Air Rescue Assoc., and USAF Helicopter Pilots Assoc.
He will be greatly missed by his loving wife of 63 years, Barbara A. Sullivan along with his children, Kathleen LaBernz and her husband Alan of The Villages, FL, Karen Devins and her husband Pete of Holyoke, Karol Sullivan of Marlboro, Michael Sullivan and his wife Reada Evans of Newport, RI, Lawrence Sullivan and his wife Ruth of South Hadley, and Brian Sullivan and his wife Betsy of Fair Haven, NJ. Robert also leaves 10 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Theresa’s Parish, where he was a communicant. Kindly gather directly at the church. Burial with full military honors will follow in Notre Dame Cemetery.
Donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105.
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JIM I MARTIN • 2 years ago A great man and a great loss to everyone who knew him. His thoughtful, smiling face remains constant in everyone’s memory!~Jim
Edna Colcord • 2 years ago Eighty six years of service and love: we should all leave with his example of right living that was apparent even to those of us who knew him slightly. May Barbara and his family be consoled by this. With sincere sympathy.~Edna
Ken • 2 years ago Karen and Pete, so sorry for your loss. Your dad was quite an accomplished aviator, with an outstanding military career. I wish I had known him. Our prayers are with you all.~The Kenneally Family
Danielle C. Dupuis • 2 years ago I am very sorry about your loss. My thoughts and prayers to the friends and family.~Danielle
Patrick Burley • 2 years ago Karol, so very sorry to hear of your loss. Reading his obituary, I was impressed by the quality of his life and service to our country. He will live on each day in you and those who love him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.~Patrick
Mary Shelasky @ HCC B.C. • 2 years ago Bob was a true gentlemen and great human being . I thoroughly enjoyed his stories. I’ve gotten to know him through his years visiting HCC Bartley Center for is rehab. class. He would share tales of military life or family trips with us at the BC. We will surely miss him. I’m very sorry for your loss.~Mary
Bonnie Baer-Green • 2 years ago Karen, I’m so sorry for yours and your family’s loss ?Xo~Bonnie Baer-Green
Sonja Cruz • 2 years ago Karen, I’m so sorry for your loss. My prayers for you and your family.~Sonja
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