A 1946 graduate of Central Catholic High School in East St. Louis, IL, Rich graduated from Saint Louis University in just three and a half years with a degree in accounting. In December 1949, he started his career as a certified public accountant with JW Boyle, CPA. From 1951 to 1953, he served in the U.S. Army. In his early 30’s, he was invited by Don Rice to join the renamed firm of Rice, Sullivan and Company in Belleville as a full partner. The firm grew to be the largest CPA firm in Southern Illinois.
Active in his profession, he was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois Society of Certified Public Accountants. He served as a member of the board of directors of the Illinois Society and as president of its Southern Chapter. In June 2006, Rich was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual gala in Chicago.
Rich was one of the original incorporators of St. Augustine of Canterbury Parish in Belleville in 1956. He served as a member of the St. Augustine Building Club, a director of the church, a member of the parish council and the finance committee, and as the first president of the board of education from 1965 to 1968. Rich was also a member of the Serra Club of St. Clair County, serving as its president in 1988 and receiving the Outstanding Service Award in 2008 for his dedication and commitment to the club.
Rich was always known for his dry Irish wit and for having a friendly, kind word for everyone he met. He knew that actions spoke louder than words. His kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids learned from watching him in action.
A member of the tennis team in high school, Rich enjoyed the game his entire life. He became a frustrated golfer, taught all of his kids to fish, and became an avid boater. He captained the family ski boat for hundreds of hours with kids and grandkids skiing behind the boat – an unusual passion for someone who never got in the water because he had never learned to swim!
Rich was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Joseph and Florence Elizabeth, nee Rasch, Sullivan; one great-granddaughter, Eden Neville; and one sister, Doris Louise Weeks.
Surviving are the love of his life, his wife of 66 years, Dolores, nee Thompson, Sullivan, whom he married on December 2, 1950;
his five children, Richard (Susan) Sullivan,
Kathy (Bill) Schaefer,
Carol (Jim) Neville,
Mary Kay (Ron) Rawlings,
and Kevin (Shanna) Sullivan;
19 grandchildren, Ryann (Eric) Kittner, John (Theresa) Sullivan, K.C. (Brian) Douglas,
Alex (Jamie) Goodfellow, Pierce Widham, Ross Widham,
Elle Sullivan, Shawn (Kelly) Schaefer, Shannon (Courtney) Krus,
Kelly (Jim) Brodzik, Jared (Adrianne) Neville, Suzanne (Ryan) Tribout,
Patrick (Jennifer) Neville, Evan (Mandi) Neville, Meghan (Brett) Duncan,
Mallory (Andy) Studebaker, Mackenzie Sullivan, Kylie Sullivan, and Riley Sullivan;
and 28 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Richard & Dolores Sullivan Scholarship Fund at Althoff Catholic High School, to St. Augustine Catholic Church, to Hospice of Southern Illinois, or to the Serra Club of St. Clair County. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Visitation will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 18, 2016, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, March 19, 2016, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, 1910 West Belle St., Belleville, IL 62226. A Serra Club ritual will be held at 5 p.m. Friday at the church.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 19, at St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church with Msgr. William McGhee officiating. Entombment with military honors will follow at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.
Carol, Jim and families,
Our deepest sympathy to you and your family on your loss. God’s peace.
Jerry and Carole Middendorf, Venedy, Illinois,
I am sorry for your loss. He was a good example for everyone. Ruth Berkel
Ruth Berkel, O”Fallon, Il., 62269
My thoughts and prayers go out to your family during this difficult time.
Stacy Clay , St. Louis , MO, 63101
Upon reading the obituary for Rich, I could further reflect on our long association as Partners in our CPA firm. You don’t come across many individuals in a lifetime with the dedication to family, his religion and his profession such as Rich Sullivan. He was a true profession in every sense of the word. His family and his profession as a CPA has lost a truly great person. I was lucky to have been associated with him for many years. My and Carol’s deepest prayers and sympathies go out to Dolores and the entire Sullivan family. Our thoughts are with you. With love and prayers, Jerry & Carol Maxim
Gerald & Carol Maxim, Swansea, Illinois, 62226
Great friend and neighbor; known him all my life. God rest his soul.
Karen (Markus) Dauphin, Belleville, IL, 62220
My sincere condolences. Your Dad sounds like he was quite an outstanding fellow which probably explains why you are such an outstanding public citizen. I am sure your many accomplishments made him very proud.
Sandy Rothschild, St. Louis, MO, 63117
Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of Mr. Sullivan. We both thoroughly enjoyed the times we were around him. May you all be comforted by many wonderful memories.
Bill & Lynne Nebel
Bill & Lynne Nebel, Highlands Ranch, Colorado, 80126
My family and I will kep you and yours in prayer. Praise God that he lived the life of a servant and his example will be forever in your memory as you continue to carry on his legacy.
Douglass Petty, St louis, Mo, 63104
Dear Carol and Family I am sorry to hear of your father’s passing. My prayers are with all of you at this time. You will be in my thoughts at this difficult time
Cathy Vieluf, Colllinsville, Illinois, 62234
To the Sullivan Family: I was so saddened to hear of Mr. Sullivan’s death. He was such a kind, pious man of integrity and a constant presence as a backyard neighbor and integral member of St. Augustine’s during my childhood years. He was greatly admired and appreciated by my parents as well as my siblings and me. Please accept my sympathy,
Elisa Arnold, Shiloh, Il, 62221