Cover photo for James T. Sullivan's Obituary
James T. Sullivan Profile Photo

James T. Sullivan

d. October 15, 2018

SULLIVAN, James T., retired Lt. Colonel, U.S. Air Force. In Weymouth, formerly of Charlestown, Dorchester, etc., died October 15, 2018.

Jim Sullivan was recently appraised by someone who knew him well as a "self-made, self-taught man", an apt description. Born in a cold water flat in Charlestown to Irish immigrants, he spent his formative years there until a fire claimed the life of his infant brother and the family relocated to Dorchester. There he attended the William E. Russell School, and eventually Boston Latin, Norwich University, and the University of Omaha. He developed an interest in flying at an early age, and at 13 had the opportunity to meet and converse briefly with pioneer aviatrix Amelia Earhart at Dennison Field in Squantum. After the attack on Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, was trained to fly the B-24 Liberator long range heavy bomber, and at age 20 was assigned to the 380th Bomb Group in the Pacific Theater where he successfully completed 35 missions over enemy targets.

Following the war, Jim worked for the Boston Gas Company until called up in the draft at the outbreak of the Korean War, during which he was a reconnaissance pilot. Subsequently, he flew transport/cargo aircraft in Vietnam. All told, his military career spanned three decades. He also served as a Staff Maintenance Officer at Strategic Air Command HQ and as Chief, Aircraft Maintenance Office, Management Division at Military Airlift Command HQ during the 1960s.

The joy of his life was his wife, the late Catherine (Moran) whom he married in 1949, and his family. Jim was a highly skilled amateur cabinetmaker and an avid ham radio operator. A devoted fly fisherman, he pursued trout and salmon in Alaska, Labrador, Maine, and especially Ireland on his many trips there with his wife. He considered himself an expert on Irish history and genealogy, and was also a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Air Force Association, the Retired Officers Association, and the Beara Peninsula Society.

Jim took great pride in his Charlestown roots and frequently expressed his fervent desire to move back there. Even as his health declined later in life, he greatly enjoyed revisiting his old haunts in Charlestown and South Boston with his family. His fierce devotion to faith, country, and family will be missed, as will his quick wit, larger-than-life personality and vociferously expressed opinions, to which, he was thoroughly convinced, everyone was entitled.

Beloved husband of the late Catherine B. "Kae" (Moran) Sullivan.

Loving father of James T. and his wife Rita Sullivan of Braintree, Michael C. and his wife Deborah Sullivan of Norwell, Mary S. and her husband Robert Young of Mystic, Connecticut, Brian P. Sullivan and his fiancé Lee Maloney of Weymouth, Patrick C. and his wife Stephan O'Sullivan of Marblehead, Eileen S. Fitzgerald of Milton, and Kate M. Sullivan and her partner David Cody of Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

Devoted grandfather of Erin, Kerry, and Shannon Sullivan, Donal and Stephen Wyckoff, Robert, Richard, Barbara, Michael, Gerard, Joseph, Sean, Bridget, Joshua, Eileen, and Caleb Young, Kaelin and Darcy O'Sullivan, Liam and Patrick Fitzgerald.

Great-grandfather of Gabriel Wyckoff, McKenna Young, and Finbar Wyckoff.

Survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will honor and remember Jim's life by gathering for a Funeral Mass in St. Margaret Church of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, 800 Columbia Rd., Dorchester, on Monday morning, October 22, at 11 A.M.

In accordance with Jim's wishes, there will be no visiting hours.

Burial will follow in the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne on Tuesday, October 23rd, at 11:15 A.M.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim's memory may be made to the Ancient Honor of Hibernians, 169 Cummins Highway, Roslindale, MA 02131.
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