GEORGE EDWARD SULLIVAN, 80, died July 7, 2018 from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. George was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on October 31, 1937. After graduating from high school, he entered the US Merchant Marine Academy at King Point, NY where he graduated with a commission as Ensign, US Navy Reserve, and received a BS in Marine Engineering and a 3rd Assistant Engineers license in the Merchant Marine.
George was required to activate his commission in the Navy and ultimately decided to make that his career. He had a number of significant assignments including Chief Engineer of a destroyer; command of four ships: USS Gallop PG 85, a patrol gunboat in Vietnam; two destroyers, USS Blandy DD 943 and USS Paul F. Foster DD964: and the cruiser USS Sterett CG 31 homeported in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines.
In almost 24 years of active duty George participated in several international events from the Cuban Crisis in October 1962 to the search and recovery after the Soviet Union shot down the Korean airliner (K007) in September 1983.
During his time ashore George earned a Master’s Degree in Management (Finance and Economics) from the Naval Postgraduate School and among other tours, was Assistant Chief of Staff for Personnel on the staff of Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet. He retired in 1984 as a Captain.
George then worked for Litton Industries, Data Systems Division, for 16 years as a Program Manager and Director of International Navy Business. The family lived in Granada Hills, CA during this time. He retired from Litton in January 2000.
Upon returning to Hawaii George decided he would no longer work for a paycheck but instead devote his time to volunteering particularly helping veterans. He was asked to join the Board of the then Arizona Memorial Museum Association (now Pacific Historic Parks) where he served for 17 years. He became Chairman of the Board in 2002 during which time George was instrumental in the Association raising $56,000,000 to rebuild the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
George became Chairman of the Board of the Oahu Veterans Center when it opened in 2005. He held that position until a recent planned transition. During that time with the help of many people and appropriations from our State Legislature, the Center was completed, it increased its support of veterans’ programs, became financially sound and debt free. A most satisfying accomplishment in George’s life.
George discovered the US Merchant Marine Academy did not have a chartered Chapter on Oahu. With the help of a number of people, the “Honolulu Chapter” was chartered in 2001 and is going strong today.
George was very active in the Honolulu State Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. As Chairman of the Board he was instrumental in causing the two chapters on Oahu to recombine to the Hawaii Aloha Chapter.
George and his wife Roberta supported numerous local organizations from the Bishop Museum to the Fleet Reserve Association.
George is survived by his wife of 57 years, four sons: Sean Michael of Lahaina, Darryl Patrick of Des Moines, IA, Neil Edward of Mililani and Colin David of San Diego; two grandchildren: Diana Rose and Charles Edward of Ankeny, IA: sister Maryellen Sullivan Shachoy and husband Norman James Shachoy of Marion, MA.
Funeral Mass at 11:00 will be at Saint John Apostle and Evangelist Church (95-370 Kuahelani Ave) in Mililani on Tuesday, Aug.21 preceded by visitation at 10:00. Burial at Schofield Barracks military cemetery will follow at 1:00 (1640 Lyman Road, Wahiawa HI, 96786)
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