Fallbrook, CA – Lt. Col. Richard Edward Sullivan (Sully) died peacefully at Fallbrook Skilled Nursing Facility in Fallbrook, CA on June 16, 2002 after a long illness. Born November 5, 1916 in Rockville, SC he was raised in Charlotte, NC and graduated from Sharon High School in Charlotte. He enlisted in the USMC in February 1937 and was assigned to the sub base in New London, CT. He was selected for Edson’s 1st Raider Battalion and was promoted from Platoon Sergeant to 2nd Lt. on Tulagi Island in May, 1942. During WWII he distinguished himself in the battles on Guadalcanal, British Solomon Islands, and was awarded the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for heroism at the 2nd Battle of the Matanikau, Guadalcanal, BSI. During the Korean Conflict, Major Sullivan was twice awarded Bronze Stars for heroism (with V for valor) and an Air Medal at the Chosin Reservoir, Korea. Sully retired as a Lt. Col. In 1963 in Fallbrook, California. Sully never spoke about these commendations, he just said he was shot up and decorated, but in fact, he was pictured in Life magazine while receiving a Bronze Star in Korea.
After 3 years of sobriety, Sully was diagnosed with oral cancer, and endured numerous operations. In the end he survived cancer by over 25 years. In 1992 he had a debilitating stroke, but once again he recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body to return to meetings for nearly 10 years.
Sully is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dorothy, his brother James Sullivan of Charlotte, NC, sisters Rebecca Sigler of Richmond, VA and Jean Fisher of Charlotte, NC, and numerous nieces and nephews. His smile and cheerful demeanor will be sorely missed by his family and hundreds of men and women he helped recover from a hopeless state of mind and body.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 13, 2002 at the Brengle Park Senior Center, in Vista, CA at 2:00 PM. The family suggests in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Fallbrook Hospital, 624 Elder St., Fallbrook, CA 92028