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James Sullivan

Obituary for James Sullivan

October 28, 2018
Boxford, Massachusetts


BOXFORD – Mr. James Sullivan 95, of Boxford, beloved husband of the late Barbara L. (Henshall) Sullivan died Sunday evening, Oct. 28, 2018 at Beverly Hospital.

Born in Fall River, he was the son of the late James and Julia (Ardagh) Sullivan. He was raised and educated in Fall River and was a graduate of Fall River High School. He continued his education receiving his degree in Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and earned an additional degree from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Following graduation, he earned his Professional Engineer (P.E.) Certification from the State of New York, considered the highest standard of competence for the engineering profession.

An honorably discharged veteran, Mr. Sullivan served his country as a member of the United States Navy during World War II, having survived a particularly dangerous mission and enemy attack where he had to swim over 2 miles in shark-infested waters. He was a proud American hero, who rarely boasted of his accomplishments.

An Engineer by education and trade, Mr. Sullivan had been employed with many engineering firms throughout his life. Those include General Electric, Boston Edison, United Engineers, and Chas. T. Main (now part of Parsons). He was known for his precision and focus. At the time of his retirement in his early 60s Mr. Sullivan joined the Merchant Marine and travelled the world, working through most continents on the globe. He was three times the age of his co-workers but loved every minute and often set the pace. He would always send post cards from his adventures and relished this period of his life.

James was a resident of the Town of Boxford since 1956 and was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He was an avid reader, astute political analyst, painter and artist, who loved the outdoors and fly fishing. He loved music of all kinds and had as sharp an ear as you would find in any conservatory. When a challenge presented itself, James rose to the task and loved to figure out how to overcome it. He was very dedicated to his health and wellbeing. He lived life to the fullest and was extremely dedicated to his loving wife, having taken care of her during her illness for many years. He will be missed.

James was lucky enough to have many helping hands over the years including the wonderful caregivers that assisted him in the care of Barb and in recent years, his care. They were all a blessing to him and his family. His family is eternally grateful for all their help and kindness.

James is survived by his son, Steven F. Sullivan and his wife Paula of Wrentham, his grandson, Jeffrey Sullivan, and many nieces and nephews and all the loving caregivers. He was the brother of the late John, Paul, Margaret and Anna.

ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral Mass which will be held in St. Mary's Church, 94 Andover St., Georgetown, Saturday, Nov. 3rd at 11 A.M. Burial in Village Cemetery, Boxford. Assisting the family with the arrangements is the Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., (Rte 62) Danvers. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in James' memory to the New England Center and Home for Veterans, 17 Court St., Boston, MA 02108. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in James' memory to the New England Center and Home for Veterans, 17 Court St., Boston, MA 02108.

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Arrangements By

Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home

Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home
167 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923
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