William SullivanJune 5, 2017
William J. Sullivan, 94, a life-long resident of Torrington, known to everyone but his mother as “Sully” passed away peacefully in his home June 5, 2017. After serving in the Army Finance Corp during WWII, Bill started his career at the Union Hardware in personnel. He then joined the Torrington Company in the Credit Union and eventually found his place as the beloved Corporate Director of Employee Relations for many years. He was known for his benevolent negotiating skills and kindness when times were tough.
Bill served the Torrington community in many capacities including the Democratic Town Committee, the Human Rights Commission, the Litchfield County Draft Board where he counselled many young people during the difficult Vietnam War period. He also served on the State Personnel Appeals Board. He was a member of the Torrington Company Foreman’s Club and especially enjoyed their picnics and card games. He was humbled to serve as Torrington’s Lord Mayor in 2004 surrounded by his proud family.
A winner of the Connecticut Poetry Society contest with several items published in The Saturday Evening Post, Bill’s keen writing ability set him apart. An avid reader, 9-5 card and cribbage player, bird lover, crossword master, and New York Giants and Boston Red Sox fan, Bill enjoyed nature and friendly competition. He looked forward to quiet afternoons at the family cottage on Tyler Lake. A whistler and singer, Bill was a genuinely happy person who sought to quietly help others and make a difference.
Bill’s legacy is vast. His warmth, sense of humor, compassion, and strength touched many lives. He never made it through the grocery store without someone warmly shaking his hand, grateful for an opportunity he had given them or a kindness that he had shown.
With incredible patience and fortitude, Bill and his late wife Betty raised eight children together. Bill was a wonderful father and a good listener who offered wise advice, but only when asked. Bill’s faith in God comforted and supported him. He was a member of both St. Francis Church in Torrington and St. Thomas Church in Goshen.
Bill Sullivan is survived by Patrick Sullivan and wife, Paddi LeShane of Hartford, Mark Sullivan and wife Heather Schapp of Torrington, Mary Kay Bate and her husband Jay of Torrington, Maureen Autunno and her husband Chris of Torrington, Jay Sullivan and wife Jackie Bouchard of Simsbury, Brian Sullivan of Torrington, and Katie Sullivan and husband Rich Testa of Torrington. He is predeceased by his wife, Betty and son, Kevin. Bill, or “Pop” as he was known by his 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, leaves behind a grateful family.
Calling hours will be at Phalen Funeral Home 285 Migeon Avenue Torrington on Thursday, June 8, from 4-7PM. There will be a Mass at St. Thomas in Goshen on Friday, June 9, at 10 AM
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the FISH homeless shelter in Torrington, St. Francis Church of Torrington, and St. Thomas Church of Goshen. Many thanks to Hospice and Litchfield Hills Home Care for their guidance and support.