Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church

St. George, UT


GSPC Says Goodbye to Doris Thomas

We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of Jim Sullivan.

James D. Sullivan
October 10, 1922 - June 18, 2019

James D. Sullivan was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri to Ruth & Roy Sullivan. He graduated from Poplar Bluff High School and Missouri School of Mines with a B.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering.

In 1943, Jim enlisted in the US Navy Reserve Officer Training Program at the University of Illinois & Columbia University and after completion in 1944 was commissioned as an ensign and assigned to a landing craft tank in the Southwest Pacific Theater of WWII, transporting equipment and personnel to critical areas. He was awarded battle stars in the southwest Pacific and Philippines battle areas while serving as Officer-in-Charge of LCT1074 in the 7th Amphibian Force.

In 1946, Jim was reassigned to temporary duty at Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois to work in the separation center. There, he met the love of his life, Virginia Grotz, who had recently graduated from high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and had taken a clerk-typist job there. After a short, intense courtship, they married in Milwaukee. Their marriage lasted 71 years until Ginny’s death in 2017.

After an Honorable Discharge as a Lieutenant Junior Grade from the Navy in 1946, Jim went back to the University of Missouri for further education in engineering, with first-born son James Michael arriving June 3, 1947, Jim’s graduation day. That year, Jim went to work for AO Smith Corporation’s Research & Development department for protective metal coatings in Milwaukee.

He spent his working career as a Lab Manager for AO Smith and as Director of Research for Glascote Products, Inc. of Cleveland, Ohio, where they lived in Chesterland for a number of years before returning to AO Smith in Wisconsin. He produced over thirty international patents and technical publications in the field of ceramic coatings for metals. He also produced two more sons, Dennis in 1951 and Brian in 1957. Jim was elected a fellow and trustee of the American Ceramic Society with worldwide membership of over 10,000 managers, engineers and educators with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

He retired in 1985, after which, in 1998, he and Ginny moved their retirement home from Wisconsin to St. George after being “snowbirds” there for a number of years. They were able to enjoy over 30 years of their retirement in good health, playing golf, participating in church activities, playing Bridge, hosting gatherings with friends, and spending time in Mesquite at the Eureka where they enjoyed playing the machines and dining at the restaurants.

Jim was an avid gardener with a green thumb, creating huge vegetable gardens full of produce for Ginny to “put up” in canning jars and the freezer. He tended the beautiful yards and flowerbeds at their homes in Wisconsin, Ohio and St. George, with roses being one of his specialties.

Golf was his favorite pastime, and he enjoyed singing in church choirs in Wisconsin and St. George. He was an active church leader, serving on various committees and teaching Sunday School. Jim played basketball in college and bowled in a league in Milwaukee. He loved sports, particularly basketball and football. He remained a fan of the Green Bay Packers, but supported both basketball home teams: the Milwaukee Bucks and the Utah Jazz.

A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday August 31, 2019 at 11:00 am at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church 611 N. 2450 E, St George Utah 84790.