Joseph Sullivan
Joseph Sullivan

Obituary of Joseph Sullivan

Joseph Edward Sullivan, 86, of Fresno, California, died November 12th, 2023, in Madera, California while residing at Madera Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

He was born on September 24th, 1937, to Leo Joseph Sullivan and Mary Isabelle Essex in Chicago, Illinois. 

Joseph was baptized on October 10th, 1937, by Rev. Edward S. Keough.

He married Gwenneth Ann Teevens in Fresno, California on August 24th, 1979, service conducted by their close friends Father Paul Baxter and Father Redmond from Ottawa, Canada.

Joe lived and attended grade school in Chicago, Illinois with his father, becoming a devoted Chicago Cub fan.  Most summers he travelled by train to live with his mother in Arnprior where he played baseball and met lifelong friends, one being Gwen Briscoe.  After serving in the Air Force for 4 years, he resided in Fresno, California and in 1975 purchased his first and only home on North Nantucket Avenue working as a consumer electronics salesman.  Four years later he married Gwen who moved from Ottawa to Fresno along with her three children: Perry, Danny, and Cheryl.  Shortly after marrying, Joe and Gwen established an Irish merchandise import business, named Sullivan’s Irish Imports.  This resulted in many trips to Ireland for business, and pleasure.  They retired Sullivan’s Irish Imports after more than 30 years of service. 

Church was one of several things Joe was very consistent with in his life, attending Catholic mass each week.  He also kept in contact with his Air Force buddies, golfing friends, and old acquaintances from Canada.  Joe was often on the phone in the evening catching up on their affairs, current events, or memories of yesteryear.  Only his poor hearing and failing health kept him from this pleasantry.

Early each evening for years before retiring Joe would take their two dogs, Cready and Clancy, for a drive to Bullard High School where he walked them around the athletic track while watching baseball practice.  Inevitably, he would chit-chat with others about sports, the weather, or a political issue of some kind.  He was a natural salesman, and his ‘gift of gab’ was not lost on strangers he came in contact.  A fond memory of Joe and his furry friends.

Joe is survived by his wife (Gwen Sullivan) and three stepchildren (Perry, Danny, and Cheryl), some family, and friends from the Fresno area, Arnprior, and the Air Force.

He was preceded in death by his parents, relatives, and some longtime friends.

Joe will be cremated and interred at St. Peters Catholic Cemetery in Fresno, California close to Fresno Chaffee Zoo where Gwen worked for 20 years as a docent.  Feel free to post your condolences and any remembrances on the online guestbook.

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