William J. Sullivan “Bill” died on August 25, 2020 surrounded by his family. He was born on April 7, 1931 to William J. and Virginia (Walsh) Sullivan in Jamaica Plain, MA. The family moved to Woonsocket, RI and then settled in Fall River, MA where Bill grew up. He went to Msgr. James Coyle High School in Taunton, MA and was in the first class at Stonehill College. Bill was the first editor of the student newspaper, "The Summit" (the name unchanged since its founding in 1949). He was an active radio amateur since the age of twelve (W1PQS), operating mornings before school. Upon graduation he took a technical job with the federal government, which lasted eleven years, including military service.
In 1954 he married Joan Murphy, a nurse he had dated through school. He left government service soon after John Kennedy was elected, in order to prepare for political service by enrolling at the Harvard Business School, where he graduated in 1964. The Kennedy term ended tragically and in 1963 Bill joined the Post Office Department. In 1967 he was assigned to the Presidential Task Force that Postmaster General Larry O'Brien had requested to study the structure of the Post Office Department. When it was completed in 1968 he returned to the POD.
He and Joan adopted Ted in 1965 and Jessica in 1968. Joan had rheumatic fever as a child and survived two early heart operations, but never fully recovered from the third. She died in January 1971 after seventeen years of a happy marriage.
He married Jacquelene Miller in September 1971 after being appointed Postmaster of Cleveland, OH. Matthew arrived in 1973 shortly after Bill became one of the five Regional Postmasters General of the Postal Service based in San Mateo, CA.
He left the Postal Service in 1976 to become the Vice Chancellor for Administration of the University of Maine System and retired twenty years later. He was appointed to the Board of Governors of the Postal Service by President Jimmy Carter and served for four years.
Since his retirement Bill has been active in amateur radio (K1AG), Democratic politics and Friends of Bangor Public Library.
He is survived by his wife, Jacquie who has earned his eternal love and gratitude for keeping him alive and happy for the past 49 years. In addition, he is survived by his three children, Ted and his wife Mary; Jessica; Matthew and his wife Emilie; and four granddaughters, Quinn, Grace, Mia and Peyton.
Services will be private. Friends who wish may contribute in his memory to a charity of their choice. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.