Obituary of Christopher Michael Sullivan
Christopher Michael Sullivan Jr. passed away peacefully on July 31, 2023 at the Oaks Health Center, Denville, NJ.
Chris was born in November 1931 to Sophye Roeber Sullivan and Christopher “Christie” Michael Sullivan in the Bronx, NY, in the shadows of Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds. He graduated from Manhattan College after a two-year detour with the U.S. Army at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Upon graduation from college, he joined Union Camp Paper Company and began a long career in sales and sales management, culminating as the head of the Sales Coaching & Training Program. In his earliest days with Union Camp, he met Elizabeth “Liz" Farrell, an educator from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. They married in 1958 and raised two daughters, while moving every few years and ultimately settling in Mountain Lakes, NJ in the late 1960s.
In the early 1970’s after a few too many complaints about the local government, Liz challenged Chris to run for the Town Council (“you cannot complain unless you are willing to do something about it.”) Chris served on the Mountain Lakes Town Council for more than 15 years and was elected Mayor in 1988. His greatest joy as Mayor was the opportunity to perform civil marriage ceremonies for couples - including two in one day - to which he added “one more and I could have had a hat trick”.
After retiring from Union Camp, Chris joined a local company named Metro Sign, but his next big career break came when he was recruited to replace the legendary Skip Watts to be the new Voice of the Herd. Chris embraced this role as announcer of the high school football games with deep passion and approached it as an opportunity to mentor young men. He came to practice, attended “Skull Sessions”, and watched the films on Sundays. While it was not a high-level role with his beloved NY Giants, it was even better and he enjoyed every minute of it. After 22+ years Chris stepped down at age 85. In addition to being the announcer, Chris continued to serve on the Mountain Lakes Library Board and the Centennial Celebration Committee.
Chris genuinely enjoyed people - spreading his warmth, kindness, and good humor wherever he went. He loved to socialize – the Fun Quotient went up in whatever room he was in. He was enthusiastic about everything he was involved in – especially sports. Chris was a good and authentic man, who gave sound advice (usually solicited, but occasionally unsolicited) and he enjoyed helping his neighbors and fellow community members.
Chris led a full life as Husband, Father, Grandfather, Sales Manager, Sports Announcer, and very dear friend to many. He is survived by his two daughters, Beth Sullivan, her husband, Jim Perrine, and his granddaughter, Hope Sullivan Perrine of Cambridge, MA; and Georgia Sullivan and her husband, Liam Wasley of Washington, DC; 13 nieces and nephews; countless great-nieces and nephews; and cherished in-laws, Paula and Dick Shea of Bass River, MA. He was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth Farrell Sullivan (2009); his companion, Sally Gonsalves O’Brien (2021); his brother, Joseph C. Sullivan (2006); his sister-in-law, Ellen M. Sullivan (2000); his brother-in-law, Edward Farrell (1996); his sister-in-law, Muriel Sullivan Farrell (2006); and his niece, Jenifer Sullivan (2009).
His friends from Mountain Lakes and the surrounding area sustained Chris in the later years of his life along with the exceptionally supportive nursing staff at the Oaks. He was a deeply devoted Laker and will be dearly missed.
Please join the family on Friday, August 11th from 4:00 to 7:00pm for a Memorial at Codey & Mackey Funeral Home of Boonton. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, August 12th at 10:00am in St. Mary’s R.C. Church of Denville.
To share a condolence or memory with the family, please visit CodeyMackeyFH.com.
In Loving Memory
1931 - 2023
107 Essex Avenue
Boonton, NJ 07005
Richard J. Codey, Owner/Manager, NJ Lic. #3175