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Celebrating the life of
John Mack Sullivan
April 11, 1936 - December 31, 2016
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Reception
  • 5:00pm - Thursday, January 05, 2017
  • Bradshaw Carter
  • 1734 W Alabama St (Map)
    Houston, Tx 77098

  • (713) 521-0066
  • Memorial Service
  • 2:00pm - Friday, January 06, 2017
  • St. Pauls United Methodist Church
  • 5501 Main St. (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77004

  • 713-528-0527

We had the good fortune to share your Michigan adventures with you. We are so sorry for your sadness, but congratulate you on lives so well lived. Thank you for sharing the obituary -- an amazing tribute. Meryl and Terry Podolsky

Dr. Terry and Meryl Podolsky, Detroit, Mi

We spent many great times with both John and Sylvia in Tokyo, Aspen and Houston. He was a good man, with a wonderful generous heart. He will be missed by all who knew him. God speed, John.

Grace Ehrman, Oracle, AZ

Bobby and I are so sorry for your loss. John was a good friend and definitely one of the good guys.

John and Bobby Ashley, Brandon, Ms.we are

John was a good friend ready to give his very considered and thoughtful advice whenever asked. He was essentially a good man….generous to a friend, a good cause or a great talent; ……fun and fun loving; and courageous, persevering and steadfast in hardship—truly, Theodore Roosevelt’s “man in the arena”. Most of us knew only a few facets of this treasured friend, but, it is probably not an exaggeration to repeat what someone told me … That, in the most profound sense of the term, John was a genuinely great man.

Jack and Joyce Frassanito, Houston, TX

Godspeed, John. Sylvia, my thoughts and condolences are with you.

Jim Norris, Sarasota(formerly Detroit), Florida

I was shocked and saddened to read of John's passing for "we were soldiers once...and young." John was the consummate Andersen partner, with strong technical and management skills, not to mention his dry sense of humor. My thoughts and prayers will be with Sylvia and the family during this difficult time. "Sorrow is joy remembered."

Ron Wade, Snellville, GA

I have very fond memories of John as I first met him when I was a raw recruit at the Houston tax division of Arthur Andersen.He was an inspiration and highly respected not only for his tax knowledge but more importantly his character and ethics. As a special treat I had the opportunity to reconnect with John at our breakfast group 30 years later. He is greatly missed.

Ben Andrews, Houston, Texas

I will certainly Miss John at the River Oaks Breakfast Club on Wednesday mornings and his playful droll sense of humor.

Logan Brown, Houston, TX

Our deepest sympathy to the Sullivan family. I enjoyed our time together at Ole Miss (Band and Sigma Nu). The last time i saw John was in Houston. I was on a Dupont trip and he had just returned from Japan. We had a brief conversation recently. Sylvia , You are in our prayers. Fransue & John

Fransue & John Bertels, Florence, SC

Sylvia and Mike, it's been a while since we've been together, but my rememberences of the many times we were together during our days in Houston, always bring a feeling of friends, happiness, and good times. That's how I'll always remember John, who was a true partner during our Andersen days together. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I know your situation, as I lost Mary almost two years ago. Rest in peace, John. Lee

Lee Blazey, Bratenahl, Ohio

I knew John professionally, but came to know him as a friend. He was a consummate professional and a true Southern gentleman. One thing that remained constant was his love of his family. He adored his wife, children, and grandchildren and spoke of them often. He was so proud of all of them. I am so very sorry for your loss. He will be missed.

Dale Barnes, Houston, TX

We're very sad hearing of John's passing. We had the pleasure of knowing him and Sylvia during our years living in Houston and Japan starting during the early 1980s. Both of them have come to mind often over the years, and such thoughts always bring a smile. Jeff Kadet and Helen Goh

Jefff Kadet and Helen Goh, Seattle, WA

Our prayers are with you Aunt Sylvia, and family. Love you all

JoJo & Kelly Parker , Hattiesburg, MS

So saddened to hear of the passing of such a great, loving man. My years spent at Rice University were brighter, merrier and warmer because of his support in my young career. Both you and Mr. Sullivan were such an important part in my success as an opera singer. You loved, promoted and supported me as your own. I will miss him terribly but am so grateful for the many memories I will forever cherish in my heart! A great man, incredible husband, father, grandfather, friend and patron of the arts. So blessed by the years I got to spend with you both! Sending all my love, prayers and thoughts during this time to you and your family Mrs. Sullivan.

Edlyn Deoliveira- Behrend, San Antonio, TX

So very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you. Linda

Linda Brown, Houston, TX

A Man among Men, the consummate Gentleman, whom we equate with the ultimate of Integrity- we are honored and blessed to be his friends. We love him eternally and will miss him forever.

Dr. Tom & Carol Sawyer, Houston, TX

I was fortunate to know John Sullivan from the time I was 5 years old, when he married my sister Sylvia at Ole Miss. He was a dear friend as well as brother-in-law. John was the most intelligent person I've known throughout my life, but his warm and loving personality was also supreme. I count it a great privilege to have had him as a friend. He was a second father to my daughter, Laurie, when she lived in Houston for a few years, as well as the great love of my sister's life. Sylvia lived her life to please him; each brought out the best in the other. I think of Longfellow's poem "A Psalm of Life" as descriptive of the life of great men such as John Mack Sullivan. Love you, brother.

Anne Cline, Brandon, MS

John was born to Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Sullivan of Indianola, MS in 1936. He attended Indianola High school and graduated as Valedictorian. He then attended The University of Mississippi, excelled in the school of Accountancy, and made the Dean’s list each semester. Among his many honors, John was elected President of his Sigma Nu chapter, was named Distinguished ROTC Air Force Cadet, and was named to ODK. John played the Sousaphone in the Ole Miss marching band, and met a baton-twirling Rebelette name Sylvia Pugh. They wed the day after both graduated Ole Miss, and have had a beautiful and loving marriage lasting 58 years. They were blessed with a son Michael, a daughter-in-law Carol Trumpore, and two still mostly-perfect grandchildren, Melissa Trumpore Sullivan and John Arthur Sullivan.

Upon graduation, John was invited to join Arthur Andersen in the Houston office. John worked in the tax division for a year, then left to serve a three-year commitment in the US Air Force as a First Lieutenant. John had hopes of becoming a pilot, but was “shot down” by color blindness. John did so well at “flying a desk” in the Budget Department at Florida’s Eglin AFB, that he was promoted to Captain before finishing his duty.

In 1962, John returned to Arthur Andersen, and was instrumental in helping build the tax practice in the Houston office. John was admitted to the partnership in 1970, then in 1974, he transferred to New Orleans to become head of the Tax Division there. In 1977, he returned to Houston where he was head of the Tax Division until 1987. John then transferred to Tokyo as Managing Director of the Tax Practice for the North Pacific Region. This role covered offices in China, Korea, Thailand, Taipei, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Indonesia. In 1990, John returned to Houston as Managing Director of the Tax Practice for the Southwest Region.

John retired from Arthur Andersen in 1992, and took on a position with General Motors Corporation as their International Tax Director. This role involved recruiting and supervising tax professionals in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and a number of European countries, as well as managing the international tax staff of GM in Detroit.

Upon returning to Houston in 1994, John joined the Gordon Cain family office as manager. In this position, John had responsibility for all office operations, oversight of investment management, and involvement in the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation during the Gordon Cain years. John served as a Trustee of the Foundation, and worked with Jim Weaver to transition responsibilities after Mr. Cain’s death.

John leaves a legacy of love, charity and generosity. He and Sylvia were very involved with cultural and civic activities in all cities where they lived. During the Houston years, they were active in the Houston Grand Opera, chairing many functions including “Opening Night,” “The Concert of Arias,” and many others. John served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Westview School, one of his favorites. He saw the school move from a small private facility to a large new building and campus. John was active in The Baylor Partnership serving as Treasurer, was a patron of the Houston MFA and also served as Treasurer of the Contemporary Art Museum. John was a member of the River Oaks Men’s Breakfast Club, The Petroleum Club, and the Coronado Club.

Above all, John’s greatest love was for his family and friends. He was an absolute adoring husband, father, brother and grandfather, always leading the charge on our greatest joys and adventures. His favorite times were at the Aspen house watching his grandchildren ski, dining at the Caribou Club and shooting pool with family and friends after a sunny day on the slopes. He loved planning vacations with the grandchildren, and made great memories for them on cruises, train rides through national parks and at the family farm in Mississippi. John was the consummate host during these Mississippi adventures, always including siblings and cousins in Halloween and Christmas hay rides, bonfires, paddle boating and fishing in the pond. John supported and encouraged the school activities of his grandchildren, faithfully attending grandparent’s days at St. Marks and Hockaday for 12 years.

Friends are cordially invited to gather with the family and share remembrances of John during a reception to be held at Bradshaw Carter, 1734 W. Alabama, on Thursday, January 5, 2017, 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

A memorial service is to be conducted at St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 5501 Main St., on Friday, January 6, 2017, 2:00 pm.

The Sullivan Family would like to express our gratitude for the loving care of the Houston Hospice during his illness.

Charities for contributions can be made to:
Michael J. Fox Foundation - www.michaeljfox.org

Prostate Cancer Foundation - www.pcf.org

Westview School - http://www.westviewschool.org/

Houston Hospice - http://www.houstonhospice.org/donate.aspx

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

  

GUEST BOOK

We had the good fortune to share your Michigan adventures with you. We are so sorry for your sadness, but congratulate you on lives so well lived. Thank you for sharing the obituary -- an amazing tribute. Meryl and Terry Podolsky

Dr. Terry and Meryl Podolsky, Detroit, Mi

We spent many great times with both John and Sylvia in Tokyo, Aspen and Houston. He was a good man, with a wonderful generous heart. He will be missed by all who knew him. God speed, John.

Grace Ehrman, Oracle, AZ

Candle tribute lit by Grace M Ehrman — Arizona

Bobby and I are so sorry for your loss. John was a good friend and definitely one of the good guys.

John and Bobby Ashley, Brandon, Ms.we are

John was a good friend ready to give his very considered and thoughtful advice whenever asked. He was essentially a good man….generous to a friend, a good cause or a great talent; ……fun and fun loving; and courageous, persevering and steadfast in hardship—truly, Theodore Roosevelt’s “man in the arena”. Most of us knew only a few facets of this treasured friend, but, it is probably not an exaggeration to repeat what someone told me … That, in the most profound sense of the term, John was a genuinely great man.

Jack and Joyce Frassanito, Houston, TX

Godspeed, John. Sylvia, my thoughts and condolences are with you.

Jim Norris, Sarasota(formerly Detroit), Florida

I was shocked and saddened to read of John's passing for "we were soldiers once...and young." John was the consummate Andersen partner, with strong technical and management skills, not to mention his dry sense of humor. My thoughts and prayers will be with Sylvia and the family during this difficult time. "Sorrow is joy remembered."

Ron Wade, Snellville, GA

I have very fond memories of John as I first met him when I was a raw recruit at the Houston tax division of Arthur Andersen.He was an inspiration and highly respected not only for his tax knowledge but more importantly his character and ethics. As a special treat I had the opportunity to reconnect with John at our breakfast group 30 years later. He is greatly missed.

Ben Andrews, Houston, Texas

I will certainly Miss John at the River Oaks Breakfast Club on Wednesday mornings and his playful droll sense of humor.

Logan Brown, Houston, TX

Our deepest sympathy to the Sullivan family. I enjoyed our time together at Ole Miss (Band and Sigma Nu). The last time i saw John was in Houston. I was on a Dupont trip and he had just returned from Japan. We had a brief conversation recently. Sylvia , You are in our prayers. Fransue & John

Fransue & John Bertels, Florence, SC

Candle tribute lit by Ham Moore — Tennessee

Sylvia and Mike, it's been a while since we've been together, but my rememberences of the many times we were together during our days in Houston, always bring a feeling of friends, happiness, and good times. That's how I'll always remember John, who was a true partner during our Andersen days together. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I know your situation, as I lost Mary almost two years ago. Rest in peace, John. Lee

Lee Blazey, Bratenahl, Ohio

I knew John professionally, but came to know him as a friend. He was a consummate professional and a true Southern gentleman. One thing that remained constant was his love of his family. He adored his wife, children, and grandchildren and spoke of them often. He was so proud of all of them. I am so very sorry for your loss. He will be missed.

Dale Barnes, Houston, TX

We're very sad hearing of John's passing. We had the pleasure of knowing him and Sylvia during our years living in Houston and Japan starting during the early 1980s. Both of them have come to mind often over the years, and such thoughts always bring a smile. Jeff Kadet and Helen Goh

Jefff Kadet and Helen Goh, Seattle, WA

Candle tribute lit by JoJo Parker — Mississippi

Our prayers are with you Aunt Sylvia, and family. Love you all

JoJo & Kelly Parker , Hattiesburg, MS

So saddened to hear of the passing of such a great, loving man. My years spent at Rice University were brighter, merrier and warmer because of his support in my young career. Both you and Mr. Sullivan were such an important part in my success as an opera singer. You loved, promoted and supported me as your own. I will miss him terribly but am so grateful for the many memories I will forever cherish in my heart! A great man, incredible husband, father, grandfather, friend and patron of the arts. So blessed by the years I got to spend with you both! Sending all my love, prayers and thoughts during this time to you and your family Mrs. Sullivan.

Edlyn Deoliveira- Behrend, San Antonio, TX

So very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you. Linda

Linda Brown, Houston, TX

Candle tribute lit by Roz Caplan — Alabama

Candle tribute lit by Dr. Tom & Carol Sawyer — Texas

A Man among Men, the consummate Gentleman, whom we equate with the ultimate of Integrity- we are honored and blessed to be his friends. We love him eternally and will miss him forever.

Dr. Tom & Carol Sawyer, Houston, TX

I was fortunate to know John Sullivan from the time I was 5 years old, when he married my sister Sylvia at Ole Miss. He was a dear friend as well as brother-in-law. John was the most intelligent person I've known throughout my life, but his warm and loving personality was also supreme. I count it a great privilege to have had him as a friend. He was a second father to my daughter, Laurie, when she lived in Houston for a few years, as well as the great love of my sister's life. Sylvia lived her life to please him; each brought out the best in the other. I think of Longfellow's poem "A Psalm of Life" as descriptive of the life of great men such as John Mack Sullivan. Love you, brother.

Anne Cline, Brandon, MS

Candle tribute lit by Anne Cline — Mississippi


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