Thomas Bernard Sullivan

IRON MOUNTAIN, MI – Thomas Bernard Sullivan, 89, of Iron Mountain, passed away on Thursday, November 25th, 2021.

Thomas was born April 4th, 1932, in Ishpeming, MI, son of the late Matthew and Gertrude (Nault) Sullivan.

Tom was a native of Ishpeming, MI and had resided in the Iron Mountain area for sixty-one years. He attended St. John’s Catholic School, in Negaunee, MI, through the eighth grade and the next four years at Ishpeming High School, where he lettered in baseball, football and basketball. As a junior, the basketball team, of which he was one of the starting five, played River Rouge in the semi final state championship, losing in overtime, with Tom leading the scoring. In his senior year, the basketball team played for the state final class B championship with “Watson’s Wonderful Five”, beating St. Joseph and Tom was once again the leading scorer. The victorious team returned to Ishpeming for a hero’s welcome with the State Class B basketball trophy. Tom graduated with the class of 1950.

Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan Technological University in Metallurgical Engineering. He returned to academia at Northern Michigan University to pursue a teaching degree in mathematics. Upon receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, he signed a contract to teach mathematics at the Felch School District, where he continued to teach math for the next 29 years, including the years at the consolidated North Dickinson County School District.

It was the welcoming, involvement of the community in school activities and the motivation and interest of the students that made it a pleasure. Six years into his teaching career, he met the new teacher at the Felch High School, Arlene Cavalieri, who was to become his future spouse. They applied for Graduate School and two years later received their Master of Arts in Education. They were married on Friday evening, August 30th, 1968 and on August 30th, 2021, they celebrated 53 years of marriage. Several wedding anniversaries were spent at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island during Labor Day Jazz Weekend. Tom was an avid golfer and long-time member of Pine Grove Country Club. During spring break, Tom and Arlene travelled to Hilton Head Island for the Heritage Classic and golfed the many fine courses on the island. After retirement, he was an adjunct mathematics instructor for ten years at Bay College.

Thomas is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Arlene, three sisters, Patricia Sullivan (Joseph) Gaviglio of Adrian, Mary Sullivan (Ronald) Ketchem of Ishpeming and Margaret “Peggy” Sullivan (Wayne) Smith of Adrian, Francis Cavalieri, brother-in-law and best man, and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Along with his parents, Thomas was preceded in death by a sister, Jeanette Sullivan (Frank) Bonetti and his father and mother-in-law, Louis and Ruth (LaHaie) Cavalieri.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 1st, from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon, at the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home in Iron Mountain. Funeral services will follow at 12:00 noon, at the funeral home. Fr. Joseph Gouin will officiate. Burial will be in Iron Mountain Cemetery Park, followed by lunch at Pine Grove.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Salvation Army.

Condolences may be expressed to the family of Thomas B. Sullivan, online at www.ernashfuneralhomes.com.

The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon and Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain with the arrangements.