Obituary of Terry F. Sullivan

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Terry F. Sullivan

May 3, 1953 - July 19, 2011

Hampton Union, Friday, July 22, 2011

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Terry F. Sullivan

HAMPTON — Terry F. Sullivan, 58, died Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at his home.

He was born May 3, 1953, in Haverhill, Mass., the son of the late George and Jeannette (Levis) Sullivan. He was raised in Beverly, Mass., moving to Hampton after his graduation.

He was a 1971 graduate of Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School and received his bachelor of arts degree in business from Salem State College in 1975.

Mr. Sullivan was an entrepreneur who owned and operated several businesses, including Casino Fast Food Inc. in Hampton Beach.

He is survived by his wife, Laurie (Baines) Sullivan; two daughters, Kimberly A. Sullivan of New York City and AnnaMarie Sullivan of Hampton; one son, Patrick F. Sullivan of Hampton; two brothers, Philip Sullivan and his wife Joyce of Methuen, Mass., and Brian Sullivan of Lowell, Mass.; two sisters, Sherry McShane and her husband Charles of Monkton, Md., and Marie Sullivan of Beverly, Mass.; and several nieces and nephews.

He is also survived by his dog Sully and his cat Colby.

He touched young lives, which enabled him to give them direction and support. Many adults today feel indebted to him for guiding them toward a better future.

He was a member of Abenaqui Country Club of Rye and served as the Hampton Beach Precinct commissioner from 1986 to 1994. He was a recipient of the Herbert A. Casassa Award in January 1994.

He was a dedicated family man and reached out to the community whenever needed. He contributed and supported Hampton Beach and the town of Hampton.

He became involved with the Winnacunnet High School athletic program and the Marston School, in support of his wife, Laurie, and his children, Patrick and Anna.

SERVICES: At his request, a celebration of life service will be held Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. at his residence, 43 Moulton Road, Hampton. The family would love to have relatives and friends join in this celebration.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Winnacunnet High School Girls Basketball Team, c/o Ed Beattie, Winnacunnet High School, 1 Alumni Dr., Hampton, NH 03842, or to Rockingham VNA/Hospice, 137 Epping Road, Exeter NH 03833.

Assistance with arrangements was by the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory, Hampton.

'Hardest Working' Resident Mourned

Sullivan's Commitment to Town Touched Many Lives

By Liz Premo

Hampton Union, Tuesday, July 26, 2011

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Terry and Laurie with son Patrick
[Courtesy photo]

HAMPTON -- Well-loved, a real family man. A good dad, a tremendous businessman. A big sports nut. A workaholic, a perfectionist. Generous, positive and innovative, and just a really remarkable guy.

Those are just some of the heartfelt ways local businessman Terry Sullivan was described by family, friends and associates after he died at home last week at age 58.

According to a family friend, Sullivan died on Tuesday, July 19. He called Sullivan's passing "a tough situation" and referred to him as "a fantastic person" and "a pillar" in the lives of those who knew him.

"He had been fighting cancer since February 2010," said Sullivan's wife, Laurie, whom he married in 1988. "In March, things started going downhill."

The pain of that battle was deeply felt by those closest to him, including his employees at Casino Fast Food and the Cascade Café, among other venues.

"When they found out he was sick, they were devastated," said Laurie. "They always thought he was their rock."

Long-time friend Bob Preston Jr. confirmed "the last couple of weekends were difficult" for Sullivan's staff, but "everybody pitched in and did 12-hour days. Everybody just wanted to do the right thing."

Calling him "a special guy (who) was always trying to help and make a difference in the community," Preston added, "It's a loss for the beach. Terry was a very important part of that place. When you're down at the beach, you work hard all summer long. That's what you'd see Terry doing."

Hampton Beach Casino General Manager Jake Fleming was friends with Sullivan for about 40 years, since the time they first worked together on Hampton Beach in the late 1960s.

"He started as a dishwasher for John Dineen at a stand called the Dog Cart," said Fleming. "He worked his way up (and) ran the Dog Cart after a few years. As time went along, Terry became the general manager of the Casino, from '73 to '76. When the group bought the casino in '76, they asked us to stay on, and we did."

After working the fast food stand the first year for that group — namely Fred Schaake Sr., Paul and Norman Grandmaison, James Goodwin (both Sr. and Jr.) and Sam Waterhouse — Sullivan bought the stand in 1978.

As the years went by, he took ownership of other ventures, including the Casino Ice Cream, Foot-long Hot Dog and Popcorn stands, Cascade Café and Farr's Famous Fried Chicken.

"He was the hardest working guy I ever met on Hampton Beach," said Bob Houle, marketing consultant for the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Houle knew Sullivan for many years before prior to Sullivan becoming involved as a Hampton Beach Village Precinct commissioner.

He remembered Sullivan for "his dedication to the beach and his business and his family. He was a great enthusiast for all things Hampton Beach, especially the Seafood Festival. He was in on that from the beginning."

Chamber President BJ "Doc" Noel recalled how Sullivan, "a long-time supporter of the chamber," took part in "every single Seafood Festival," doing "an outstanding job" year after year selling his Bloomin' Onions.

"It took him the month of August to make it the way he liked it," said Fleming of Sullivan's initial efforts to create the popular deep-fried creation to his satisfaction. "When it came to putting out food, he was a perfectionist."

Sullivan's enthusiasm extended to the annual sand-sculpting competition as well as the recent aesthetic changes that have occurred along the beachfront. "He loved all the new improvements," said Houle.

Sullivan also loved his work and made a lasting impact on his workers.

"He was very dedicated to his businesses," said Laurie. "All his employees love him — they come back year after year."

Even for those who moved beyond summer jobs, Sullivan remained a constant in their lives, said Laurie.

"All the many kids that have worked for him still come by and see him. They told him, if they didn't work for Terry they wouldn't be where they are now," she said, her words choked with emotion.

One of them is Buck Frost, a U.S. military veteran and now a Hampton firefighter.

"I worked for him for a long time," said Frost, who became a Sullivan employee at age 15. "The work ethic he instilled in me drastically made my life better."

Frost said his association with Sullivan "went from intimidation to a heck of a lot of respect. He was hard, but it made you such a better person for it. His drive was to make you a better worker and a better person. That's what started me in the right direction."

Sullivan's contribution to others' lives was also witnessed in the sporting realm, particularly at Winnacunnet High School.

His son Patrick played football and lacrosse as a WHS student, and his daughter Anna played soccer and was a member of this year's championship-winning girls' basketball team. His older daughter Kimberly lives in New York.

Sullivan "was very dedicated to his kids" and the Winnacunnet Boosters, said Laurie, and WHS Athletic Director Carol Dozibrin credited Sullivan with getting the basketball concession stand up and running.

"He was one of those people who stepped up to help without being asked," said Dozibrin. "He just saw that things needed to be done and he jumped in with both feet and got it done."

Sullivan didn't seek accolades for his efforts, and he neither wanted nor expected others to offer them.

"He never wanted to say anything (and) you didn't talk about it. He would just do his thing," Preston said. "Terry didn't want to be the center of attention — that's just the way he was."

Dozibrin called Sullivan's passing "a heart breaking loss, not only to the Winnacunnet community but also to the community at large, because of the number of lives he touched and the number of kids that worked for him over the years."

"He did so much for me personally," said Frost. "He treated me like one of the family. He was just a great friend."

"He was a very dear friend, probably my best friend," said Fleming, adding that he and Sullivan had been making plans to head to Naples, Fla. this fall. "Then all of a sudden, it just changed," Fleming said wistfully. "He's going to be sorely missed by a lot of people."

As far as arrangements are concerned, "we're not having funeral services; we're doing a celebration of his life," said Laurie, adding that the catered event will be held in the Sullivan family's back yard "because he would want to be at home."


The Celebration of Terry Sullivan's life will by held from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 43 Moulton Road in Hampton. All are welcome to attend, according to Sullivan's family.

Terry Sullivan with friends Peter Krosser, Tom Hodsdon, and John Fleming.
[Courtesy photo]
Terry Sullivan of Hampton died last week after a battle with cancer. He's pictured with his daughter Anna, A WHS basketball player.
[Courtesy photo]
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