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Donald L. Sullivan
September 18, 1943 ~ June 6, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old
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Donald L. Sullivan, a longtime resident of Winthrop and beloved husband of Lois (Polsonetti) Sullivan, passed away at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on June 6, 2023. He was 79 years old.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts on September 18, 1943, Donald was the youngest son of the late Daniel Sullivan and Helen Napier Sullivan. Raised in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, Donald graduated from Archbishop Williams High School in 1961. After initially studying at the Jesuit Seminary Shadowbrook in Lenox, Massachusetts with the intention of joining the priesthood, Donald instead graduated from Boston College. He served in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army during the Vietnam War reaching the rank of Captain. Donald’s deployment during the Vietnam War included The Battle of Hamburger Hill in 1969. His many awards include the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
In later years, Donald was an active supporter of veterans' causes. Having personally suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following his service in Vietnam, Donald acted as an advocate for local veterans with PTSD. Donald’s interviews with Dartmouth Professor & President James Wright were extensively referenced in Wright’s 2017 book Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War, a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
Donald also had a distinguished career as a business executive, serving as CEO of multiple software companies, where he specialized in leading restructuring to return organizations to profitability.
In addition to his wife Lois, Donald is survived by his daughter Kathleen (Kate) Sullivan and son-in-law Evan Koch of Philadelphia, PA. He is also survived by his brother Paul Sullivan and his wife Ulla Sullivan of Dartmouth MA, as well as his sisters-in-law Linda Sullivan and Charlene Tyler. He is predeceased by his brother Daniel Sullivan of Marblehead. He also leaves behind a broad extended family united by marriage and years of shared laughter. Among those who knew him best, Donald will be missed for his warm generosity of spirit – a willingness to help out at a moment’s notice. He will also be missed for his ability to dispense life-changing practical advice and his quirky sense of humor that he shared with almost everyone he met, whether they wanted him to or not. That sense of humor was usually the source of delight for family members and friends, and occasionally a source of confusion for unsuspecting strangers.
Family and friends are cordially invited to attend the visitation from the funeral home on Saturday, June 17, 2023 from 10 am - 12 pm with a brief memorial service to follow at 12 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to local veteran service providers, like the New England Center and Home for Veterans (https://nechv.org/)