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Alfred B. Sullivan

January 19, 1928 August 25, 2019
Alfred B.  Sullivan
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Obituary for Alfred B. Sullivan

Alfred Burke Sullivan Ph.D., L.C.D.R., U.S. Navy (Ret.), of San Marcos, passed away on Sunday, August 25, 2019 at the age of 91. He was born in Boston, MA in 1928 to Alfred Sr., and Catherine Burke (both schoolteachers). The Household encouraged practice sessions in debate which helped him earn medals for declamation at the Boston Latin School (the oldest public school in the country, founded in 1636) where he graduated in 1945. Enlistment in the U.S. Navy followed but the wars sudden conclusion opened the opportunity to enter Dartmouth College with the G.I. Bill. He graduated in 1949 with a BA in History.

Alfred then traveled across the country and found employment with a petroleum company in Houston, a mine in Blythe CA, a logging operation in the northwest and a ranch in Montana. He briefly was a political cartoonist and reporter for the Boston Globe. Sullivan was accepted to Harvard Law school, however, when the Korean war broke out in 1950, Sullivan joined the Navy instead. He then re-enlisted in the U.S. Navy and flight school completing training at the outset of the Korean War. During his naval aviation training in Pensacola, Florida, he met Macel, a WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service during WWII), whom he married two years later, after earning his flight wings.

He served for 20 years first as a Navy Pilot during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He flew jets, the world’s largest torpedo bomber at the time, and helicopter rescue. During the Korean War, Sullivan became the personal pilot for General Mark Clark, the Allied Supreme Commander. Sullivan executed an emergency helicopter landing in Tokyo in Meji Park and later flew the General to meet the Emperor Hirohito. He flew off aircraft carriers by day and worked on his master’s degree in political science by night. In 1964 he completed a Master; of Arts from the Univ. of Rhode Island and a Doctorate from the Univ. of Utah in 1967. In 1968 he attended Oxford University. He taught at the University of University of Utah. And he also taught the first integrated class at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Sullivan began teaching at at Southwest Texas State in 1970, two weeks after retiring from the military. He was the Director of the Public Service Internship Program, Graduate and Undergraduate Internship Programs. Sullivan taught the first course in Asian studies and specialized in foreign governments. He was named Professor Emeritus of Political Science. In 1971 he took a group of students to Colima, Mexico and later to England, Russia and Washington D. C. In 1972, he received Texas State’s Outstanding Professor Award. And in 2007, he was named Faculty Member of the Year from the SWT Catholic Student Center.



Outside of class, Sullivan was active in both scholarship and politics. He co-authored “Texas Government Today,” with Dr. Randall Bland, which was one of the highest rated books on Texas Government. He was acquainted with local politicians like Gonzalo Barrientos, Lloyd Dogget, personal friend Ann Cooper and former Travis County Attorney, Ned Granger. Sullivan was a member of the National Honorary Society for International Studies, National Political Science Society, and enjoyed and had a colorful 40 plus year career and continued to work for the office of Distance and Extended learning, and earned an award in 2017 for Outstanding Long Term Commitment to Distance Education. He was often considered the, “Ivy League Cowboy,” who nixed Harvard Law School to become a Navy Fly Boy.

He leaves behind his wife, Macel Sullivan (retired Hays County Justice of the Peace), of 67 years; two children, Edward and Susan; and one brother, Dr. Paul Sullivan of Boston, MA.

Visitation will be held at St. John’s Catholic Church on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., with the Holy Rosary to be recited at 1:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will follow at 2:00 p.m. Services will conclude at the church.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Tuesday

3

Sep

12:30 PM 9/3/2019 12:30:00 PM - 1:30 PM 9/3/2019 1:30:00 PM
St. Johns Catholic Church

624 E. Hopkins Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

St. Johns Catholic Church
624 E. Hopkins Street San Marcos 78666 TX
United States

Recitation of the Holy Rosary

Tuesday

3

Sep

1:00 PM 9/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
St. Johns Catholic Church

624 E. Hopkins Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

St. Johns Catholic Church
624 E. Hopkins Street San Marcos 78666 TX
United States

Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday

3

Sep

2:00 PM 9/3/2019 2:00:00 PM
St. Johns Catholic Church

624 E. Hopkins Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

St. Johns Catholic Church
624 E. Hopkins Street San Marcos 78666 TX
United States
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