Richard Harold Graves passed away peacefully at Middlesex Hospital Friday, February 12 at the age of 87. He was born in Montague, MA, the son of Albert and Mary (Cuff) Graves. September 4, 1933. He was the husband of Judith Sheehan Graves. Rich will be sadly missed but always remembered with love by his wife Judy of 56 years; and his children, Chris (Pam), Katie, Jeff (Becki), and Dan (Karen); his brother, Don Graves and his wife Carol; and many nieces and nephews. He is survived by eight grandchildren: Samantha, Megan, Nathan, Evan, Carter, Carly, Riley, and Makenna. He was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Reet O'Connor; his brother-in-law, Jim O'Connor; his sister-in-law, Kay Sheehan; and a very special cousin, Loretta (Babe) Patterson. Rich grew up in Montague and graduated from Turners Falls High School. He continued his education at UMASS, earning a BS degree in Chemistry. Upon graduating, he served two years in the U.S. Army - rank of 1st Lieutenant. He was very proud of the time he served in Japan. The highlight was being able to climb to the top of Mount Fuji, not once, but twice. Rich began his career at Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Plant as a chemist. He met his wife Judy, got married, and then relocated to Connecticut to work at the Connecticut Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Haddam Neck, CT. Prior to retiring in 1992, he was the Plant Superintendent for 12 years. In his "free time" he dedicated his time to the Town of Portland. He served on the Board of Education for six years, the Board of Selectman for two years, and was the past chairman of the town facilities building committee responsible for the renovation of Central school to the now town hall. Rich and Judy were very active in St. Mary's Church of Portland. A man with a strong sense of history and tradition, he served as co-chairman of the church rebuilding committee after fire destroyed the building, raising more than $500,000 to renovate and preserve the 100 year structure. After retirement, he was finally able to enjoy his passion for golf. Not only did he work as a ranger at the Portland Golf Course, but he golfed as often as he wanted. In 2007, he and Judy made the decision to downsize and moved to Laurel Ridge in East Hampton. Rich and Judy continued their community involvement and gained many new, wonderful friends and neighbors. Rich continued to support the town of Portland by volunteering at the Portland Food Bank twice a week. It was an important part of his life socially as well as a testament to his generous spirit. Rich will be forever missed by those who knew and loved him. The family gives special thanks to all the doctors and nurses for their kindness and care. Funeral services and burial will be private. Portland Memorial Funeral, 231 Main St., Portland, is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Rich's memory may be made to the Portland Food Bank (7 Waverly Ave, Portland, CT 06480), or the Jimmy Fund (www.jimmyfund.org/gift).
Eugene James Sullivan passed away with his family by his side on February 16, 2021 at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, CT after an eight year and one month ordeal with lung and thyroid cancer (and various other maladies). Gene was born on November 19, 1934 in Yonkers, New York, the fourth child of six and the third Marine of five born to the late Michael L. Sullivan and Frances (Kingberger) Sullivan.
Gene graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx before joining the United States Marine Corps in 1952. That decision led him to Parris Island Boot Camp, the Great Lakes Naval Training Center and Camp LeJeune, North Carolina where he was part of the Second Battalion, Second Marines. While with the Marine Corps, he was able to travel Europe, Asia, Puerto Rico and Cuba. After leaving the Corps with an honorable discharge, he attended Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland under the G.I. Bill. He graduated from The Mount in 1960 and went on to get his master’s degree in English at the University of Detroit. Post-graduate life involved working for Grolier Encyclopedia where he researched and put together entries on the Pan Am Building and recreational sailing that made it into the 1963 and 1964 editions of the encyclopedia. Working for Grolier gradually led him west to a variety of cities including Chicago, Kansas City, Denver and, ultimately, Los Angeles, where he met and married his wife Shirley in November of 1965. They began their next 55 years together by driving across the country and eventually settling in Connecticut where they had two children and two grandchildren.
Gene's life in Connecticut involved working in modern technologies such as computers, telecommunications and office systems. From the 1980s through the 2000s, Gene ran his own business in the telecom industry while also finding time for community service work with the United States Power Squadron, the Exchange Club, the Connecticut Chapter of the Mount St. Mary’s alumni group, the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce and the local chapter of the Marine Corps League. When not working or volunteering, he could inevitably be found on the beach at Black Point Beach Club in East Lyme, CT or boating with his wife and friends on the Connecticut River via the Hamburg Cove Yacht Club in Lyme, CT. Gene loved being on the water almost as much as he loved the Marine Corps and he loved the Marine Corps almost as much as he loved being around friends and family.
Gene is predeceased by his sister Mary Lu and his brothers Michael, John and Emmett. He is survived by his wife Shirley (Sanchez) of Portland, CT, his son Tim of Portland, CT, his daughter Amy, her husband Jeff (Stomsky), grandsons Matthew and Adam of Newington, CT, his brother Joseph of New Mexico and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like take this moment to thank oncologist Dr. Mohan Menon, formerly of Hartford Hospital, the staff of the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital, oncology nurse Jayne Shea and the staff at the Starling Physicians Infusion Center in Wethersfield, CT, Dr. Thomas J. Lynch, Jr., formerly of Yale-New Haven Hospital, Dr. Sarah Finnegan of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Newington, CT, the caregivers at DynamicTouch Home Care in West Hartford, CT and Liz Petry and Christy Billings of the Veterans Writing Group at Russell Library in Middletown, CT.
A private service for Gene will take place at St. Mary's Church in Portland, CT. He will be laid to rest with military honors following the service at the State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary's Church in Portland, CT or the American Cancer Society.