Judith A. Sullivan

FALMOUTH – Judith A. Sullivan, 80, of Falmouth died Oct. 28, 2019 after a brief illness. Judith was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. Dec. 10, 1938, the daughter of Francis X. Manning and Marcella (Kiesler) Manning.

She graduated from Saint Saviour High School, Brooklyn, in 1956. She then attended Notre Dame College of Staten Island, graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

One summer evening in 1959, she met Peter Sullivan at the Breezy Point Beach Club. Their first date was the very next day, a picnic in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. She married Peter on Feb. 4, 1961 in the worst blizzard New York had seen in years. They moved to Maine, residing first in South Portland, then in Portland’s North Deering neighborhood where they raised five children. They were long-time members of St. Joseph’s Parish.

In 1976 Judy went back to school, earning a Master’s in Education at the University of Southern Maine. She substitute-taught at Portland-area schools, then got a job teaching English at Southern Maine Technical College. There, Judy advocated strongly for expanded English classes for her students in public safety, HVAC and other trades, believing that instruction in public speaking and literature was just as important as how to write a business letter. After securing several grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the college, her perspective began to be more accepted. She retired as chair of the English Department in 1999.

Judy and Peter traveled quite a bit in retirement, spending time in Germany, Austria, France, Italy and the Czech Republic among others. They spent six months studying at University College in Galway, Ireland, studying literature and history. Their calls home were full of quirky happenings: the surly personality of the washing machine at the house, which bread was best at Griffins Bakery, and the right place to sit for a traditional music session.

After buying a second home in Naples, Maine Judy got involved with the Naples Public Library, serving for several years as the coordinator of the Maine Humanities Council summer book club. Her preparation was extensive: reading the books over several times, making notes, using a highlighter on certain passages, and writing in the margins. “You are never alone if you have a good book,” she would tell her grandchildren.

Judy and Peter moved to Ocean View Retirement Community in Falmouth in 2014, meeting many new friends. Judy was a member of the book club, and attended performances at the Good Theatre and the Portland State Company. She was a communicant of Holy Martyrs Church in Falmouth.

Judy is survived by her five children Joanne M. Sullivan of Brookline, Mass., Julieanne (Drouin) and her husband Scott, Peter M. Sullivan and his wife Julie (Hight), Matthew I. Sullivan and his wife Christine Wirth, all of Portland; and Christopher E. Sullivan and his wife Jennifer (Mancini) of Hudson, Mass., and six grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 at Jones, Rich and Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am on Saturday at St. Joseph’s Church, 673 Stevens Ave. in Portland. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers,

donations in memory of Judy may be sent to:

Preble Street Resource Center,

5 Portland St.

Portland, ME 04101