Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jan. 21, 1944, George was the second oldest of three children of George and Agnes (Connolly) Sullivan.
George grew up in Lynbrook and attended parochial schools, graduating from St. Agnes High School in 1962 and cum laude with a B.B.A. degree in accounting from Iona College. While at Iona, he participated in crew and was elected to the National Honor Society as well as Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. During the summers of 1963 and 1965 he successfully completed The Platoon Leaders Class program and received his commission in the United States Marine Corps in June 1966 upon graduating from Iona.
Following graduation from The Basic School at Quantico, Va., he was assigned to ground forces in the former Republic of Vietnam and assumed command of a rifle platoon stationed with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment in Quang Tri Province. On March 17, 1967, during Operation Prairie II while on a mission to rescue the crew of a downed helicopter, he sustained wounds during an engagement with North Vietnamese forces and as a result of those injuries his left leg was amputated above the knee. He retired in October 1967 and was awarded the Navy Cross — the country’s second-highest military decoration.
George continued his education, receiving a M.B.A. in taxation from New York University Graduate Business School and also attended Fordham University Law School where he served as class president.
He then pursued a career in public accounting and, after working with the international firm Ernst & Ernst, established his own practice in 1971.
George married Margaret (Caragher) Sullivan April 18, 1970, and they settled their family in Southold in 1973.
George was active in both veteran and community endeavors and believed that public service was a calling that we all should pursue. He was an adjunct professor of accounting on the faculty of Suffolk County Community College and served as an elected official of the Town of Southold for over two decades, holding the office of receiver of taxes. He was a principal in the construction of the Suffolk County Vietnam Veterans Memorial that was dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 1991. He is a life member of the DAV and the Military Order of the Purple Heart as well as the Marine Corps League and American Legion. He also served on the local board of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation as well as serving as chairman of an annual golf tournament which has raised more than $250,000 to provide educational benefits to children of Marines or corpsmen killed or wounded in combat.
George was most proud of having coached basketball for 12 years both at the high school level as well as for St. Patrick’s CYO teams. He often saw and communicated with former players over the years. George was a member of St. Patrick’s R.C. Church in Southold and a member of North Fork Country Club. George was an avid golfer and he loved the competition and camaraderie of playing a round of golf with his friends.
George is recognized as one of two Marines with a quote on a glass panel at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial located in Washington, D.C., which honors more than four million veterans who returned home permanently disabled. Dedicated in October 2014, the memorial features quotes from disabled veterans detailing their experiences. George’s quote reads: “Yes, I wished things would have worked out a little better for me, but I did come home alive and had a fairly successful life.”
George is predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Margaret, and is survived by his son, Bob Sullivan of Charleston, S.C.; his daughter, Megan Collins and her husband, John Collins, of Southold and their three children Kevin, Mallaigh and Ryan; as well as his brother, Jack Sullivan (Patricia Ann) of Delray Beach, Fla. and his sister, Peggy Epstein of Steamboat Springs, Colo.
George loved his family. His three grandchildren were the center of his universe.
The family will receive visitors Tuesday, Jan. 14, from 3 to 7 p.m. at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick’s R.C. Church. Interment will take place at a future date at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, 909 N. Washington St., Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314.
This is a paid notice.