Obituary: Carolyn Evelyn (Russell) Sullivan

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Carolyn Sullivan

Carolyn Evelyn (Russell) Sullivan passed away at her home on June 8, 2020, at the age of 94. She was born May 12, 1926, in Meeker, Colorado, to Glenn Rees and Pearl Elizabeth (Banner) Russell. She was a twin to Jack Russell. She had an older sister, Norma. Carolyn attended the Mesa Country School and then graduated from Rio Blanco County High School May 21, 1944. In the Fall of 1944, she attended Mesa State Junior College and on June 7, 1946, she received her Associate of Arts degree.

On March 3, 1946 she married John Francis Sullivan in Moab, Utah, and began their lives together at the Sullivan family ranch on Williams Fork. Frannie and Carolyn lived at the ranch where their first two children, Jacque and Joe were born. In 1949 they moved to Meeker, living at the Russell ranch up-river where their third son Mike was born, staying there until 1953 when they moved to the little log home located at 268 Garfield St. In 1957 their fourth son Kelly was born. In 1965 Frannie and Carolyn moved their family up the street to 55 Garfield St. where Carolyn remained for the duration of her life.

Carolyn attended Brigham Young University in Utah receiving her Bachelor of Science Aug. 24, 1962. After graduating from BYU, she began her career at the Meeker Elementary School starting in the library from 1959-1962 and then began teaching first grade in the Fall of 1962, retiring in 1991. Carolyn was a lifetime member of The Order of Eastern Star receiving her 50-year pin in 2009. She was a member of the Chapter BA-PEO. As a member of the St. James Episcopal Church she spent at least 20 years helping organize the dinners and cleaning the altar. After her retirement from teaching, she became involved in the Meeker Investment Club which she thoroughly enjoyed. Carolyn always had goodies around for all the kids, grandkids and great-grandkids. She must have made hundreds and hundreds of cookies in her lifetime, mainly chocolate chip. She was fondly known to her family as Mom, Sugie, “Fats” and Aunt Sugar. She can be remembered riding her motorcycle all over Rio Blanco County (23,000 miles) with her good friend Betty Kincher and driving the four-wheeler with Frannie hanging on behind. 

Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, one sister, one brother and most recently her husband Frannie in 2019.  She is survived by her four children (Jacque (Duke) Duzik, Joe (Melanie), Mike (Barbara) and Kelly (Pam); nine grandchildren (Glenn, Tim, Andi, Sarah Beth, JoLyn, Bradley, Joe, Casey and McKenzie), 14 great-grandchildren (Taylor, Mattie Jo, Ian, Alyson, Kelli, Tate, Blair, Serena, Sadie, Ryan, Rylee, Hudson, Cole, Ash), first cousin Marge Rogers and numerous nephews, nieces and many friends. 

The family would like to extend a very special “thank you” to Home Health, Pioneer Medical Center, Dr. Williams, Janelle Borchard, Western Slope In-Home Care, HopeWest volunteers, and a very special “thank you” to Peggy Strate for reading to Carolyn.

The family would also like to extend their heartfelt thanks to all those who stopped by to offer their condolences and sent wonderful cards, to Father Scott of St. James Episcopal Church for the Celebration of Life, Dave Cole, Terri Ruckman Reed, the chapter BA-PEO group (Stephanie, Debbie, Iris and Peggy), and the Eastern Star participants (JH and Debi), for all their services at Highland Cemetery, Frank Nieslanik for providing Grand Junction corn, tomatoes and cherries and Mandy (Elder) Smith for giving the blessing for the dinner and all the family and friends for their help in celebrating both Frannie and Carolyn’s life.

Memorial donations may be made to St. James Episcopal Church and the Meeker Education Fund, in care of Grant Mortuary, PO Box 333, Meeker CO 81641.