Thomas Bernard Sullivan | News, Sports, Jobs



IRON MOUNTAIN, MI – Thomas Bernard Sullivan, 89, of Iron Mountain, passed away on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

Thomas was born on April 4, 1932 in Ishpeming, MI, the son of the late Matthew and Gertrude (Nault) Sullivan.

Tom was originally from Ishpeming, MI and had resided in the Iron Mountain area for 61 years. He attended St. John’s Catholic School in Negaunee, MI, until grade eight and the next four years at Ishpeming High School, where he taught baseball, football, and basketball. As a junior, the basketball team, of which he was one of five starters, faced River Rouge in the state championship semifinals, losing in overtime, with Tom leading the score. . During its senior year, the basketball team played for the Class B State Championship finals with “Watson’s Five Wonderful”, beating St. Joseph and Tom was once again the top scorer. The victorious team returned to Ishpeming for a heroic welcome with the State Class B basketball trophy. Tom graduated with the class of 1950.

Tom received a Bachelor of Science from Michigan University of Technology in Metallurgical Engineering. He returned to academia at Northern Michigan University to earn a teaching degree in mathematics. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Education, he signed a contract to teach mathematics at the Felch School District, where he continued to teach mathematics for the next 29 years, including years at the County Consolidated School District. North Dickinson.

It is the welcome, the involvement of the community in school activities and the motivation and interest of the students that made it a pleasure. Six years after starting his teaching career, he met the new Felch High School teacher, Arlene Cavalieri, who would become his future wife. They applied to graduate school and two years later obtained their Master of Arts in Education. They were married on Friday evening August 30, 1968 and on August 30, 2021 they celebrated 53 years of marriage. Several wedding anniversaries were celebrated at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island during Labor Day Jazz Weekend. Tom was an avid golfer and a long time member of the Pine Grove Country Club. During spring break, Tom and Arlene traveled to Hilton Head Island for the Heritage Classic and golfed at the many beautiful courses on the island. After his retirement, he was an assistant professor of mathematics for ten years at Bay College.

Thomas is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Arlene, three sisters, Patricia Sullivan (Joseph) Gaviglio d’Adrian, Mary Sullivan (Ronald) Ketchem of Ishpeming and Margaret “Peggy” Sullivan (Wayne) Smith of Adrian, Francis Cavalieri, brother-in-law and best man, as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Along with his parents, Thomas was predeceased by a sister, Jeanette Sullivan (Frank) Bonetti and his father and stepmother, Louis and Ruth (LaHaie) Cavalieri.

Visitations will be held on Wednesday, December 1, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home in Iron Mountain. The funeral will follow at noon at the funeral home. Bro. Joseph Gouin will officiate. Interment will take place in Iron Mountain Cemetery grounds, followed by lunch in Pine Grove.

Instead of flowers, memorials can be made to the Salvation Army.

Condolences can be expressed to the family of Thomas B. Sullivan, online at

The family entrusted the arrangements to the Erickson-Rochon and Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain.



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