June 3, 1943 – February 17, 2023
In loving memory ~
It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Rick Sullivan on February 17, 2023 at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C
He is survived by his loving family; wife Marie and his son Jason (Charlene), his sisters Sally Jean (George), Barbara, and brother-in-law Douglas (Valerie), and aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many wonderful friends.
Rick was born in New Westminster and raised in Sullivan Station(Surrey) and Port Coquitlam. He attended UBC and graduated with an Education Degree majoring in School Librarianship and American History. He began his teaching career in Penticton before transferring to Fort St. John where he built up the library among 4 schools, but was based out of Charlie Lake. Three years later he would go to Kitimat where he spent the next 28 years until he retired.
In retirement he settled in Parksville where he lived for 16 years, later moving to Nanaimo and then New Westminster.
Having lived through poverty as a child, Rick made lifelong contributions in the hope of making his world a better place.
He took an active role in fighting for the rights of teachers in British Columbia and was elected to various roles in the Kitimat District Teachers’ Association, including local representative and President during the early 1980s’ Solidarity strike. As president of the KDTA, he led the first teachers strike under the newly formed Labour Code.
Rick’s beliefs in adequate pensions for teachers led to his participation in the BC Teachers’ Federation, first as a local rep, then as a member and finally as chair of the provincial BCTF Pensions’ Committee which was dedicated to pursuing the goals of dignity in retirement. He continued his work for social justice in Kitimat, working for Development & Peace with the Catholic church, and later in Parksville, when as an advocate for peace, he protested the war in Afghanistan weekly.
Rick’s love of good music, good Irish whiskey and a hot political discussion invited many to participate in good times at his home, in Kitimat, then in Parksville. He was proud of his historical roots in Sullivan Station(Surrey), the place his family called home after emigrating from Ireland many decades ago. He also took great pride in researching and documenting 9 generations of his family tree.
The family is planning a wake for March 25, 2023. Donations to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC would be greatly appreciated.
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