Frank “Jay” Sullivan, 56, of Unionville, CT formerly of New Britain, CT and Essex, CT passed away Friday, February 22, 2019 surrounded by his loving family at the Hospital of Central CT @ New Britain General. Born with spina bifida, Jay overcame his life challenges with strength and determination. He was raised in Essex, CT a graduate of Valley Regional High School, class of 1981 and Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). After graduating from CCSU, Jay began his career as Disabilities Services Advocate with the City of New Britain’s Office of Youth & Family Services. Jay used his newly earned degree, passion and “love for debate” to ensure the rights of individuals with disabilities and secure access to public facilities and independent living for those challenged with disabilities. His work included serving on state disability rights councils and advocating at the State Capitol. Growing up in the small town of Essex, Jay was well-known in the village, often spotted hanging with the guys at Joe Bella’s gas station, joining his father for a “day on-the-job” at Sullivan Paving or popping wheelies down the hallways of Essex Elementary School. Known for his smile, sense of humor and ability to “talk up a storm,” Jay will most be remembered for the impact he had on the lives of his friends, families and colleagues as a true fighter and a man who would never give up the battle – right up to his final challenge with his medical complexities. Jay’s spirit and love of life will live on in all who knew and loved him.
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Jay is survived by his sister, Kari Sullivan, his four brothers, Roger Sullivan (Lara), Eric Sullivan (Michelle), David Acheychek, Ted Sullivan, his step-mother, Kathleen Sullivan and his nieces and nephews, Brittany, Jenna, Madden, Griffin, Sydney, Dylan and Grant. Jay was predeceased by his father and “best friend,” Edward P. Sullivan and his mother, Leslie LaCivita Sullivan.
A Celebration of Jay’s life will be held Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 10 a.m. at First Church of Middletown, 190 Court Street in Middletown, CT. Burial will be private in Riverside Cemetery, Essex, CT. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Spina Bifida Association, 1600 Wilson Blvd, Ste 800, Arlington, VA 22209, for the purpose of research. Service of Comfort provided by the Paul A. Shaker Funeral Home, New Britain, CT. To extend condolences to the Sullivan family, please visit SHAKERFUNERALHOME.COM