JEANE MARIE HANLON SULLIVAN
April 12, 1928- JANUARY 8, 2021
Jeane Sullivan passed away peacefully on January 8th, 2021 at the age of 92 years in Mount Pleasant, SC. Born of Boston Irish stock, she exhibited an extraordinary fortitude and optimism even to the end of her long life. She is remembered for her exceptional beauty, expressed in a ready smile, an exuberant laugh, and a deeply caring heart.
Jeane Marie Hanlon was born on April 12, 1928 to Mary Galvin Hanlon and William Bernard Hanlon in Boston. She spent her early years in Milton, Massachusetts. The Great Depression hit the family hard, and at age 10, she moved into the grand-parental home in Dorchester Mass with her beloved maternal grandfather, James J. Galvin.
She graduated from the Dorchester High School for Girls in 1946, and attended Boston University’s business program. At the age of 20, she met her future husband Edmund J. Sullivan at a church event. Jeane married Edmund on September 24, 1949 in Boston, and the newlyweds settled in Belmont, the Sullivan home town. In the following 9 years, Jeane gave birth to six children (stopping short of the dozen she had intended): Edmund III, Stephen, Jeane, Susan, Nancy, and Eileen. The family home in Andover, Massachusetts was her work of art, and her sanctuary for the next 53 years.
Jeane was a whirlwind of creative energy, and is remembered as a loving mother who encouraged her children to follow what they loved as their careers and their lives unfolded. Despite the premature death of Edmund Sullivan in 1978 at age 53, she persevered in raising her children on her own, seeing to their educations, and supporting them in countless ways. Her congeniality and positive attitude were fused with a joyful ambition, and as a result, her career as an award-winning realtor flourished. She loved her work passionately, as it engaged her with other young families seeking to create their homes in Andover. She worked as a realtor from 1970 until her retirement in 2010, at the age of 82. In addition to her career, she was a generous and devoted care-giver for three elder family members, who all lived well into their nineties.
Jeane was blessed with an energetic and optimistic spirit, which made her an inspiring and enthusiastic mother, and a cherished friend to many. At heart, she was a creative artist, with a special interest in the traditional New England decorative arts of furniture painting and hooked rugs. She filled her home with her art, and inspired her family to seek creative careers and avocations.
She is survived by her six children, Edmund Sullivan of Fairfield CT (John Schulz), Stephen Sullivan of Seattle WA (Ptarmigan Teal), Jeane Sullivan of Pawleys Island SC (Bob Hunt), Susan Ashenfelter of Needham Mass (Tom), Nan Vonesh of Charleston SC (John), Eileen Sullivan of Medway Mass (Erik Brisson), as well as 11 grandchildren: Caroline Sullivan, Perrin Teal-Sullivan, Quill Teal-Sullivan, Alan Ashenfelter, Perry Ashenfelter, Katherine Ashenfelter, William Ashenfelter, Sarah Vonesh, Nicholas Vonesh, Cole Brisson, Celia Brisson, and great-granddaughter Rowan Teal-Sullivan. We now remember Jeane, our beloved mother and grandmother, as a guide, who always pointed toward what was possible, rather than what was wrong. Her optimism was born of her Catholic faith and her devotion to its basic tenets of non-judgmental love and a deep trust in the will of God.
In this time of the pandemic, her final days were spent in protective isolation, with family members visiting outside her window. We celebrate her release. She now rests in peace.
At a later date, a funeral Mass will be held at St Augustine’s Church in Andover. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in her memory to your favorite charity.