Peter E. Sullivan, 82

Peter Sullivan

FALMOUTH — Peter E. Sullivan, 82, of Falmouth, died Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, after a brief illness.

Peter was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., August 1, 1934, the son of Edward Sullivan and Dorothy (Irwin) Sullivan.

He graduated from Brooklyn Preparatory School in 1952. He then attended Yale University and graduated in 1956 with a Bachelor’s of Science in civil engineering, and received a commission in the U.S. Navy. He retired as a Captain in the Naval Reserve on August 1, 1994.

He served on active duty aboard the U.S.S. Raymond or, as he would put it, “the old Rusty R” for three years, then returned to New York State to work as a project manager for Consolidated Constructors and Builders, Inc.

One summer evening in 1959, he was introduced to Judith Anne Manning at the Breezy Point Beach Club. Their first date was the very next day, a picnic in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Peter and Judy married on Feb. 4, 1961, in the worst blizzard New York had seen in years. They moved to Portland’s North Deering neighborhood, raising five children.

After working at Consolidated’s Portland office for many years, Peter founded Sullivan and Merritt, Inc., in 1977, with the late John Merritt. With offices in Scarborough and Bangor, the company performed general contracting largely for the Maine paper industry. Peter was often on the road midweek, having breakfast with project foremen at the Airline Diner in Cherryfield at five one morning and climbing up 20 flights of stairs to look at a job at a paper mill in Millinocket the next. In 1988, Peter retired, having arranged for the sale of Sullivan and Merritt to his employees.

Peter was as active in retirement as he had ever been. He and Judy spent six months studying at University College in Galway, Ireland. Their first call home had a memorable request: to please send flannel pajamas from L.L.Bean to help ward off the damp chill of Irish nights.

He earned a Master’s degree in New England Studies from the University of Southern Maine in 1995, and was working towards his ABD in history with a specialty in Puritan-era Massachusetts at the University of Maine in Orono. A longtime communicant of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Portland, Peter wrote a pamphlet on the history of the church.

Peter and Judy traveled extensively in Europe, sharing many stories and photos with their children and friends. He and Judy bought a place on Long Lake, in Naples, in 1989, and later, in Key West, Florida, where he had been stationed for a time in the Navy. The homes became the center of many family gatherings and events. In addition to time with family, Peter enjoyed playing golf in the Men’s League at the Naples Golf and Country Club, reading, and watching the sun set whether over Key West or Long Lake.

They moved to Ocean View in Falmouth in 2014, meeting many new friends. He very much enjoyed the Men’s Group and the Bible Fellowship, to which he always brought the Bible he received as a Christmas present from his parents the year he graduated college.

Peter and Judy were longtime members of the Portland Stage Company, the Portland Symphony, and the Good Theatre.

Peter is survived by his loving wife, Judy; his five children, Joanne M. Sullivan of Brookline, Mass., Julieanne (Drouin) and her husband, Scott; Peter M. Sullivan and his wife, Julie; Matthew I. Sullivan and his wife, Christine Wirth, all of Portland; and Christopher E. Sullivan and his wife Jennifer of Hudson, Mass.; and five grandchildren.

Visiting hours were held at Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland on Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 673 Stevens Ave, Portland on Thursday, January 26, at 11 a.m. Committal services will be at a later date at Calvary Cemetery. You may share your stories with the family at

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