Cover photo for Carmen Sullivan's Obituary
Carmen Sullivan Profile Photo
1936 Carmen 2019

Carmen Sullivan

March 14, 1936 — October 2, 2019

Carmen E. Sullivan’s Circle of Life

Over the past few weeks I have spent a lot of time thinking about the circle of life.  Each one of us has our own circle of our lives and I am going to share with you Carmen’s circle of her life.

Carmen Elaine Brech Sullivan was born on Saturday March 14, 1936 to Harold J & Myrtle (Schroeder) Brech.  She was born in Cincinnati, OH and spent most of her youth in and around that area.  In her teens she joined a traveling dance troupe and danced as part of the chorus.  Her stage name was Lillie Anne.  During her years dancing with this troupe-she met a man who was a singer and performed as part of the show.  His name was William Clyde Sullivan but went by the name of Bill.  They courted and fell in love and on September 3, 1955 they were united in marriage in Bridgetown, OH at St. Aloysius Church. They continued to perform as a joint act with Bill singing and Carmen (aka Lillie Anne) dancing in the Northeast part of the county but finally settling down in Pittsburg, PA when their first son, William Craig was born on August 27, 1956.  They welcomed their second son, Jeffrey Allen on January 8, 1958 and 11 short months later their daughter Julie Ann joined the family on December 8, 1958.  The family stayed in Pittsburg until moving to Batavia, NY in October of 1963 when Bill got a job with Sylvania.  They spent many happy years in Batavia and Carmen being a stay at home Mom also taught Ballet lessons and she was even a gym teacher at the kid’s school!  In August 1973 Bill got a job with RCA and moved the family to Indianapolis, IN.  And then in January 1976 Bill took a job with an RCA distributor and moved the family to Omaha, NE.  It was in Omaha when Carmen started working in a jewelry store and quickly discovered how much she loved working with customers and helping them with their jewelry needs.  When the kids had all graduated from high school and they were empty nesters-Carmen and Bill then moved to Minneapolis, MN in January 1979 where they lived for many years until they were tired of the snow and they became “snow birds”-initially renting a home in Phoenix for a few months to escape the Minnesota winters.  But they fell in love with Arizona and in 1996 they moved to Sun City, AZ and spent many happy years there golfing and loving the warm weather.  Carmen also retired from the retail jewelry business at that time.

They traveled often going to Ireland and to the Holy Land and also taking cruises to Alaska and Europe and of course visiting their family.

However, when they started experiencing health issues their children convinced them to move closer to one of them and that is how they ended up in Bettendorf, IA in August of 2011.  Sadly, Bill Sr.’s health declined and he went to Heaven on December 27, 2011.  Carmen had lost the love of her life and she would grieve his passing for the rest of her life.  She lived for a short time at Masonic Village and then moved in with daughter Julie and her husband Stephen.  She had many health issues that she battled courageously until her time on this earth was up on Wednesday October 2, 2019 when she entered into glory.

She was preceded by her parents, her sister Charlene, and her husband of 53 years-Bill.

She is survived by her children, Bill and wife Barbara, Jeff and wife Cindy, Julie and husband Stephen; grandchildren, Mark and wife Kate, Rachael and husband Ryan, Tarrah and husband Grant, Carly and husband Mike, Christine and husband Christopher, Daniel, Amy and husband Jack, Lisa and fiancé Cameron and Laura and husband Sam; great-grandchildren: Torry, William, Kaydence, Zekeal, Samantha, Brynnlie, Aubrey, Zachary, Jackson, Van, Emerson, Korver, Everly and Baby Cook who will join the family in 2020.  She is also survived by her sister Carol Albers; her niece Pam; and nephews Steve, Chuck and Dan.

She had a host of friends from throughout her life, some friends she knew for a long time and others she just met. She made everyone feel special and loved and we all know that her hugs were amazing!!

Carmen loved entertaining and hosting family and friends and cooking special meals for them and along with that setting a beautiful table-this made her very happy.  She truly had the spiritual gift of hospitality.  She loved dancing with Bill. She loved music.  She loved her Kindle tablets and was an avid reader as well as a crossword puzzle addict.  She loved chocolate and many other sweets as well-Butter Pecan ice cream and Turtle pie were definitely at the top of her list!  She loved watching the birds from her sitting room. She was classy.  She was spunky and quick witted.  Her favorite colors were green and blue and her favorite flowers were anything that Stephen planted around her home. Her absolute favorite type of food was Mexican and if you wanted her to join you for meal at a restaurant it had to be a Mexican one!

But, most of all, she ADORED her children Bill, Jeff and Julie.  They were her life.  She would do anything for them and she was so proud of each of them.

Her grandchildren-they were her BLESSINGS.  When she would talk about any of them-her face would light up and the love in her eyes was very evident.  She would do anything for them and she was so proud of each of them.

Her absolute JOY in her life though were her great-grandchildren.  She could not get enough of any of them!  She surrounded herself with their pictures and spread her love equally amongst them.  She loved to hear their voices calling out their name for her: “GG”.

Let’s be real here-the most important things in our lives are not things-they are the people we love.  Carmen had a very full, happy life, filled with so many people she loved and who loved her back.

Carmen’s circle of life here on earth is complete.  Her circle from her birth till her death is done.  BUT, she lives on in Heaven.  She lives on in each of us.  She lives on in our hearts.  We are forever grateful to God for blessing each of us with her.

In closing, until we see you again: Mom, Grandma, GG, Sister, Aunt and Friend may you watch over each of us-storming Heaven on our behalf.

Written by Cindy Sullivan October 4, 2019

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Mass

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

1506 Brown St, Bettendorf, IA 52722

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