Joseph Michael Sulllivan Obituary - Eastchester, New York | Westchester Funeral Home
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Joseph Michael Sulllivan

December 3, 1939 – April 28, 2024

Joseph Sullivan
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Obituary for Joseph Michael Sulllivan

Joseph Michael Sullivan, 84, of Rye Brook, NY, died suddenly on April 28, 2024. He was born in Brooklyn in 1939, to Joseph Sullivan and Rose (Gaffney) Sullivan. As a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, Joe could usually be found playing stickball in the streets or watching his beloved Dodgers at Ebbets Field. While a diehard Mets fan later in life, Joe could usually be seen wearing his favorite Brooklyn Dodgers baseball hat, as recently as last week. He imparted his love of New York sports teams to his children, including his long-suffering role as a Jets fan.

Joe graduated from Archbishop Stepinac in 1957, and played on the football and baseball teams, in addition to running indoor track. Joe first played for the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod Baseball League as a 15-year-old called up mid-season, and would go on to play for the Mariners again when he was older. He graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1962, balancing the demands of his business degree with four years of playing both football and baseball. Joe’s collegiate football success led to him being drafted by the CFL Montreal Alouettes, however he was drafted by Uncle Sam that same year. So Joe hung up his football cleats and proudly served in the Army National Guard for six years, assigned to the 101st Signal Battalion. Always the competitive athlete, Joe picked up the sport of handball as an adult. He was a well-known, tough competitor with quick hands, playing 4-wall handball for 40 years, with some of his most memorable matches taking place in the Yonkers and Cross Island YMCA’s.

Joe devoted his entire professional career to the brokerage life insurance industry, commencing with his tenure at Met Life in 1963. Progressing through diverse leadership positions, he joined William Penn Life in 1973, ascending to the role of President and Chief Marketing Officer for Banner Life. Instrumental in advancing Banner’s national brokerage business, Joe significantly contributed to its emergence as a premier industry carrier. Joe was also an active board member of the Life Insurance Council of NY and the National Association of Life Underwriters. He concluded his esteemed career with Legal and General America in 2008. Joe had a reputation as an honest, collaborative, hardworking leader whose dry wit and ability to deliver Bob Newhart-esque one-liners could win over the toughest room. Joe was awarded Man of the Year by Cystic Fibrosis of Long Island in 1993, and frequently volunteered for Make-A-Wish and the Special Olympics.

Joe was predeceased by his parents and his brother Ronald Sullivan. He is survived by the love of his life, his wife Mary Ellen (Kamenar) Sullivan. They recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary. The loving couple enjoyed a beautiful, full life of family, travel and many fun adventures. Joe was a longtime member of the Coveleigh Club and the NYAC. He is also survived by his children Karen (Kevin) O’Hara and Danny (Mary) Sullivan, and his grandchildren Grace and Declan O’Hara, and Patrick and Kiera Sullivan. Additionally, Joe is survived by his brothers- and sisters-in-law, Joan (Kamenar) Taragan, Frank Kamenar, Paul (Sue) Kamenar, Liz Kamenar, Teresa Kamenar and Joe (Evlin) Kamenar, and many nieces and nephews. Above all else, Joe’s favorite title was Grandpa. Always an expert listener, he was the most selfless and supportive grandparent a child could ask for. He will be dearly missed. The family will receive friends Friday, May 3, 2-4pm and 7-9pm at Westchester Funeral Home, Eastchester. Mass of Christian Burial will take place Saturday, May 4, 9:00am at Church of the Resurrection, Rye. Internment to follow at Greenwood Union Cemetery, Rye.
To view a LIVESTREAM of the Funeral Mass, please click here

In lieu of flowers, the family requests those who wish to express sympathy make a donation to Tunnel to Towers Foundation ( or St. Jude Children’s Hospital ( in Joe’s memory.

First Visitation

When May 3rd, 2024 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Westchester Funeral Home, Inc.
190 Main Street
Eastchester, NY 10709

Second Visitation

When May 3rd, 2024 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Westchester Funeral Home, Inc.
190 Main Street
Eastchester, NY 10709

Service Information

May 4th, 2024 9:00am
Church of the Resurrection
910 Boston Post Road
Rye, NY 10580

Interment Information

Greenwood Union Cemetery
North Street
Rye, New York 10580
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