John L. Sullivan of Vernon Township, N.J., passed away peacefully on Friday, June 12, 2020, at Milford Manor Nursing Home in West Milford, N.J. He was 79.
Born Aug. 18, 1940, in Jersey City, N.J., he grew up in Nutley, N.J.
John worked as a computer programmer for Ciba Pharmaceuticals in Summit, N.J., and Royal Globe Insurance in New York City. He served as a Lieutenant in the Army National Guard for a few years and was honored to have served as guard for John F. Kennedy as well as serving with his troops during the Newark and Plainfield riots.
After spending almost 39 years as an Irish bachelor, he married the love of his life, Suzanne, and they settled in Vernon Township. They bought The Village Inn in Franklin, N.J., and turned it into an Irish Pub. The pub was a popular place for the locals, serving great food and Irish music on weekends.
Gas Light Travel opened in 1985, and John’s love for Ireland led him to charter flights to Ireland for vacation for many people. The Pub and Travel closed when the Sullivans decided to retire in 2006.
John and a group of local customers started the first St. Patrick’s Day in Franklin in 1984. John and Sue were honored to be grand marshals of the Newton St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2013. Sue and John loved to travel to Cape Cod and many U.S. destinations as well as trips to the Caribbean, Europe, and Australia, as well as cruising. John was a huge Boston Red Sox fan, impressing his grandson, Tommy, with this love and enjoyed going to games in New York and Boston.
He is the beloved husband of Suzanne (Sue) Sullivan (nee Pearce); devoted stepfather of Steve Stefani and his wife, Heather, of Hanover, Pa., Pam Pitillo and her husband, Peter, of Fuguay-Varina, N.C., and Patricia Montgomery and her husband, Robert, of Bethlehem, Pa.; loving step-grandfather of Tommy Russo, Joseph, and Samantha Stefani and Chris and Mia Pitillo; and step great-grandfather of Allana and Braydon Russo.
John was predeceased by his parents, John and Margaret Sullivan; sister, Catherine; and step-grandson, Brian Russo.
Private cremation services were by F. John Ramsey Funeral Home, Franklin.