Fred’s funeral will be held from the Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Rd., Fitchburg on Wednesday, September 5, with a Mass in Saint Bernard’s Parish at Saint Camillus Church, 333 Mechanic St., Fitchburg at 10:00am. Burial will follow in Saint Bernard’s Cemetery.
Calling hours will be from 4-7pm on Tuesday, September 4, in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Crocker Field Restoration Fund, Attn: Treasurer, 140 Arn How Farm Rd., Fitchburg, MA 01420.
Fitchburg – Frederick “Fred” D. Sullivan, Jr., 76, of Fitchburg, passed away in Leominster Hospital on August 30.
Fred was born in Fitchburg on April 29, 1942 a son of the late Frederick D. Sullivan, Sr., and Elmyra (Dolliver).
He is survived by his sister, Kathleen Reilly of CT; his brother Robert Sullivan of Fitchburg; nieces and nephews, Kara Sullivan Keating and husband Kevin, Alyssa Sullivan, Emma Sullivan, Rev. Kevin Reilly, Timothy Reilly, Kristen Reilly Weiss; great nieces and nephews, Addison Keating, Jack, Sean, and Connor Reilly, Audrey and Eli Weiss. Fred was predeceased by his brother in law, Jack Reilly.
Fred attended Fitchburg Public Schools throughout his early years. Beginning with the Goodrich Street School, followed by B.F. Brown Junior High School, and of course his beloved Fitchburg High School, graduating in 1960. Fred participated in baseball, while at the high school and was quite proficient by all accounts, though he described himself as a “great field-no hit” defensive whiz. One of Fred’s prouder moments athletically at FHS was competing for two years in the Junior/Senior Relays. As Fred described it, those were the real years of the relay, where even the “heavy legged” Sullivan had to complete a grueling ½ mile leg.
Upon completion of his work at FHS, Fred enrolled at Fitchburg State Teachers College, as it was known in the day. He was of course a History major, initiating his love of his beloved Social Studies. Fred also played baseball at Fitchburg State, being an integral member of the undefeated 1961 baseball team, which ultimately landed in the Fitchburg State Hall of Fame. Fred was also an outstanding goalie in soccer for two years at the college.
He began his professional career student teaching at the old Mary Markham School in Cleghorn. His first paycheck from the City was derived from his first position as an elementary teacher at the old Richardson Road Schoolhouse. He then taught for several years at B.F. Brown, grades 7,8, and 9. Fred had many fond memories of his days at the historic school sitting on the corner of Elm and Academy. The names Alario, Connelly, DeGara, Ford, Moge, and Cordio were dear to his heart at that time in his life.
The majority of Fred’s tenure in public education was spent at FHS. Again, from testimonial after testimonial, Fred was a brilliant, highly motivating educator. He loved both the hard-working kid who might struggle to get a “B” in his class, to the “elites,” the kids that would challenge him and get him all riled up in class. He truly loved his work; he was extremely passionate about his kids knowing a little something about the world when they left his class.
Fred’s extra-curricular work for FHS was extensive, while at B.F. and FHS, he often served as a class advisor. He spent many years as the “Voice of the Raiders”, announcing games and relays at his little sanctuary on Circle Street, Crocker Field. He was an original member of the FHS Hall of Fame, of which he remained active up to his passing. It would be remiss to not acknowledge two of Fred’s closest buddies, who have predeceased him, Bob Foley and Doug Grutchfield.
Ever being the historian, Fred was determined to not let the legacy of the early great athletes of the 20th Century be forgotten. His loyalty to his school earned him a spot in the FHS Hall of Fame, recognized as a contributor.
Fred was passionate in life, whether it be his Red Sox, his politics, his love of everything Fitchburg. Early in his life, he loved to travel, taking trips to Spain, Holland, the islands, and spending summers traveling cross-country. Above all else, his primary passion was always his family. His sister and brother were the center of Fred’s world. He cherished his time with Kathleen in CT. He would attend her kid’s athletic events, spend time at Mystic Seaport, and just hanging out with Kath, Jack, and the kids. Likewise, he loved Rob’s girls; wanting to know everything going on in their lives. The thousands of pictures are testimony to his passion for family.
Fred is most fondly remembered for his local writings for the Telegram and Gazette. Parents from around the North County praised Fred for his laudatory comments regarding their child’s athletics. His absence from the local sports writing scene was sorely missed by many.
The Sullivan and Reilly families have lost a great man, the City of Fitchburg has lost maybe its greatest Red Raider. Long live the legend of Fred Sullivan.