Stephen Sullivan (’61) Leaves Lasting Legacy at Saint Columbkille

Steve Sullivan was a first generation American whose parents emigrated from Ireland in the early 1900s. He grew up on Murdock Street in Brighton, along with his older brother John, with many aunts, uncles and cousins in close proximity. Each day, he would deliver newspapers on a paper route and serve as an alter boy at St. Columbkille Church before starting school. Steve was an active member of the football team in high school and had fond memories of playing.

Steve graduated from Saint Columbkille in 1961 and went on to graduate from Boston College. He then joined the Marine Corps and did a tour in Vietnam before joining the Reserves in the early 1970s. He regularly attended Ward Room Club meetings with fellow officers in the Boston area throughout the years.

Steve recalled that the nuns at Saint Columbkille, the Jesuits at Boston College and the Marines in Marine Corps got him on the path to success. Both his involvement in the church and at school, in addition to those who supported him throughout his formative years, help propel him to a prosperous future.

After college, Steve worked in a variety of jobs, including the IRS, as a liaison with customers of New England Ford dealerships, and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts both with the Office of Youth Services and the Office of Refugees and Immigrants.

Steve was an excellent singer. As an adult he joined the Bay Statesman Barbershop Quartet in Norwood, performing skits and singing with other groups. Steve was the lead man of the group and the youngest member. He also played the harmonica. He always carried one with him and would pull it out on a whim to wish someone a happy birthday. His music brought a lot of joy to strangers and close friends and family alike.

“Steve was a character, but he also had a lot of character,” remembers his wife Desiree Carlson. “He was a great storyteller, always engaging and outgoing.”

Steve passed away in July 2019 from cancer. His legacy continues to be remembered at Saint Columbkille through donations from his wife Desiree Carlson. Each year, he donated $1,961 to the school in honor of his graduation year and to help continue the tradition of high-quality Catholic education at Saint Columbkille.

“He was a lot of fun and cared deeply about our school,” recalls classmate Janice Carroll-Hammonds.

Thank you, Steve, for all you have done to support Saint Columbkille and help future generations of students.