Master Chief United States Navy (Retired)
Albert "Al'' James Sullivan quietly slipped into eternal rest on Wednesday afternoon, June 19, 2019 at his residence in Rockville, Maryland. Al was born on October 22, 1939 to Albert Benjamin and Mertie Bell Sullivan in Woodbine, Georgia.
Also known as "Sonny" by his family and childhood friends, Al spent his early years in Woodbine and attended Ralph J. Bunch Elementary School. Eventually his mother moved the family to Daytona Beach, Florida where he attended Campbell Senior High School. Shortly after his seventeenth birthday, Al joined the U.S. Navy on October 30, l 956.
On June 3, 1963, Al was joined in holy matrimony with Bennie Triplett Sullivan. The marriage union was blessed with two daughters, Tracy and the late Kimberley (Kim). Although divorced, Al and Bennie remained the best of friends until his demise. Al later married Lillian Elaine Fishburne on June 21, 1980 and he was blessed with another daughter, Cherese.
During Al's nearly 32 years in the Navy, he served on an oiler, submarine tender, target ship, destroyer, submarine and two aircraft carriers. His last duty station was the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility, Yokosuka, Japan, where he served as the Assistant Ship Superintendent for USS MIDWAY (CV41) and Command Master Chief. Al received numerous medals and awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal. After retiring from active duty in 1988, he spent the next 16 years working at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington D.C.
Al enjoyed reading, fishing, NASCAR racing, old school rhythm and blue s music, photography, and the Dallas Cowboys. He had a great passion for debating with family and friends about politics, sports and trivia.
Al is survived by his devoted wife, Lillian Elaine Fishburne of Rockville , MD; his daughters Tracy (Byron) Morgan of Waldorf, MD and Cherese (Atiba) Henry of Houston, TX; grandchildren Terrance (Amber) Sullivan of Youngstown , OH, Byron, Ir and Malcolm Morgan of Waldorf, MD, and Caelan and Caleila Henry of Houston, TX; six great-grandchildren, Kyla, Alana , and Austin Sullivan, Terrance Graves, and Kaleb and Addison Morgan; sisters Alice Jackson, Gail Sullivan, Mozele Eleby and Iris Sullivan; nieces and nephews Deborah, Cindy and Pamela
Jackson, Michael, Ronald and Larry Gilmore and Andrea Popwell; and Aunt Walter Mae "Bunch" Stewart.
Al was preceded in death by his parents Albert Benjamin Sullivan and Mertie Bell Popwell; daughter Kimberley Sullivan; and sisters Annie "Laura" Gilmore, and Delphine and Shirley Sullivan; and niece Michelle Shackleford.
"If I could get another chance Another walk, Another dance with him, I'd play a song that would never ever end How I'd love, love, love, To dance with my father again...", -Luther Vandross
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Al’s honor to the Walter Reed Society at walterreedsociety.org or to Montgomery Hospice at montgomeryhospice.org.
To send flowers to Albert's family, please visit our floral section.