Raymond Sullivan, 91, of Northbridge, passed away peacefully on February 24 after a short illness. He was predeceased by the love of his life for 61 years, his wife Katherine “Kitty” (Baghdasarian), in 2016. Ray was born in North Uxbridge in 1930, to John and Delia Sullivan. He served in the US Army in the early days of the Korean conflict, having volunteered for active duty in Korea, (just to “get out of Texas” he would often joke), but was instead posted to Germany. After his military service, he found employment with the Whitinsville Spinning Ring CO. where he worked as a blacksmith for more than a decade before becoming a volunteer for the Northbridge Fire Department and later going full time in 1968, as one of only a handful of full time firemen in town. Desiring to become proficient in life saving techniques, he was an early student and later, practitioner of the then-new profession of Emergency Medical Technician, taking as many courses as he could, (mostly on his own time), and becoming an early pioneer of the vocation. His leadership, innovations and professionalism brought the Northbridge Rescue Squad up to become a leader in the greater Blackstone Valley life-saving services, and set a standard for all other departments to aspire to. Taking an early lead in the use of the “Jaws of Life” auto-extrication tool, he took it upon himself to provide training to every other area department as the tool became more widely available, and provided mutual aid and assistance to all neighboring communities’ departments whenever the need arose.
Ray retired from the department after 23 years of continuous service, having attained the rank of Captain and leader of the Rescue Squad. After a short stint as a maintenance worker at Beaumont in Northbridge, he spent his retirement years enjoying life with his wife and family. His other interests included oil painting, and as such, he was a founding member of the Blackstone Valley Artist Association in the mid 1950’s. He also had a keen interest in history, becoming involved in the collecting of Civil War memorabilia, and also became a member of the Friends of the Gettysburg National Parks with his wife, Kitty, and participated yearly in the maintenance of historical structures at the the Gettysburg National Battlefield park.
Ray was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his son David of Medfield, his daughter Deborah Lozeau of Uxbridge, and two granddaughters that he utterly adored, Emily of Portland, ME., and Rachel of Portland OR. Ray was one of 5 siblings, and as such, was an uncle to many.
Ray was deeply loved by his family and will be sorely missed. As a dedicated public servant, he was admired and respected by many, and will also be remembered for his off-beat sense of humor and willingness to work very, very hard. He was strong, resilient and a role model for many, yet humble and self-effacing. In keeping with his wishes, there are no calling hours, but a graveside ceremony will be held at a future date by his family. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in his honor and memory to the Northbridge Fire Department, 193 Main St., Whitinsville, MA, 01588.
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Northbridge Fire Department
193 Main St., Whitinsville MA 01588