Thomas Joseph Sullivan

By From page A2 | February 28, 2014

Feb. 2, 1943 — Feb. 7, 2014

Thomas Joseph Sullivan, lifelong advocate for the mentally ill and past Director of Mental Health for both El Dorado and Sacramento Counties, died Feb. 7, 2014. He died of natural causes surrounded by his family. He was born in Boston, Mass., in 1943 to Stephen Michael Sullivan II and Rita McMahon Sullivan. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1965, and earned his master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut in 1967. He met his first wife, Valerie Wichowski Sullivan, while attending Michigan State, and they were married from 1965 to 1986. After graduate school, Tom and Val moved to California, where he began his 35-year career in mental health.

Tom always had a passion for politics and advocacy. He was elected to the Placerville City Council in 1978, and served as Vice Mayor from 1982 to 1984. Throughout his mental health career, he was dedicated to championing the rights of the mentally ill and their families. He met his second wife, Kathleen Connor Burne, in 1987 and spent the remainder of his years with her. His greatest passions in life were family, his beloved Boston Red Sox, traveling and reading.

Tom is survived by his wife, Kathleen Connor Burne; two daughters, Kimberly Sullivan and Kristin Sullivan Singhasemanon (Nan); one brother, Stephen Michael “Mike” Sullivan III (Bonnie); and two step-children, Jason Burne (Lori) and Lindsey Burne Tampas (Kerry). There are four grandchildren, Campbell and Damon Singhasemanon and James and Isabel Burne.

Services will be held at the Cameron Park Community Center, 2502 Country Club Drive in Cameron Park, Calif. (95682), on March 1, from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Loaves and Fishes, Sacramento (


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