Rosella Sullivan reunited with her husband in eternity when she passed away quietly in her sleep at her son's home on 10 Dec 2009 in Belleville, Illinois. She was 85 years old.
Born Rosella P. Mooney on July 1, 1924 in East St. Louis, her parents were John F. Mooney (Pop) (born 16 Jul 1889 in Perlee, Iowa - declared dead on 2 Dec 1957) and Gertrude Buentgen (1 May 1889 Philadelphia PA - died 3 May 1961 Belleville, Illinois). Rosella was the youngest of seven children. She grew up in a home that was built by her father at 744 North 76th Street in East St. Louis.
Rosella's paternal grandparents were John Mooney (born Feb 1864 White Hargn, England, died 24 Sep 1914 Bonne Femme, Missouri from a coal mine collapse) and Mary Hoskinson (born 27 Nov 1867 Fairfield, Iowa, died 29 May 1943 Higbee, MO). John Mooney's parents were Daniel Mooney (born in County Wicklow, Ireland 1841 - died 19 Aug 1875 Chillicothe, Iowa from a train running over him) and Elizabeth Cavanaugh Mooney (born in Ireland Dec 1846 - died 12 Mar 1918 Dekalb, Illinois). It was Daniel, his wife and children who came to America in 1865. Mary Hoskinson's parents were James Hoskinson (born 6 Jun 1841 in Linnville, Ohio - died 14 Apr 1892 Perlee, Iowa) and Margaret Tippett Hoskinson (born 18 Nov 1844 in Linnville, Ohio - died 7 Dec 1927 Davenport, Iowa). James and Margaret are buried in Antioch Cemetery near Perlee, Iowa. It is a small, remote cemetery near a wood frame church.
We have identified James Hoskinson's direct ancestors back to John Hoskinson (1651-1689). It was his son, Thomas who came to America from Liverpool, England as an indentured servant some time in 1699 aboard the ship "Eleanor" and died about 1742 in Prince George Co., MD. Descendants of Thomas Hoskinson migrated to Virginia, then Ohio.
Rosella's maternal grandparents were Joseph Buentgen, born in Germany 6 Apr 1855 and died 12 Jun 1948 in Belleville, Illinois, and Antonia Forster, born in Germany in 11 Nov 1862 and died in Belleville, Illinois in 15 Feb 1919. Joseph Buentgen came to America in 1882 and Antonia came to America in 1885.
Rosella met her husband, William A. Sullivan, while still in high school. He attended Central Catholic High School, graduating in 1941. Rosella started working as a legal secretary in what is now the Illinois Bank building at the corner of Collinsville and Missouri Ave in E. St. Louis, before graduating from High School. She was a master at short-hand. She was at work when she learned of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Rosella graduated from St. Teresa Academy on June 5, 1942. William entered the Army Air Corp in 1942 and earned his wings at Lafayette Louisiana. Lieutenant Sullivan commanded a crew of ten as pilot of a B-24 Liberator in WWII, 15th Air Force, 450th Bomb Group, 761st Squadron. William flew the Atlantic at age 19 without modern instruments. Like many people, Rosella patiently worried as her future husband fought in Europe. Upon William's heroic return, Rosella and William married in the old St. Phillips Church on July 21, 1945.
As a young officer's wife, Rosella was a true partner, and she shouldered great responsibilities during her husband's career. They were transferred to many bases and places, including Okinawa Japan, Fort Worth, Texas, San Antonio, Madison, Wisconsin, Florida. Pennsylvania, Alabama, Tennessee, Whiteman AFB Kansas, Barksdale AFB Louisiana, and Madagorda AFB in Texas. She bravely withstood the stress as her husband flew the B-29 bomber in the Korean conflict, the B-47 bomber in the Cuban Missile crisis as part of the Strategic Air Command, and the B-52 bomber when LTC William Sullivan commanded Bienhoa AFB in Vietnam. Each of the many moves required Rosella to relocate her home, make new friends, and get the children settled in school. Rosella was a great friend to many people, a precious wife and a dedicated mother of seven children. While raising a family and sending her children to Catholic schools, Rosella managed to be a Brownie Scout Leader, play on a bowling league, and help teach CCD classes. After her husband retired from the Air Force as a Colonel, Rosella settled into her new home in Kingsville, Texas as William started his second career in 1971 as a civilian instructor to Navy pilots. Rosella greatly enjoyed gardening and watching the many wild animals that would gather in their backyard.
Rosella's husband, William Sullivan, passed away on Feb. 20, 1990 and is buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Belleville, Illinois. For many years thereafter, Rosella lived with her daughter Sandra Smith in Corpus Christi, Texas. Sandra cared for Rosella's health on a daily basis, and met her every need with enthusiasm and devotion. In 2007, Rosella returned to the area of her youth and lived with her eldest son, William Sullivan, Jr.and his wife, Penny in Belleville, Illinois. Penny took up the torch from Sandra and cared for Rosella on a daily basis. Rosella cherished the many outings that Penny organized. The entire family wishes to thank Sandra and Penny for their remarkable love, sacrifice, patience and dedication.
Rosella's seven children are: daughters Kay Marie Sullivan (deceased), and Mary Patricia Sullivan (1965-1969); daughter Lynn Sullivan, EdD (high school teacher in Corpus Christi, Texas) who married Ron Erfurt (deceased) having four children: Karl, Kris, Eliot and Clark; Kris has two children, Patrick and Ryan. Rosella's son , Lt. William A. Sullivan Jr. (USN Ret, Belleville, Illinois) who married Penny Tettaton having three children: William III, John and Sean Thomas; Rosella's daughter, Sandra K. Sullivan, RN (Pearland, Tx) who married Larry Smith having two children: Dr. Lauren Swords, MD (now an OBGYN resident in Chicago), her child named Jack Swords, and Curtis Smith, and two precious children of Larry's earlier marriage: Kelli Mitchell, CPA of St. Louis, and Kevin Smith; Rosella's daughter, Marcia Sullivan, CPCU (Houston, Tx), who married Robert Gonzalez having two children: Katie, a student at University of Houston, and Holly, a proud ROTC cadet at Texas A & M University in College Station , Texas; and Rosella's son (Marcia's twin), Judge Michael J. Sullivan JD, CPA (Corpus Christi, Tx) who married Mary E. Yates, CPA, CMA, CFA, having one child: CPT Michael J. Sullivan Jr., Professional Engineer (PE), MS, a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point in Electrical Engineering, Army Ranger, Airborne, Air Assault, and Sapper schools, who earned two Bronze Stars in combat in Iraq, now an Engineer for Dell in Austin, Texas.
Rosella and William enjoyed traveling together. They cherished trips to Rosella's six (6) siblings: her sister Ceclilia Mooney Throop (1909-1991) who had three children: Patricia Rittenhouse now in Belleville, Ill (who had 4 children: Debbie, Edward, Kevin and Roger Simm); Bea Lawless now in Holiday, Florida (who had 4 children: Jerry, Suzanne, Patricia, and Diane McNulty), and Danny Throop Jr., now near Forsyth, Missouri (who had 1 child: Danise); Rosella's sister Alice Mooney Chandler (1910-1979) of O'Fallon, Illinois; Rosella's brother Ray Mooney (1917-1985) of Belleville Illinois (had 2 children: Caroline and Dr. Ray Mooney Jr. (Professor UT-Austin); Rosella's brother Clement J. Mooney (1921-2008) who lived in Palm Springs Florida (had 5 children: Leilanie, Paula Sue, Johnny, Sharron and Jackie); Rosella's brother John Mooney (1911-1936) of East St. Louis (had 1 child, Iris Joy); and Rosella's brother Jackie Mooney of East St. Louis, who died at age 15 at home, when Rosella was a child.
Rosella and William also greatly cherished visiting William's parents: William J. Sullivan (1896-1959) and Mary Fitzpatrick (1896-1992) at their long time family home, 1426 North Park Dr, East St. Louis. Rosella's family particularly cherished William's siblings: Rosella's brother-in-law Msgr Bernard Sullivan (1924-1997) long time Chancellor of the Belleville Catholic Diocese, Rosella's sister-in-law, Rosemarie Sullivan Schelling, now living in San Antonio Texas, who had five (5) precious children: Catherine Gile (Decator, AL with 3 children), Frank Joseph Schelling Jr (Albuquerque, NM), Johnna McKay (Vienna, VA), Jenifer Floyd (Austin, Tx) and Jerilyn Nikiel (Tallahassee, FL); and Rosella's brother-in-law, John Sullivan who now lives in Bedford Texas and has five wonderful (5) children: Kathleen Sullivan Brauer (Grapevine, Tx with 4 children), Teresa Sullivan McCardel (Grapevine, Tx with 3 children), John Sullivan Jr (Flower Mound, Tx with 4 children), Bernard Sullivan (Flower Mound, Tx with 2 children), and Colin Sullivan (Lewisville, Tx with 2 children).
Rosella also has several cousins. Known living descendants of John Buentgen (1892-1968), brother of Rosella's mother, are: Kent Jones (Mt Home, Ark), Diane Perlow (Anacortes, Wash.), Rebecca Mastin (Bellingham Wash.), Chelsea Townsend (Anacortes Wash.) Dennis Chenault (Sarasota, FL), Richard Chenault (Belleville, IL), John Chenault (Millstadt, IL); Catherine Buentgen Storner (Belleville, IL), Tommy Storner, Carol S. Muckensturm, and Kay Tribout, all of Belleville, Illinois, Edwin Buentgen (Austin, Texas), Sandra Buentgen Head (Encinitas, CA), Kristin and Kelly Head, both of San Diego, CA, Patricia Buentgen Bond, Amanda Kreller (Austin, Tx), and Garrett Kreller (Texas). Known living descendants of Margaret Buentgen (1890-1959), sister of Rosella's mother, are: Sister Martha Ann Schaefer (Teresa Marie) of Belleville Illinois.
Memorials: Masses may be given to the parish of your choice.
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 P.M., Monday, December 14, 2009 at the Kurrus Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at Kurrus Funeral Home, with Father Kenneth York officiating. Interment will follow at Mount Carmel Cemetery, Belleville, IL