Class of 1926
James W. Sullivan
President of Michigan Funeral Directors Association
President of Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club
Royal Oak Distinguished Citizen Award, 1968
Elected into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 2014
James W. Sullivan graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1926 after serving as a member of the football team and class president.
When he graduated from the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Sullivan returned to Royal Oak to work in the family funeral business. The Sullivan Funeral Home was established in 1906 and is now in its fourth generation of owners. It is considered to be oldest business in Royal Oak to be owned and operated by the same family. James Sullivan was one time president of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association and chairman of the Michigan Mortuary Science Board.
James Sullivan was best known for helping people, and although he passed away in 1991, he still serves as a role model for this children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. His business served families of all means. When people did not have someone to pray at their graveside, Mr. Sullivan would personally offer a prayer. He actively participated in the social service projects of the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
His volunteer work was extensive. He served as president of the local Kiwanis club and had perfect attendance at meetings for 55 years. The Kiwanis International Legion of Honor was awarded to him by that organization. Mr. Sullivan was a longtime member of the board of director of the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Royal Oak, President of the Royal Oak Historical Society, and a leader in the drive to create William Beaumont Hospital.
James Sullivan was a member of the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce, and many years after serving as its president, he was the recipient of the Chamber’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award in 1982.
November 8, 1974 was proclaimed “Jim Sullivan Day by the city commission and the mayor. On September 21, 2014 we recognized James Sullivan as a member of the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame.