Russell Harry Sullivan, Jr.[1]

Male 1924 - 2007  (83 years)


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  • Name Russell Harry Sullivan, Jr.  [2
    Born 3 Feb 1924  Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Census 1930  Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    1930 U. S. Federal Census 
    Age: Abt. 5 
    Russell H. Sullivan, Sr. household, 1930 U. S. Federal Census, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin.   [SRHsr 02.]
    Russell H. Sullivan, Sr. household, 1930 U. S. Federal Census, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. [SRHsr 02.]
    Russell H. Sullivan, Sr.; his wife, Laura M. Bramer Sullivan; their son, Russell H. Sullivan, Jr.
    Census 1940  Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    1940 U. S. Federal Census 
    Age: Abt. 16 
    Russell Harry Sullivan, Sr., household, 1940 U. S. Federal Census, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin.   [SHRsr 04.]
    Russell Harry Sullivan, Sr., household, 1940 U. S. Federal Census, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. [SHRsr 04.]
    Russell Harry Sullivan, Sr.,; his wife, Laura Mathilde Bramer Sullivan; and, their son, Russell Harry Sullivan, Jr.
    Commissioned Officer 16 Jun 1944  United States Navy Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Commissioned as Ensign, United States Navy 
    Russell H. Sullivan, Jr., Commissioned Officer   [RHS 08.]
    Russell H. Sullivan, Jr., Commissioned Officer [RHS 08.]
    Commissioned Officer, Ensign in the United States Navy, 1944.
    Employment Between 1946 and 1985  Fireman and Locomotive Enginner for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, Madison, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Military Service Bet. 1942 - 1946  U.S. Navy, fighter pilot on USS Bunker Hill Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    City Directory 1959  Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Residence Street Address: 710 Sachtjen with his wife, Gara B. Powell Sullivan. 
    Russell H. Sullivan, Jr. and his wife, Gara B. Powell Sullivan, 710 Sachtjen, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin.  [RHS 10.]
    Russell H. Sullivan, Jr. and his wife, Gara B. Powell Sullivan, 710 Sachtjen, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. [RHS 10.]
    Interview 1999  Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center Find all individuals with events at this location  [11
    Oral History Interview/Russell Sullivan/Navy Air Pilot, WWII (Found under Media, Histories) 
    Age: Abt. 75 
    Died 29 Dec 2007  Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 4
    Buried Date Unknown  Roselawn Memorial Park, Monona, Dane County, Wisconsin; Memorial ID: 38984077. Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Russell H. Sullivan, Jr., headstone.  [RHS 05.]
    Russell H. Sullivan, Jr., headstone. [RHS 05.]
    Person ID I467  Lange Pierce
    Last Modified 27 Jan 2019 

    Father Russell Harry Sullivan, Sr.,   b. 29 Jul 1902, Hennepin Couny, Minnesota Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jun 1976, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Laura Mathilda Bramer,   b. 23 Jan 1899, (probably on the Bramer Farm near) Fairchild, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Apr 1978, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 1923  [12
    Family ID F184  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Gara Beatrice Powell,   b. 23 Dec 1924, Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 May 2010, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married Abt. 1946  Prob. Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  [13
    Divorced Abt. 1960  Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin Find all individuals with events at this location  [13, 14
    Children 
    +1. Living
    +2. Living
    +3. Living
    Last Modified 28 Jun 2019 
    Family ID F987  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Dorothy Sullivan 
    Family ID F210  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Histories
    Russell H. Sullivan, Oral History Interview [RHS 07.]
    Russell H. Sullivan, Oral History Interview [RHS 07.]
    Transcript of Interview, Navy Air Pilot, WWII.

  • Notes 
    •        In the 1930 U. S. Federal Census, Russell Harry Sullivan is a five year old, white, single male. He was born in Wisconsin of parents who were born in Minnesota (father) and Wisconsin (mother). He is in school and speaks English. But he has no employ outside the home. Russell, Jr. lives with his parents, Russell, Sr., and Laura. The family lives at 630 West Wilson Street in Ward 4, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. [SRHsr 02.]
             In the 1940 U. S. Federal Census, Russell Harry Sullivan, Jr., is a 16 year old, white single male. He is a student and has completed two years of high school education. Russell, Jr., was born in Wisconsin and lives in the same place in 1940 that he lived in 1936. Russell, Jr., lives with his parents, Russell, Sr., and Laura, his mother. The family lives at 450 West Doty, Ward 4, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin. [SRHsr 04.]
             Russell graduated from high school in 1942. He attended the University of Wisconsin in the Fall of 1942, but the war changed his plans. He joined the U.S. Navy in November of 42, was called up in March of 43. He entered the U-5 program and was commissioned an Ensign. He received his WINGS on July 01, 1944. He was assigned to Air Group 95 (January 1945) as a fighter pilot. He flew F4F Wild Cats, F65-5 Hellcats, and F4U-4 Corsairs and was assigned to the Aircraft Carrier USS Bunker Hill. When he left the Navy, he was intending to continue his studies at the University of Wisconsin, but got married instead. He went to work as a fireman on the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1949, he was promoted to locomotive engineer and retired in 1985 after 29 years of continuous service. [RHS 01.]
             In 2003, Russell indicates that he had to give up owning his own home in early 2001 because of bad knees - one replaced in 2001 - in 2002 he had three stints put into his heart, but is now in good shape for a long time. [RHS 01.]

      I am including here a letter that I have from Russell that is undated, but it is after one that I wrote to him in April of 2003. I have either already taken much of the information from it or found it in some other way, but I am including it because he wrote it and it is of interest. Some of the same information about himself is stated above.
      "I rambled around in this answer to your letter - It may be of some help maybe not. R. H. Sullivan.

      Mr. Dale Lange -
             This is a crude way of responding to your letter of 4-7-03. I have no typewriter.
             William Bramer came from Prussia not too far from where Ida Zech was born. They came to the U. S. on the same ship. Sometime after their arrival to the U. S., they met. After they married, they came to Fairchild. They had a farm about 3-5 miles west of Fairchild on Hwy #10. It consisted of 240 acres, about 160 acres was tillable. Tthey had six children:
      1. Ida (Olson) Black River Falls
      2. Anna (Thur) Rural Fairchild
      3. Arthur - Rural Fairchild
      4. Alma (Lange) Augusta
      5. Laura (Sullivan) Madison
      6.Lydia (Sichler) Onalaska
      Maybe you will find information at the Lutheran Church in Fairchild or at the county seat at Black River Falls, WI.
      Ida Bramer died in the early 1960s. She was 98 or 99 years old. She is buried in the Fairchild Cemetery.
             You stated that you have traveled to Fairchild on occasions. Tombstones in the cemetery could give you info. Wilhelm Zech is buried there also. He was a cook in the lumber camps in No. Wisc. He also sold woolen pants, vests, and jackets. After he retired, he built a large greenhouse in Fairchild. I can remember him coming to visit my grandparents very vividly. He used to put his beer bottle in a pail of hot water (on the stove). He would not drink it until it was very warm. The rest would drink cold beer.
             My grandparents gave up farming in 1924, the same year I was born. They built a house about 1/3 of a mile from the farmstead and turned the farm over to Arthur. They had no running water or indoor toilet. Night lighting was done by lamp-lite. I do not know when electricity was in. They did have the old "crank up" phone line. That is another story.
             William Bramer left Prussia because he did not want to be drafted into the army. I guess that was mandatory. I do not remember Emilie or Pauline. I do remember that my mother used to write to some Zechs in Champaign, Ill. You could search computer records there.
             Ida was a very small woman as was Wilhelm. She was about 5'1" or 2" weighed about 100-110 lbs. Her hair was long and black and did not show much grey until a few years before death. She lived alone, in the house they built in 1924, from the time her husband died until her death. She was helped by her son Arthur. I could go into more detail, but it would be lengthy.
             My mother (Laura) was born, Jan 23, 1899 (on the farm) Fairchild. She married Russell Harry Sullivan in 1923. I was born Feb 3, 24. I am their only child. My father's father was Irish. He was a locomotive engineer on the Great Northern RR out of St. Paul Minnesota. He was killed in a train accident the same year he (his father) was born. His mother's side was French Canadian. There was some Indian blood involved back in the early 1900s (1800s probably). My father was a conductor on the C&NWRR out of Madison, WI.
             I graduated from high school in 1942. Attended the U. Wis. that fall, but the war changed things. I joined the USN in Nov. 42 - was called up in March of '43. I entered the U-5 program. I was commissioned an Ensign and received my "wings" on 1 July '44. I was assigned to Air Group 95 (Jan 45) as a fighter pilot. I flew F4F Wildcats - F65-5 Hellcats - F4u-4 Corsairs - & was assigned to the Aircraft Carrier, USS Bunker Hills.
             When I left the Navy, I was intending to continue my course at UW in Electrical Engineering. But I got married and went to work as a fireman on the Chicago and North Western RR at Madison Wis. In 1949, I was promoted to locomotive engineer and retired in 1985 after 39 years of continuous service.
             I had to give up owning my own home in early 2000 because of bad knees. I had one replaced in 2001. Oct 2001, I had three stints put in my heart and I am now good to a long time (I hope).
             You stated in your letter that you come to Fairchild frequently. If you come this year and want to be escorted around Fairchild, I'd be willing to meet up with you. Please advise.

      Sincerely,

      Russell H. Sullivan
      703 No. Madison St.
      Waunakee, WI 53597
      1608 850-6333

      I, Dale L. Lange, have two obituaries for Russell H. Sullivan, Jr. One is from the Gunderson Funeral Home in Waunakee, Wisconsin, the other is from Find A Grave, an online site. Both of these obituaries are related. What is unfortunate about them is that they leave out Russell's first wife, Gara B. Powell and seems to attribute his three children to Dorothy Wheeler Pilsner when Gara B. Powell is their mother. It is not clear who wrote the obituaries, but in my compilation of Russell's life, it is clear that Gara B. Powell is his first wife and that she is the mother of his children.

      Obituary 1. Gunderson Funeral Home

      Obituary for Russell H. Sullivan

             Sullivan, Russell H. WAUNAKEE - Russell H. Sullivan, age 83, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007, at St. Marys Hospital. He was born on Feb. 3, 1924, in Madison, the son of Russell H. and Laura M. (Bremer) Sullivan Sr. Russell graduated from Central High School and attended UW-Madison until he was drafted into the U.S. Navy. He served as a naval aviator with the Fighting Squadron Unit 95 in the Pacific during World War II. In 1946, Russell began his career as an engineer with Chicago Northwestern and was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers until his retirement. He was united in marriage to Dorothy (Wheeler) Pilsner on June 2, 1972, in Madison. Russell enjoyed fishing and playing cards, especially cribbage and euchre. He also enjoyed knitting gifts for family, friends and donations. Russell was an avid reader of U.S. history. Russell is survived by his wife, Dorothy of Waunakee; three children, Carolyn Bryant, Marilyn (Jeff) Starr and John (Becky) Sullivan; two step-sons, Richard (Sally) Pilsner and David Pilsner; 14 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2450 Atwood Ave., Madison, at 11 a.m., on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, with Monsignor Michael Hippee presiding. Entombment will be at Roselawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Thursday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the donors favorite charity.


      Obituary 2. Find A Grave

             Russell was 83 when he passed away unexpectedly at St. Mary's Hospital.        Born to Russell H. & Laura M. (Bremer) Sullivan Sr.
      Russell graduated from Central High School and attended UW-Madison until he was drafted into the U.S. Navy. He served as a naval aviator with the Fighting Squadron Unit 95 in the Pacific during World War II.
             In 1946, Russell began his career as an engineer with Chicago Northwestern and was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers until his retirement.
             He married Dorothy (Wheeler) Pilsner on June 2, 1972, in Madison.
             Russell enjoyed fishing and playing cards, especially cribbage and euchre. He also enjoyed knitting gifts for family, friends and donations. Russell was an avid reader of U.S. history.
             Russell leaves behind his wife, a son and his wife, two daughters, a son-in-law, two step-sons, 14 grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren.
             He was preceded in death by his parents.
             A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Bernard Catholic Church, Madison.

  • Sources 
    1. [S1519] Letter, Russell H. Sullivan to Dale L. Lange, after 07 April 2003. [RHS 01].

    2. [S9429] Russell H. Sullivan, Jr. Birth, death, burial. (2012). Ancestry.com. Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database online]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. Memorial ID 38984077. [RHS 05.].

    3. [S1520] Letter, Russell H. Sullivan to Dale L. Lange, after 07 April 2003. [RHS 01].

    4. [S9432] Russell Harry Sullivan, Jr. , birth and death. (2014). Ancestry.com. Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database online]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.co Operations, Inc. [RHS 06.].

    5. [S9449] Russell H. Sullivan, Sr. household, 1930 U. S. Census, Dane County, Wisconsin, Madison, ED 33, SD 13, sheet 3B, dwelling 39, family 61; National Arhives micropublication T626 (no roll given); FHL microfilm: 2342300. [SRHsr 02.].

    6. [S9458] Russell Harry Sullivan, Sr. household, 1940 U. S. Census, Dane County, Madison, ED 13-36, SD 11, sheet 13B, Number of Household in Order of Visitation; National Archives micropublication T627, roll m-t627-04468. [SRHsr 04.].

    7. [S9435] Russell Harry Sullivan, Jr., 16 Jun 1944 Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Naval and Reserve (2013). Ancestry.com. Select Military Registers, 1862-1985 [database online]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. [RHS 08.].

    8. [S9436] Russell H. Sullivan, Jr. (2015). Ancestry.com. Chicago and North Western Railroad Employment Records, 1935-1970 [database online]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. [RHS 09.].

    9. [S7726] Letter, Russell H. Sullivan to Dale L. Lange, after 07 April 2003. [RHS 01]. See also Letter, Russell H. Sullivan to Dale L. Lange, 20 May 2003. [RHS 02.].

    10. [S9687] Russell H. Sullivan, Jr.. (2011). Ancestry.com. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database online]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. [RHS 10.].

    11. [S9433] Russell H. Sullivan, Jr. https://wisvetsmuseum.pastperfectonline.com/archive/4410B6C5-C5B5-4BE7-A0E8-389792202027. [RHS 07.].

    12. [S7310] Letter, Russell H. Sullivan to Dale L. Lange, after 07 April 2003. [RHS 01].

    13. [S9428] Carolyn Jo Sullivan Bryant, "Proposed Change: Family: Living/Dorothy Sullivan (F210), " email message from (W9510 Blue Jay Way, Cambridge, WI 53523) to Dale L. Lange, 5 October 2014. [SCJ 01.].

    14. [S9688] John Russell Sullivan, "Sullivan Family," email message from (3510 Spenser Lane, Madison, Wisconsin 53704) to Dale L. Lange 16 Jan 2012. [SJR 01.].


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