Timothy J. Sullivan, Jr. of Chester, a lifelong area resident, passed away on Monday, March 4, 2013 at Orange Regional Medical Center in the Town of Wallkill. He was 88.
Son of the late Timothy J. Sullivan and Edith May Owen Sullivan, he was born on March 22, 1924 in Goshen.
Tim was the Chief Park Ranger for the Palisades Interstate Park Commission in Bear Mountain. He was employed by the New York State Conservation Department as a Forest Fire Observer and assigned to the Jackie Jones Fire Tower. In 1992, Tim was assigned to the U.S. Forest Service, serving on a special congressional committee for the purpose of acquiring 1.1 million acres for public recreation, including Sterling Forest. In 1999, a forest fire occurred at Storm King State Park, and it was found that live ammunition started to explode, which had been shot into the park during World War II by the U.S. Military Academy. Tim was appointed by Dick Wright, the Under Secretary of the Army, to supervise the project of removing the live duds. He was also responsible for Search & Rescue operations, land surveys on state park lands, forest fire suppression and the operation of the weather station to determine fire danger. He was the longest reigning state employee in the history of New York State, retiring in June 2011 after 66 years.
Tim was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, serving during World War II. In 1976, he joined Ramapo Rescue Dog Association, serving as a dog handler, board member and the unit's Operational Leader. His knowledge of search and rescue was unsurpassed and resulted in the safe recovery of numerous individuals over the years. Tim also taught at the National SAR School on Governors Island, gave numerous lectures and presentations throughout the years, and contributed to many books and publications.
Tim was active with the Appalachian Trail Conference, the NY/NJ Trail Conference, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, the Forest Fire Lookout Association, and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Over the years, he worked with numerous scouts and their Eagle Scout projects for the Boy Scouts of America. He was also with the Police Department in Margate, Florida for one year.
Survivors include his wife, Penelope G. Smith Sullivan of Chester; sons: James M. Sullivan of Charlemont, Massachusetts and Todd G. Sullivan & his companion Erin B. Gilson of Chester.
Visitation will be on Thursday, March 7, 2013 from 5-8 p.m. at Smith, Seaman & Quackenbush, Inc. Funeral Home, 117 Maple Avenue, Monroe. Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 8, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Goshen, 33 Park Place, Goshen, with Rev. David C. Kingsley officiating. Cremation will be at Cedar Hill Crematory in Middle Hope. Interment of cremains will be held at a later date in Orange County Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Goshen, with military honors.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, 3800 Fettler Park Drive #104, Dumfries, Virginia 22025; The Appalachian Trail Conservancy www.appalachiantrail.org; or Ramapo Rescue Dog Association, P.O. Box 864, Ramsey, New Jersey 07446.