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Rachael Sullivan

April 23, 1931 -
February 18, 2019

Rachael O’Byrne Sullivan died peacefully at home on Monday, February 18, 2019. She was surrounded by her family and the many memories of a life well lived. She was preceded in death by her son Daniel James Sullivan and her beloved husband of 63 years, James Allen Sullivan (November 18, 2017).

She was married on J…read more

Rachael O’Byrne Sullivan died peacefully at home on Monday, February 18, 2019. She was surrounded by her family and the many memories of a life well lived. She was preceded in death by her son Daniel James Sullivan and her beloved husband of 63 years, James Allen Sullivan (November 18, 2017).

She was married on January 9, 1954 at Holy Cross Church, Champaign, IL. Rachael and Jim had 5 children – Mike (Anne) of Elmhurst IL, Kevin (Nancy) of Champaign, Susan (Michelle) of Minneapolis, the late Dan Sullivan of Champaign, and Steve (Sara) of Northfield IL. She was most proud of her 13 grandchildren – Bethany (Mike), Molly (Brian), Jack (Sarah), Whitney, Jimmy, Willie, Tommy, Sam, Will, Grace, Jane, Leo, and Margaret. Just this past year, the arrival of her first great grandchildren, Grady Elizabeth Heavener and Colin Davis Concannon brought her tremendous joy. She always cherished having everyone home in Champaign for Christmas, establishing traditions and memories that will live on for generations to come. Her quiet strength and devotion to family and friends will be remembered by all who knew her.

Born April 23, 1931, she was the youngest of 6 children of John and Rachel Copeland O’Byrne of Champaign. She is survived by Mary O’Byrne Murray (her late brother Jack), and her brother Michael and Ruth O’Byrne, all of Champaign. She was also preceded in death by her sister Betty McNickle (Mar), her sister Nell Shapland (Bob), her brother Fiery (Ann), and later Faye Beth O’Byrne. She was fondly known as Aunt Tess to multiple generations of O’Byrnes, Shaplands, McNickles, and Murphys.

Rachael graduated from Champaign High School and smiled at frequent references to that ‘Illustrious Class of 49’. She then graduated from the University of Illinois in 1953 and was an active member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority throughout the rest of her life. Her deep and lasting friendships of 70+ years from growing up in Champaign and attending the University of Illinois were very important to her. Never one to embrace technology, the pen was her choice to keep in touch with those she loved. She was a prolific sender of cards, notes, recipes and news clippings to family and friends, and always remembered birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones.

Rachael and Jim loved to travel and many of those trips were cross country adventures in their motorhome. She was, however, often a reluctant passenger. When the route called for tight 2-lane traffic through the mountains, she was famous for quietly moving to the back and pulling out her Rosary. In later years, the entire Sullivan family enjoyed many memorable vacations together, notably our 2 trips to Ireland in 2008 and 2015. The importance of family travel was instilled in our parents by her oldest brother Jack O’Byrne and his wife Mary.

The Sullivan family would like to thank the University of Chicago Medical Center, Alden Estates of Skokie, OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center, Christie Clinic, and Transitions Hospice. The many loving and dedicated caregivers endeared themselves to Rachael throughout her treatment, rehab, and return home. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to The Cunningham Children’s Home (1301 N. Cunningham Ave, Urbana, IL 61802, 217-337-9073).

Visitation will be at the Morgan Memorial Home on Thursday, February 21 from 4:00PM-7:00PM. (1304 Regency Drive West, Savoy, IL 61874). The Rosary will be said at 3:30 PM.

Funeral Mass will be at Holy Cross Church, 405 West Clark Street, Champaign, IL 61820 on Friday, February 22 at 11:00AM. Burial will be private.

Condolences may be made online www.morganememorialhome.com.

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Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Thursday, February 21, 2019

Time: 04:00 pm

Morgan Memorial Home

Address:

1304 Regency Dr. West
Savoy, Illinois 61874

Service Information

Date: Friday, February 22, 2019

Time: 11:00 am

Holy Cross Catholic Church

Address:

405 W. Clark St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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