SULLIVAN BRIAN 1924-2010 Brian Sullivan, an important figure within Detroit's legal community during the 1970s and 80s, passed away on December 17 after a long transition due to Alzheimer's. He would have turned 86 on New Year's Eve. Mr. Sullivan rose to the position of executive partner at the law firm Dykema Gossett before his retirement in 1991. During his tenure, the firm doubled in size and he served as Managing Partner from 1981-1989. He was known as a tough negotiator and a forceful leader. Much of his personal practice involved work with entrepreneurs and high-growth companies. As advocate, counselor and often board member, he took delight in their vision, courage and ambition. Mr. Sullivan grew up on Longfellow in Visitation parish, graduated from University of Detroit High School in 1942, and went on to Amherst College in Massachusetts. After one year of college, he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to training duties in Hawaii. He returned to Amherst College to finish his degree, before entering Harvard Law School. He joined Dykema Gossett and pursued his entire career as a member of the firm. In his leisure time, Mr. Sullivan enjoyed golf and sharing his passion for music, particularly for the melodic ballads of the great jazz masters. Mr. Sullivan and his wife Ann (Carswell) raised five children in Gesu parish and later in Bloomfield Hills. He served as president of the Detroit Golf Club and, a decade later, president of the Bloomfield Hills Country Club. In retirement, he lived on Walloon Lake and in Palm City, Florida, and finally in Carlsbad, California, where two of his daughters are raising their families. In addition to his wife, Mr. Sullivan leaves five children, Neil of Boston, Massachusetts, Jean of Carlsbad, California, Gwen of Austin Texas, Hugh of London, England, and Joan also of Carlsbad, as well as eleven grandchildren and his sister Pat Draper of Grosse Pointe Farms. He is predeceased by his parents, Hugh and Alice, and his brother, Hugh Jr. A memorial service will take place in January in Carlsbad, California. Donations in his memory may be made to University of Detroit Jesuit Academy and High School, 8400 S. Cambridge, Detroit, MI 48221.
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The loss of Brian is a sad day for many. We met as he was a board member for a company in which I was an executive. Those of us who were in this position always counted on his pragmatic business and legal advice. Playing golf, dining, and just talking about the nature of things made a mark on me and may others. Brian was humble and treated everyone well, which was reciprocated. His beautiful wife, Ann, was a perfect companion to him. Friends are a jewel. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They provide an ear, share praise, anmd open their hearts. And so it is with Brian. He will be missed.
A LONG TIME COUNSEL AND PARTNER.. QUITE A GUY.! ALWAYS LOYAL AND A STRONG ADVOCATE HE AND ANN RAISED A LOVELY FAMILY THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE FOR BRIAN HAVING BEEN HERE. TOM AND SHIRLEY