Mary Lou Kelly Sullivan was born at home 92 years ago in Butte, Montana, to John J. and Louise (Murphy) Kelly. She died at home in Yakima, Washington, with her son and daughter and beloved dog, Sweetie Pie, at her side.
Mary Lou credited her parents for instilling her love for her Catholic faith, for education, and an optimistic “where there’s a will there’s a way” attitude. She loved her two older brother, Larry and Jack, who let her tag along with them and taught her how to ice skate, snow ski, ride a bike, and drive a car. She liked to join in with others, starting with the JFF Club (Just for Fun) with her girlfriends at the Immaculate Conception Elementary School. She graduated from Butte Girls’ Central High School, earned a Chemistry degree from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and interned at St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, Montana. She passed a national exam to become a registered Medical Technologist and loved her work at the hospital laboratories at St. James in Butte and Kadlec in Richland, Washington. She felt compelled to give back to her communities, such as well-child clinics and art classes with the Butte Junior League, and countless school fundraising drives.
Mary Lou married Tim Sullivan and was blessed with two children, Johnette of Yakima, Washington, and Tim Jr., of Boise, Idaho. During their 42 years of marriage, Mary Lou and Tim enjoyed the great Montana outdoors and together taught their kids to golf, ski, fish, and hunt. They had fun as a family, and Mary Lou especially relaxed when camping at Georgetown Lake and hauling the travel trailer all over southwestern Montana.
Mary Lou was curious and would not hesitate to take off the panel of an appliance to figure out what belt or part had broken and fix it.
Mary Lou was adventurous, moving with Tim to Richland, Washington, in her early 50’s and learning to make new friends and thrive in a new area. After she retired the first time, she became a realtor and learned her way around central Washington. Later, she worked as an advanced scientist at Westinghouse-Hanford. After she retired again, Mary Lou and Tim moved to the golf course at Twin Lakes Village in Rathdrum, Idaho. Mom was a widow for 24 years after Tim’s death from cancer at age 71. She spent winters in Tucson, where she took up pottery and jewelry making. She was a life-long learner. She moved to Yakima in 2005 to be close to her daughter and was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, John and Louise, brother, Larry and sister in law, Betty, brother, Jack, husband, Timothy J. Sullivan, and his twin brother, David T. Sullivan, sister in law and brother in law, Eileen Sullivan Combo and John X. Combo. She is survived by her sister in law, Patricia Sullivan, daughter, Johnette Sullivan of Yakima, and son, Timothy J. Sullivan, Jr. of Boise, her daughter in law, Tamara Sullivan, and grandsons, John and Elliot Salmon and Joseph Kelly Sullivan. She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews in the Kelly, Sullivan, and Combo families.
Mary Lou’s family wants to thank Avail Home Health caregivers, especially Jessica and Rhonda, and the team at CompassCare Hospice, especially Sarah, Denice, Sarah, Susie, Karen, Erica, Luis, Goldie, and all the friends and co-workers who supported us with prayers and kind words and visited Mary Lou and helped run errands. Please consider donating to local food banks or Catholic Charities in Mary Lou’s memory.
A Viewing will be held on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm with recitation of the Rosary starting at 6:00 pm at Duggan Dolan Mortuary in Butte, Montana. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 11:00 am also in Butte, Montana. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.
To leave a message or memory for the family please go to www.brooksidefuneral.com.