Jack Yancey Sullivan, 93, of Alvin, Texas, beloved husband, Dad, Pop, Grandpa and Grandpy departed on his journey to heaven in the early morning hours of November 30, 2019, having had a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by his loving family.
Jack was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma, on September 23, 1926 to J.Y. and Gertrude Sullivan, and he was the second of three children.
He is survived by his loving wife of 60-plus years, Clarette Sullivan; daughter, Susan Click; son, Jack Sullivan Jr.; grandchildren: Steven and wife Neda Click, Daniel and wife DeJon Click, Garrett Click and Maegen Click; and 11 beautiful great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, J.Y. and Gertrude Sullivan, and sisters, Casyle Wiggins and Grayce Lula Andersen.
Jack converted to Catholicism in 1941 with his sisters, Grayce and Casyle. He remained a devout Catholic for the rest of his life.
Jack and his wife, Clarette, joined St. John’s Catholic Church in Alvin upon their return to Alvin in 1961. Faith in our Lord, love of his family and looking for that next adventure is what mattered most to this great man.
His early childhood was defined by the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. These occurrences had a profound effect on Jack growing up. He and his sisters attended over 58 schools before graduating high school as his father loaded up the vehicle and they traveled from Oklahoma, New Mexico and all over Texas looking for work.
The family moved to Alvin in 1941 where Jack graduated high school in 1943 being active in sports, band, drama club and cheerleading.
Jack was in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was proud to do his duty being a part of The Greatest Generation. Jack attended the University of Houston and the University of Texas in Austin.
During his time at U of H, he opened his one-man diner across from the entrance into U of H. He would arrive early to cook and serve the breakfast crowd then head to class only to come back and cook and serve lunch to the college crowd then head back to class. One of his fellow classmates who enjoyed eating at his diner was a young man named Richard “Racehorse” Haynes who was studying at the U of H and became one of the nation’s best defense lawyers. Mr. Haynes would discuss his studies with Jack and valued his opinion when preparing mock cases for schoolwork.
During the ‘50s, his family branched out to owning nightclubs and bars. The call of adventure was strong for Jack and J.Y. as the ‘50s ushered in a huge worldwide growth of petro-chemical plants. Both men got their passports and headed to the Middle East where American companies had moved to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon to build massive plants. As members of Pipefitter Local 211, they saw the world and lived a highflying lifestyle. These travels eventually took Jack to South America, and in Venezuela, Jack met the love of his life in Clarette Pastrana.
Jack and Clarette were married in 1958, and Jack brought his new bride back home to Texas, but his profession dictated travel that not only included the great state of Texas but also Mississippi, Louisiana, the Carolinas, Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, California, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Argentina and others.
During these travels their family grew, starting with the birth of their daughter, Susan, in Mississippi and a few years later their son, Jack Jr., in Colombia.
Jack and his wife, Clarette, came back to Alvin in 1963 where they built a home. Since he knew his job involved so much travel the couple wanted to always have a “home” to come to so that as the kids grew older they would have the stability that Jack craved as a child.
The international travel became less and less as Jack’s children grew older, only taking them out of school for them to attend schools in other states and countries.
Jack’s wife, Clarette, entered college to be an RN and began work at Alvin Community Hospital as Jack focused his attention on working at chemical plants in Texas City and surrounding areas, finishing his career at the Bay City Nuclear Power Plant.
Upon his retirement, Jack began his favorite phase as Grandpa! The birth of his daughter’s four children gave him plenty of babies to enjoy. He loved the daily babysitting and later purchased a full-size customized van to take the kids on everyday adventures. Daily trips all around Texas and going to sporting events were the norm. Grandpa and Grandma loved the daily interactions with Steven, Daniel, Garrett and Maegen, and the kids bragged that they had the best grandparents ever.
As the kids grew older, life got busier, but the closeness remained. In particular, the youngest grandson, Garrett, loved his time at his grandparents so much that he chose to move in with them. Garrett was a hard worker and loved helping Grandpa around the house and yard. They spent hours discussing life and future dreams. Grandpa had to stay on his toes to keep up with Garrett, but it was a great thing for both of them.
In the last decade, Jack and Clarette loved traveling to visit their son, Jack Jr., in Las Vegas. Always looking for the next adventure, Jack and Jack Jr. began taking trips where the two would see the country by road. Their last trip was the first week of November where Jack asked if Clarette wanted to come along. The three of them had a wonderful time traveling from Las Vegas to Alvin going through New Mexico and West Texas looking at the towns where Jack and his family lived during the depression.
He and his loving Clarette were devoted to each other. Clarette loved attending to his every need. They went everywhere together, shared everything and truly were each other’s best friend.
Jack’s last days were filled with love and happiness. He enjoyed accompanying his wife everywhere and having his daughter’s daily visits and his son returning to Texas. Steven’s kids are still local, and Jack and Clarette did their best to attend every baseball, soccer and volleyball game. Daniel moved to North Texas but always called to share his and his family’s happenings. Garrett is a successful businessman and still sought his grandfather’s opinion. Jack and Clarette always enjoyed his visits. Maegen was always that sweet girl in his eyes.
Services will be held at Scott Funeral Home with the viewing from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and the service at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Burial will follow at Confederate Cemetery in Alvin.