Obituary for Carolyn Sullivan

Ponca City Now - September 15, 2023 1:52 pm

Carolyn Joy Sullivan

December 2, 1936 – September 13, 2023

Carolyn Joy Martin Sullivan was born in Hollis, OK on December 2, 1936, to George Glenn and Marie Madge (Collier) Martin. She grew up with a brother and four sisters around the Harper County towns of Buffalo and Selman in northwest Oklahoma.

After high school, Carolyn relocated to southeastern Arizona to establish a home for her mom who was asthmatic. Although her mom passed before making the move, Carolyn did meet Roy Sullivan, a handsome former Marine who won her heart with his crew cut and fun-loving personality. They married then made their first home in Orange County, CA, where their three children were born. It is also where Carolyn discovered her love of gardening as everything she planted thrived in SoCal’s perfect weather conditions.

During the summer of 1967, Roy moved the family to Ponca City, OK, bought a big rig and began the journey to fulfill his dream of being a truck driver. Only one of five family members approved of this relocation. Left behind were the ocean and perfect plant-growing weather but Carolyn soon re-acclimated to Okie life.

That first truck became two trucks then three so Sullivan’s Trucking Company was formed with Roy handling the day-to-day operations and Carolyn managing the money. Coming from humble beginnings, Carolyn was fiscally thrifty and much of the company’s success is owed to her telling Roy “NO!” albeit with varying degrees of success. Together, they owned the business for 45 years growing it into a nationwide operation before retiring in 2012.

Despite being on the petite side, Carolyn was a titan on the bowling lanes. Her family knew to never schedule anything important on Tuesday evenings as she would (probably) choose bowling over our events and none of us wanted to find out that truth. She had to give up the sport when her arthritis became too crippling.

Carolyn and Roy lived in their Ponca City home for 55 years with Carolyn blooming where she was planted. She effortlessly grew the most beautiful clematis, the bushiest peonies, and the most colorful irises. Her greenhouse is chock full of Christmas cactus, air plants, terrariums, and myriad other houseplants. She was happiest tending to her plants.

Carolyn fought two formidable foes for many years – asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Her body surrendered to the battles early Wednesday morning, September 13, 2023.

Carolyn and Roy were married over 64 years before Roy passed in December 2022. Carolyn’s parents and siblings also predeceased her as did her beloved grandson, Blake Andrew Newport. She is survived by son, Terry Sullivan, and daughter, Michele (David) Baskin, of Ponca City; daughter, Lesylee (Phillip) Hodge of Eureka Springs, AR; grandsons Tyler, Ryan, and Austin Sullivan; granddaughter, Shea Newport; and 4 great-grandchildren.

Carolyn was adamant there be no formal memorial service but we hope she won’t mind if a graveside service is held at 2:00pm Monday, September 18, 2023, at Resthaven Memorial Park in Ponca City, where she will be laid to rest between husband, Roy, and grandson, Andrew.

Our family was able to take care of both parents’ health challenges the past two years due to the incredible caring assistance of aides Haley and Kim, and, when the time came, the tremendous resources of Hospice of North Central Oklahoma. A donation to HONCO, 445 Fairview, Ponca City, OK 74601 in remembrance of Carolyn and Roy is appreciated as hospice care was a blessing to our family.

Arrangements are under the direction of Trout Funeral Home & Crematory, 505 W Grand Ave, Ponca City, OK 74601.

Source: Trout Funeral Home