Ed Sullivan, community activist and longtime leader in Tewksbury Youth Sports, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, July 13.
Friends of Sullivan say that he had been suffering from dehydration and was rushed to Lowell General Hospital Friday evening.
Immediate reaction from those Sullivan worked with in the community was that of shock, mixed with grief.
"Ed cared deeply about the youth of this town. He was very generous with his time, always willing to volunteer to help any cause," said Mike Iannacci, player agent for the Tewksbury Boys Basketball League. "Often, it was a lot of behind the scenes things that he did that may have gone unnoticed by many. The Tewksbury community, especially the youth of this town, suffered a great loss with his passing. Ed was a man who made a difference and he will be missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
Sullivan served on the Board of Directors of both the Tewksbury Boys Basketball League and Tewksbury Youth Baseball.
"Ed Sullivan's devotion to the children of Tewksbury brings to mind his unselfish nature whenever anything was being done to benefit the youth of this town, "said Ed Connerty. "Back in 2010, when I was coordinating the Titanteeball Program for FOSEK (Friends of Special Ed Kidz), we were having trouble securing a field to hold the program. Then one day, I received a call from Ed who offered the use of one of the fields on Livingston Street.
"Each Sunday morning I would go down to the field early to check the condition of it, and without fail there was Ed on his lawnmower cutting the grass. On the final day of the clinic, Ed brought down a landscaping crew and made the field look exceptional. He, and his wife Joan, also designed banners representing each of the tee ball teams. He set up a PA system and secured an incredible singer to sing the National Anthem.
"None of what Ed did was asked of him, being the unselfish person he was, all he wanted was for the kids and adults to have a great time during the clinic. Without Ed Sullivan, the FOSEK Titanteeball Program would never have achieved the success it did in its first year. So, THANK YOU to Ed, and his entire family...you will forever be remembered for your tireless devotion to making Tewksbury a better place to grow up," added Connerty.
Sullivan was also involved with local politics. In 2011, Sullivan ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. Earlier this year, he was defeated in his bid to unseat Planning Board Chairwoman Nancy Reed.
Funeral arrangements are pending.