Joseph James Sullivan
Joseph James Sullivan, 74, husband of Helen (Tatasciore) Sullivan, died on July 10, 2018 in the peace and comfort of his home in New Fairfield, Connecticut.
Joe was a leader in the field of addiction and behavioral health services in Connecticut for almost 40 years. In 1980, he took the helm as CEO of the Midwestern Connecticut Council on Alcoholism (MCCA) where he helped to serve over 150,000 clients until his retirement in 2017. Joe led the growth of MCCA from a small outpatient clinic and residential treatment center in Danbury, CT with 12 employees to become one of the most respected and top-rated recovery organizations in the state; MCCA now has over 185 employees operating seven outpatient clinics and three residential treatment centers in Western Connecticut. Joe was also grateful for nearly four decades of his own sobriety.
Joe put his deep faith and love of God into practice through his personal relationships and many activities. Over the years these included serving as Chairman of the Board of Advanced Behavioral Health. He was the founding Executive Director of the Westchester County Treatment Alternatives to Street Crimes Program. He served on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Certification Board for addiction treatment and prevention professionals. He was also a member of the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Policy Council and active in advocacy work at both the state and federal levels. In addition, he served as president of the Good Samaritan Mission, on the Board of Directors for Salvation Army of Danbury, and was a member of Walnut Hill Community Church.
The son of Andrew and Loretta (Murphy) Sullivan, he was born in Hartford, CT on June 9, 1944 and graduated from Bulkeley High School. Joe furthered his education at Providence College and later at the University of Michigan where he received a Master’s degree in Social Work Administration. He also served in the Connecticut National Guard.
A Candlewood Isle resident since relocating from Glastonbury forty years ago, Joe enjoyed Candlewood Lake year-round, where he was feared by trout, was cherished by his friends, and felt blessed because of both. Joe was considered an expert skier and whitewater canoeist, skills he honed the hard way, and shared with many. He was also a life-long Red Sox fan, a passion likewise rewarded the hard way.
In addition to Helen, his senior prom date and wife of fifty years, Joe is survived by two daughters, Kristy Amacker and her husband Robert of Charlottesville, VA, and Kathryn Cusack and her husband Matthew of Middlebury, CT; three sons, Matthew Sullivan and his wife Sara of Portland, Oregon, Timothy Sullivan and his wife Leah of Camas, Washington, and Brady Sullivan and his wife Rebecca of Danbury; a brother Andrew Sullivan and his wife Karen of Glastonbury; five grandchildren, William and Charles Amacker and Nelsie, Nora, and Ryker Sullivan; as well as his many beloved nieces, nephews and their families.
Although Joe will be missed greatly, his authentic love of life and people will undoubtedly persist and propagate, through his Irish wit, strong faith in God, …. and because that’s probably the way he planned it.
The family would be honored to receive friends at Walnut Hill Community Church (156 Walnut Hill Rd, Bethel, CT; walnuthillcc.org) on Friday, July 13th from 1:00-3:30 pm. Funeral services will directly follow at 4 p.m. A private burial will take place at Gerow Cemetery in New Fairfield.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Good Samaritan Mission (gsminc.org) or Midwestern Connecticut Council on Alcoholism (MCCA; mccaonline.com).
Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury is in charge of arrangements.