ONEONTA - Robert Steven O'Sullivan, "Steve" passed away at Bassett Hospital on Nov. 3, 2017, due to complications from a head injury after a fall. His family was by his side. He is no longer in pain and is at peace.
He was born Oct. 17, 1941, in Bronx, the son of the late Virginia (Tansy) and Robert William O'Sullivan.
Steve was raised by his grandparents in Windham, after his mother lost her life when he was 2 years old. As a teenager, he moved to Stamford and lived with his Aunt Laura and Uncle Holger Eklund, while his father continued to work for the New York Telephone Company in the city. It was in Stamford that he met his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Brooks. They were the prom king and queen and were together ever since.
The Marine Corps gained a First Class Marine in 1960. Steve received the Athletic Iron Man trophy for overall athleticism. He also qualified high expert rifleman in advanced infantry training, won the title championship for the Marine Corps middle weight boxing team and helped the Marine Corps win the division in the finals against the Navy at that time. He was promoted to sergeant in three years which is exceptional while still managing to drive 12 hours home to Stamford to see his sweetheart on the weekends. During his stay with the 8th Marines, he went on a Mediterranean cruise and stayed at sea for a total of 67 days off the coast of Cyprus.
Steve was a squad leader and continued to be successful in the Marine Corps. In Newfoundland, he provided security and service to the carriers going to the mainland. His battalion was part of the first group into Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He then returned to Camp Lejeune and finished out his career. One of his most memorable moments in the Marines was the demonstration landing for President Kennedy. He was in the open boat fleet for that mission which is now called "The Answer." Steve continued to like his hair cut high and tight and it was never quite right.
After the Marine Corps, he became a mason and belonged to the Bricklayers and Allied Craft workers of Local No. 3. Also, during his career he was a self-employed contractor building many beautiful homes and commercial structures including Worcester firehouse, buildings on SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick campuses and Bassett Hospital.
Steve had a passion for hunting and shooting. He enjoyed going to a 500-yard shoot every year and came home with numerous awards for his shooting skills some of which he placed first in open site class. He also enjoyed shooting clay pigeons at the Milford Rod and Gun Club. His local hunting included Stamford with his father-in-law, Griff Brooks; Roses Brook with friend, Leon Johns; Middlefield, with brother-in-law, John Brooks; and many friends at North Creek Hunting Club.
Steve had been out west with family and friends to Idaho and Wyoming and took multiple trips to Alaska with his cousin, Neil Eklund "Bud" which he loved. The most memorable was a 120-mile rafting trip down the Yukon River.
He was a skilled still hunter and passed on the sportsmanship to his children and grandchildren.
Steve embraced his Irish traditions sitting around the kitchen table telling stories over corned beef and cabbage with his family and friends.
Over the last few years, Steve took pleasure in going to the family camp in Ohio, NY, with his family celebrating New Year's Eve, looking for deer and checking his apple trees.
Steve is survived by his wife, Phyllis (Brooks) O'Sullivan; their three children, Kelly (O'Sullivan) Holliday and son-in-law, Lance Holliday of Milford; daughter, Colleen O'Sullivan of Charlotte, North Carolina; and son, Steven Brook O'Sullivan of Otego; as well as two grandchildren, Lizette and Keenan Holliday.
He will be missed greatly by his Marine Corps buddies...Leon Johns, Denny Stead, Ken Kennedy and Ed Bracey; as well as his longtime friends, Tom Pederson and Ron Beers and Dwight Packard "Packy." He is survived by his extended family, Becky Myers (Rich) John Brooks (Joan), Sharon Dawson (Wally); nieces and nephews, Kim Marble (Dean), Griffin Gillette (Dawn), Brian Gillette (Sue), Ryan Brooks (Beth), Jennifer Dawson, Stacy Chisum (John); several great-nieces and nephews; cousins, Cathy Eklund Lynch (George) Neil Eklund, and son, Lauro, Lisa Eklund.
"The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you."
"Never take a day of your life for granted."
The family will greet friends and family from 1 to 2 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Oneonta Veterans Club, 279 Chestnut St., Oneonta. There will be a small service at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Stephen Fournier officiating. A celebration of Steve's life will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 200, P.O. Box 165, Oneonta, NY 13820, Friends of Bassett, 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326, designated for trauma at Bassett Medical Center for injury prevention and outreach program or Milford Fish & Game Club, c/o Elaine Bliss, 354 Upper Dutch Hill Road, Oneonta, NY 13820, in loving memory of Robert "Steve" O'Sullivan.
To light a candle or send the family an online condolence, please visit www.bookhoutfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by the Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta.
The family sends a special thank you to Dr. DuNguyen and all the nurses in ICU for their compassion.
Published on November 9, 2017