Joan "Pearce" Sullivan originally from the rural village of Eagle River, Michigan passed away on the Summer Solstice of June 21, 2023. She was born on October 15, 1945 - 2nd generation to Finnish & Cornish immigrants. She grew up swimming in Lake Superior; last class to attend Eagle River's 1 room schoolhouse; attending high school dances & piano lessons; and earning her tuition for nurses training at the original Swank's Restaurant on the beachfront.
Upon graduation from nursing school in Hancock, MI, she relocated to Waukegan, IL to be with her high school sweetheart. They were married for 55 years raising 2 children and adopting numerous rescue dogs. For 50+ years, she was a dedicated Registered Nurse for the care of her patients at Victory Memorial Hospital (Vista East) in Waukegan, IL. She put the care of her critically ill patients first and foremost in her life. She was the 1st healthcare provider at Vista to administer the AHA's endorsed CPR shortly after finishing her nursing training; resulting in saving that person's life. She was an exemplary depiction of a devoted Nurse.
In her free time, she enjoyed summers in Eagle River the most; collecting costume jewelry; baking elaborate tortes & wild berry pies for her extended family; smoking on her Waukegan patio watching the birds & squirrels; cooking for the major holidays; or drinking coffee & smoking on her side porch in her beloved Eagle River, MI village watching "the world" go by & visiting with her cousins and neighbors. Since childhood, she had a deep love for dogs; and her immediate family adopted many rescues and strays over her lifetime. In 2013, she survived breast cancer and it didn't stop her from going to Michigan even during treatment. She always had a smile or kind word for neighbors or strangers.
Joan loved her children deeply. Her son, Sean, was by far her favorite calling him by his childhood nickname "Iggy;" and using her nursing skills tending to him with his life-long chronic ailments. She remained vigilant even asking about his wellbeing until the very end. They lived next to each other their whole lives in the same home. And her daughter, Marissa, was her companion whether antiquing, eating out, doctor's appointments, watching TV, and her travels beyond Michigan. Both her children will miss her!
In the Summer of 2022, Joan traveled up north one last time. She was able to celebrate her family's 100 year footprint in Eagle River with extended cousins, family and friends. Recently, she expressed her desire to return again this summer. She will be returning, but in the end, her body just physically gave out. Per her wishes, Joan will be buried in the historic Eagle River cemetery near her family.
A private ceremony will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a monetary donation to your local animal shelter in her memory. Or if you are able to take care of a pet for its life's duration- then the family encourages you to adopt a rescue instead.
Arrangements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, IL