Anne McCormick Sullivan was born on December 4, 1988, in Houston, Texas, to Jack and Mary Moore Sullivan. Anne was sister to Will, Kate, and Thomas Sullivan.
Anne always had a big ole Texas smile on her beautiful face. She has been described as compassionate, courageous, loyal, disciplined, stubborn, honest, determined, dedicated, a self starter, funny, headstrong, optimistic, unshakable, trustworthy, tenacious, and spiritual.
Anne loved athletics, especially soccer and cross country running. She loved the competition and the camaraderie of being part of a team. In her senior year of high school, she was honored as Female Athlete of the Year. Her coach told her, “You won the award because you worked harder and pushed yourself more than any other athlete, never missing a practice or game and always helping and encouraging your teammates.”
At age 17, Anne decided to become a firefighter, and nothing was going to stop her. Her determination and perseverance to overcome obstacles to achieve that goal was remarkable. True to her dream, Anne earned her firefighter and EMT certifications and joined two volunteer fire departments, where she was nicknamed “Punky” and “Mighty Mouse.” Punky because Anne always wore her hair in a ponytail, and Mighty Mouse because at 5′ 2″ she could pick up a 180-pound man and carry him around the station.
Anne graduated from the Houston Fire Department Academy in April 2013. Her instructor said, “Anne showed that of her 5′ 2″ frame, 5′ 1″ was heart. She amazed the staff on how she made it through evolutions on sheer determination; she NEVER quits.”
On May 31, 2013, Anne was killed at the Southwest Inn fire in Houston, along with three fellow firefighters. To honor Anne’s spirit and sacrifice, the Houston Fire Department Academy commissioned the Anne McCormick Sullivan Award, to be presented to the cadets “who best exemplify integrity, extraordinary responsibility, never-quit attitude, and the discipline and commitment to be the best.” In addition, the Anne Sullivan Foundation was created as a living legacy to provide scholarship funds for women to pursue the noble calling of firefighting to carry on Anne’s dream.
Anne will be deeply and forever missed by her family, friends, fellow firefighters, and the many people whose lives she so positively touched.