Lawrence John Sullivan was born on June 17, 1959, to Aileen Jones and the late Lawrence J. Sullivan Sr. He was born and raised in Staten Island, where he met his wife, Virginia, during their senior year of high school. The two married in August 1980, sharing over 32 years together, and were blessed with five children, Larry, Robert, Erin, James, and Kathleen.
Larry worked as a dock builder with Dock Builders and Divers Local 1456 for several years before joining the FDNY in 1989. He first worked at Ladder 166, before spending his last 17 years assigned to Rescue 5. He was the company’s senior chauffeur, a childhood dream fulfilled.
On September 11, 2001, Rescue 5 lost eleven of its members, leaving a huge void in the firehouse. Larry stepped in as the company’s union delegate, a position he held with high regard. He dedicated his time to caring for the families who were left behind, as well as preserving the memory of his fallen brothers.
Larry was a larger than life figure, loved and respected by all who knew him. He was physically imposing, quick witted, and loud, yet also gentle and kind. He had a smile that could light up the room and a sense of humor that could make your stomach ache from laughing so hard. He was always there for everyone, whether it was his family, his community, or his firehouse.
Being the son of an Army veteran, Larry was a proud American. Hosting Wounded Warriors annually at the firehouse was an event he loved. “The job” and family were Larry’s biggest passions, and the two were greatly connected. Larry taught his family the importance of sticking together and, in return, they were always there to show him how proud they were.
Outside of the fire department, Larry loved camping with his family, watching the Yankees, a cold beer, and spending time with his German shepherd. He was a simple man who enjoyed the little things. He loved his wife dearly, and when he became ill from his time spent at Ground Zero, he told family and friends that his wife proved her wedding vows “in sickness and in health” time and time again.
Larry left a huge impact on everyone who knew him. There is no shortage of Sully stories. Those who knew him were left with a lifetime of memories and jokes to keep them laughing. His legacy will live on forever through his family and in the fire department community.
He is survived by his wife, their five children, and three grandchildren who will grow up to learn of their hero grandfather.