DOROTHY L. “Dot” SULLIVAN

Dorothy L. “Dot” Sullivan (nee Leach), age 96, of Yorkville, IL, passed from this world on May 12, 2021, and is now in the loving arms of her Lord, Jesus the Christ.

She was born Dorothy Elaine Leach on September 27, 1924, in Bangor Maine, to loving parents, Ralph and Vera Leach.

Dot grew up in Bangor, ME and attended local schools. She then graduated in 1945 from the University of Maine, Farmington with a 3 year teaching certificate. Her education was cut short because of World War II. So many men went to war, so Dot entered the teaching field. Later, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts, majoring in history, from Aurora College, followed in 1967 by a Master’s Degree in Science, majoring in education with an emphasis on reading from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. This foundation led her to a 30-year career in teaching. Her first teaching position was in a one room school in Veazie, ME.

She was united in marriage to, in her eyes, the most handsome soldier she had ever seen, Robert P. Allan, on June 16, 1947. They began their new life together in Maine before moving to Massachusetts, welcoming home a son, Robert Christopher Allan. While there, Dot was a substitute teacher and taught in the schools of Arlington, MA. Then the family moved to Wisconsin and then Illinois. There they welcomed their second child, Deborah Elaine Jorgensen (nee Allan). They eventually settled in Aurora, IL. There Bob attended Aurora College followed by one semester in Seminary, when he suddenly passed away. Dot later married Loren Sullivan who helped to raise her kids, and she helped to raise his.

Her teaching career spanned more than 30 years and her retirement lasted even longer..As a teacher, in Aurora, Dot taught in the same 3rd grade classroom at Bardwell Elementary School for 28 years. The 4th grade teachers were so glad to get one of Dot’s students because, and they all agreed, they were so well behaved, even the not so good ones.

She traveled the world for decades, while also involving herself in many organizations such as the Aurora Women’s Club, The Retired Teachers Association, and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in Kane Co., IL. as well as political battles on behalf of teachers worldwide. During a trip to Russia, she was allowed to visit schools and exchange ideas with their educators. One of her favorite challenges was working as a special advocate for young foster children through CASA in Kane County. During that time, she saw to the adoption of several children, ensuring they went to safe and loving homes. She was on the East Aurora School Board and for 8 years. Dot was a member of The Aurora Women’s Club. She also taught reading to the boys in the Ill Youth Center in St.Charles, Il.

 Dot was a member of Big Woods Church for almost 50 years, as a pastor’s wife, a deacon, Moderator and Sunday School Superintendent, and a teacher. Most recently she became a member of Grace Community Church. She loved nothing better than worshiping her in church each week.

Through all the joys and trials, you could always count on Dot’s smile, her heart and her mind. When her first husband Robert (Bob) passed at such a young age, leaving her to raise two children on a teacher’s salary, she went through a very hard time. She later commented that she didn’t have time to cry because there was so much to do. She was on TWA flight 847 when it was hijacked in 1985 in the Middle East. Her faith in God kept her calm and which made it possible for her to help other passengers to get off the plane when they were released. After she returned home, she was able to help others heal by telling her story and sharing her faith. According to one of her granddaughter’s, she was indestructible. But she also traveled the world with family, friends and a choir from Bangor ME., and had wonderful stories to tell about her adventures. Though we know she is in Heaven where there are no more tears or sorrow, and only light love and joy, she will be missed by the countless people she touched during her long and loving life.

She is survived by two children: Robert C Allan and Deborah A. (Bill) Jorgensen; three step-children: Mike, Michelle and Kimberley Sullivan; four grandchildren, Sarah Allan, Aracely (Scott) Hill, Donna (Mark) Davie and Dyan Jorgensen; five great-grandchildren: Lilly Allan,  Robert and Ethan Allan, Gus and William Davie; three siblings: Richard (Pauline) Leach, Ralph Leach and Emily Bean;  sister in law: Lois Glines, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and a community of friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Vera Leach, her husbands; Robert P. Allan and Loren J. Sullivan, Her brother-in-law Albert Bean, and her grandson Robert Scott Allan.

A memorial visitation will be from 1 P.M. to 2 P.M., with a service to follow at 2 P.M., at Grace Community Church, 1108 Mill St, Yorkville, IL 60560, on Saturday, June 26, 2021. During the service there will be a time to share stories about Dot, and the service will be streamed online at www.gccyorkville.net.

In lieu of flowers, you may make donations to: Grace Community Church, 1108 Mill St., Yorkville, IL. 60560, The Women’s Club of Aurora, 1286 Colorado St., Aurora, IL, 60506, and/or CASA Kane Co., 100 S 3rd St., Geneva, IL., 60134. If you would like to leave your memories of Dot, you can do that here, or on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook page at www.facebook.com/conleyfuneral.

4 thoughts on “DOROTHY L. “Dot” SULLIVAN

  1. We are so very sad of the loss of Wonderful Aunt Dot. She was a remarkable woman and truly exemplified the men and women of the Greatest Generation! Very fond memories of summertimes spent at Bruce Beach with all of you! Aunt Dot was the ONLY person that I let get away with calling me, “Brad(ie)”. Chris, Debbie and Bill, we know this is a difficult time, but we are sure it is comforting to know that Dot lived a full life with plenty of adventures.
    Dot left a remarkable legacy and she had such positive impact on all that were fortunate enough to spend time with her. We will always have fond memories of our Aunt Dot.
    Love,
    Brad and Debbie Colson

  2. Wasn’t Aunt Dot amazing? I’ve always known that, but reading about her remarkable life – beyond what I knew and saw all those years puts it in greater perspective yet!
    My memories of Bruce Beach are of course among the favorites! She made hosting look so easy, yet no electricity or running water… and the more people there the happier she was! Absolutely the best times!
    Being together for holidays, at Santa’s Village, at parks for picnics, and their pool(with time for golf cart rides), dates for apple pie, trips out for ice cream, long heart-to-heart talks at the kitchen table – from the time I was little until only a few years ago. Her love for life and insights into so many things were graciously shared with me. I learned so much from Aunt Dot, and continue to reflect on her wisdom and strength.
    Aunt Dot mentored me before I even knew what a mentor was! Her love for teaching touched me at a young age, and stayed with me throughout my own career. Aunt Dot’s genuineness was such a gift.
    I miss her.
    But what a celebration there must be in heaven! Love for Aunt Dot is everywhere.
    We will continue to celebrate her life every time we meet, Chris, Deb, and Bill. Let the memories live on.
    With love, Karen

  3. My Aunt Dot, who I fondly referred to as my “Bonus Mom”, was and is one of the most incredible, loving ,smart people I will ever know. I have so many wonderful childhood memories with her, my uncles and cousins at Bruce Beach. She is the only one that I let call me “Faithie.” Anyone who was fortunate to know her is better off because of it. She will live forever in my heart. Keep your memories alive and she will continue to live.

  4. I first met Dot in 1973 when I was assigned to work as an assistant principal at Bardwell Elementary School in Aurora.
    Dorothy was a third grade teacher at that time. In working with her for the next decade or so I came to learn to love her for her wonderful, generous personality. She was simply great in dealing with children. She was in so many ways a gifted teacher, one the best I ever worked with. She was also a loyal and faithful friend. I found her to be an honest and authentic colleague. One could always be assured that whatever she said was always from the heart and kind. She was an firm supporter and mentor for young teachers as they entered the profession. A great model of decency and professionalism to all. She will be greatly missed be her many friends and admirers. With love respect, Jack Pool

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