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William Sullivan (PhD '73)


William Sullivan, 72, our beloved Husband, Brother, Uncle, and Stepdad passed away on October 23, 2018. Bill was born into an Army family on Christmas Day, 1945, in Washington DC. He and his parents, Francis R. Sullivan and Celeste Sullivan, and brother and sister, Richard and Pamela, lived in Connecticut, China, Massachusetts, Kansas, France, Germany, and Virginia. Bill graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1967 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He earned a M.S. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at California Institute of Technology and arrived at Sandia National Laboratories in 1973.

He settled into New Mexico and pursued his many interests--motorcycles, vintage cars, vintage outboard engines, skiing, golf--fixing anything broken, helping anyone who needed him. He met his wife, Nance, after moving to the house he loved and tailored for restoring vintage cars. He left Sandia National Laboratories as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff after 28 years. He was proud of his personal efforts in support of Wen Ho Lee for which he received the Albuquerque Human Rights Award in 2002. He became active in the Vintage Motor Car Club of America and other classic car organizations. From the first lawnmower he took apart and rebuilt at 7 years old he became the consummate old car guy. He loved to collect and restore old cars: a 1939 Buick Limited, a 1954 Austin-Healey 100, 1940 Chevrolet Business Coupe, 1927 Buick Master Sedan, a 1940 LaSalle coupe, a 1937 LaSalle convertible coupe, and a 1962 Ford Starliner. He was working on a 1959 VW Karmann Ghia coupe when he died. He and Nance traveled all over North America in their vintage cars, carrying spare parts and lots of tools. Bill always said that, despite his educational credentials, he could always have been a good mechanic. Bill was also active in the Taos Ski Valley community. For many years he published his notes on the Council meetings for his fellow residents at the ski valley and always voted there.

Bill is survived by his wife, Nance Crow-Sullivan, and her children, David Tod with wife, Charity, and children Zelda and Roland; and Malli Saunders and husband Mike; his brother Rick and his wife Mary and son Michael Sullivan and wife, Kristin; sister, Pam, and her children, Kelly McCloskey-Romero and husband Ricardo Romero and children Celeste, Felicia, and Gabriela; Dan McCloskey and wife Priscilla and children Keith and Helen; Tom Tumolillo Jr,; Amedeo Tumolillo; Beth Marr and husband JD and children, Sydney and Trevor. His extended family will miss him, as well as his many well-loved friends. One friend from the classic car community wrote Nance immediately "...Bill never met anyone he did not care for." There are many who cared for him. He will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Bill's name to The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, the New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra and Habitat for Humanity. A Visitation will be held Saturday, November 17, 2018, 11:30 a.m. at FRENCH- Lomas with a Celebration of Life to follow at 12:00 p.m. A reception will take place at 1:30 p.m. at Worldwide Automotive/Old Car Garage 3232 Girard NE. Vintage cars and their drivers will be welcomed. Please visit our online guestbook for William at