Mary Sue Sullivan, who taught in the Rossford schools for more than 30 years and then became expert in income tax matters, eventually opening her own tax service, died Aug. 17 in ProMedica Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania. She was 82.
She developed complications after a fall several days earlier, her daughter Laurie Bobrick said.
Mrs. Sullivan, of Waterville, retired from her second career in 2014, nine years after she opened Premier Tax Service in Maumee.
Her son Daniel is an accountant, and Mrs. Sullivan started preparing taxes in the family home even while she was teaching. When she retired as a fifth-grade teacher at Glenwood School in the late 1990s, she became an enrolled agent and a tax instructor at H&R Block.
“She was very much a keep-busy sort of person,” said Randy Hutchinson, who met Mrs. Sullivan when she prepared his taxes at H&R Block in the early 2000s.
She started her own business, in part, because she wanted the flexibility to charge clients less than some preordained rate.
“Helping people, that’s what she was all about,” her daughter said. “She was so tickled to save people money.”
She got to know clients and their life situations.
“She was more their friend than their tax preparer,” her daughter said.
Mr. Hutchinson became a tax preparer at Mrs. Sullivan’s business during tax season.
“She was a blast. She was very patient, to help you learn what you were doing,” Mr. Hutchinson said. “Nobody would outwork her. I would get to the office, 6:30 or 7 in the morning, and she already was there. She was a bundle of energy, that’s for darn sure.”
Mrs. Sullivan in her Rossford career taught kindergarten, second grade, and fifth grade. Besides Glenwood School, she was at Indian Hills and Walnut Street schools.
“I was in her first kindergarten class in 1965 when she started teaching,” said Nancy Grinonneau, a niece. “She was a great teacher. She had a lot of experience, having eight children, but because she was my aunt, I had a different perspective. I knew her as Aunt Mary Sue.
“She got satisfaction in being part of the children’s lives. She was very approachable,” her niece said.
Mrs. Sullivan kept order in her classroom, “but she did it in a kind, gentle, loving way,” said her niece, who later was school secretary at Glenwood when Mrs. Sullivan taught there.
“I admired her for the mother she was. She became a friend and confidante when I worked with her,” her niece said.
In 1976, while she was at Indian Hills, the Per Mo Ra chapter of the American Business Women’s Association named Mrs. Sullivan its woman of the year. She was president of the chapter in 1975.
She was born Sept. 15, 1935, to Lillian and Earl Myers and grew up in South Toledo. She was a graduate of St. Ursula Academy. At age 16, she became a University of Toledo student and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.
She was formerly married to James Sullivan. Their son Gregory Sullivan died in June, 2001.
Surviving are her daughters Suzanne Nunn, Kathleen McDaniel, and Laurie Bobrick; sons Timothy, Kevin, Daniel, and Brian Sullivan; brother, Dale Myers, 16 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-granddaughter.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Church, Maumee, where she was a member. Arrangements are by Peinert Dunn Funeral Home, Whitehouse.
The family suggests tributes to ProMedica Ebeid Hospice Residence or the church.
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