David Eugene Sullivan, 83

Obituary of

Lieutenant Colonel David Eugene Sullivan, US Army (Retired)


Lt Colonel David Eugene Sullivan, US Army (Retired), 83, passed away on January 24, 2021, at the hospital in The Villages, FL.  He was born April 17, 1937, in Owen, Wisconsin to Eugene F. Sullivan and Merna M. (Mathewson) Sullivan.  He has been a resident of The Villages since July 2012.  “Dave” was a 1955 graduate of Sheffield High School, Iowa.  He attended the University of Iowa and graduated from The University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree. 


Colonel Sullivan began his Military career with the 34th Infantry (Red Bull) Division in 1954 while still in high school.  He entered on active duty in 1958 at Ft. Carson, Colorado.  As a non-commissioned officer he served with the 6th Army Training Brigade, Combat De elopement Experimental Center, 24th Infantry Division and 10th Special Forces Germany and the 41st Mechanized Infantry, Fort Ord, California. 


In 1963, Dave received his 2nd Lieutenant commission from the Iowa Military Academy.  He received his Special Forces Officer Training at Ft Bragg, N.C. and departed for Vietnam in the later part of 1965, where he served as a platoon leader and operations officer (Air) with the 2nd Infantry Division.  Dave was one of the first, so called, “Tunnel Rats” of the 1st Division.  He served a second tour in Vietnam in 1969 as a Company Commander and Operations Officer.


Colonel Sullivan received a Regular Army Commission in 1967.  Included in his numerous awards are the Silver Star, Bronze Star for Valor, three Bronze Stars for Meritorious Service, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Accommodation Medals, the Vietnamese Cross for Gallantry in addition to the Combat Infantry Badge, Paratrooper Badge, and Special Forces Badge.


As Chief of Public Affairs for the Army Recruiting Command, Dave initiated the slogan “Be All You Can Be.”


He was a loving and caring husband, father, and grandfather to his family.  Dave will be greatly missed by all who knew him and loved him.  His great sense of humor, strength, and generosity made him an incredibly special person.  He was truly an American Patriot and enormously proud of his more than 30 years in the Armed Services and family heritage.  He was a member of The Society of the Mayflower (Gov. William Bradford), The Sons of the American Revolution, American Legion, Veterans Foreign Wars, and a 32nd Degree Mason.

Dave is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years of marriage, Cherri (Zeiger) Sullivan, two children, Sean Eugene Sullivan and Corie (Sullivan) Cruise as well as seven grandchildren.


The Funeral Service will be held Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at New Covenant United Methodist Church, 3470 Woodbridge Road, The Villages, Florida 32162.  Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held at 12:30 p.m. at the Florida National Cemetery, 6502 S.W. 102nd Avenue, Bushnell, Fl, 33513.


In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the Salvation Army, 2605 South Street,

Leesburg, FL  34748.



Arrangements entrusted to Beyers Funeral Home and Crematory, Lady Lake, FL.  Online condolences may be left at www.BeyersFuneralHome.com



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