JT (Whitey) Sullivan passed away peacefully after a short illness on Nov. 11 in Banning, CA. He was 95. He was born July 3, 1925 in Tishomingo, Okla.
JT moved from Oklahoma to Palm Springs with his family in the early 30s. They lived on the Indian Reservation in a tent house until moving into a house in town. The family moved to Banning in the mid 40s, where he lived until his passing.
JT was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will truly be missed by friends and family. He lead a full life. He loved boating, fishing, hunting and flying. He was always there to help a family member or friend.
JT went to watch-making school; was a carpenter and general contractor for many years. He served as a watch repairman for a brief period and an aviation mechanic in the Navy.
He joined the Navy during WWII at age 17 and went to aviation mechanic school in Alameda. He was stationed in Hawaii, working on PB-2Y’s until being honorably discharged.
He loved flying and bought a Cessna 150 in the early 70s and learned how to fly at the Banning Airport.
He also loved his sail boat, where he would spend many weekends at the beach. He also enjoyed speed boats and waterskiing at the Salton Sea and the Colorado River.
He became a carpenter after serving in the Navy after World War II and worked in Palm Springs area until trying the watch-making trade.
JT worked for Mr. Swenson in Banning for many years, building houses during the 50s; and in the mid 60s with two partners he started Sand Construction Inc., where they built houses in the desert area.
In later years, he began contracting on his own, doing many construction projects in the Pass area. After he retired, he loved tinkering in his woodshop making things with his own hands.
He was a member of the Banning Sportsman’s Club, NRA, VFW and Banning Airport Pilots Associaiton. JT received the 2008 Sportsman of the Year award from the Sportsman’s Club. He really enjoyed trap shooting at the sportsman’s club, the dinner meetings and club picnics — he loved being around people.
JT loved being his son’s co-pilot on many outings with the Banning Airport Pilots Association.
Grass didn’t grow under his feet, he loved to travel with his wife Marie to visit relatives around the country, in his 80s he and Herb Wilson (of Pass Carpet) made a road trip to Oklahoma to his birthplace — thank God for GPS.
In his late 80s he beganddeveloping dementia and the other issues of age, but stayed fairly healthy until the end. He’s now at peace in Heaven with his loved ones.
He is survived by daughters Kathleen McNeill of Highlands Ranch, Colo. and Elizabeth Grant of Emmitt, Idaho; son Harry Sullivan of Banning; granddaughters Heather Sullivan of Alameda, Haley Sullivan of Denver and Christine Boyles of Denver; grandsons Jason McNeill of Colorado, Thomas Feucht of Hughson, Calif., Allen Feucht of Hughson, Ryan Nason of Davis and Quinn Wolter of Eugene, Ore.; stepson Paul Feucht of Hughson; stepdaughters Penny Nason of Yuba City and Beth Wolter of Eugene; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; nieces (that treated him like their own dad, they always invited him to Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinner and many home visits) Lydia, Janet, Ruth, Danita and Cindy.
JT is preceded in death by wife Marie Sullivan of Banning; brother Arbin Sullivan of Palm Springs; sister Betty Sullivan of Roseville; and stepson Carl Feucht of Washington.
Graveside services will be held Nov. 24, 2020 at San Gorgonio Memorial Park, 2201 N. San Gorgonio Ave., Banning, at 11 a.m.
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