Ronald E. Sullivan, a seaman who moved to Montauk to raise his family there, died at home in his sleep on Dec. 21 at 74 years of age. Doctors were uncertain of the cause of death, but his family said he died peacefully.
Born in the Bronx to Edward Joseph Sullivan and the former Anne Dunham on March 16, 1938, he grew up in the Bronx, enlisting in the Navy after he graduated from high school.
“He served all over the world — Spain, Tripoli, Scotland,” his daughter Julie Smith remembered yesterday.
His ship was anchored in Holy Loch, Scotland, when he met his future wife, Loretta McAdam, whom he married on March 24, 1963. The Sullivans had two children, Edward Sullivan and Ms. Smith.
When the children were first born, the family moved from naval base to naval base, wherever Mr. Sullivan was deployed.
“He and my mom purchased their home here when I was 5 so we could go to school here,” Ms. Smith said. She and her brother ended up settling in Montauk and still live there.
When they were young, their father was stationed across the sound in Groton, Conn., and then New London. He would spend every weekend in Montauk.
When he left the Navy, he went into the salvage business. He frequently would work with insurance companies, raising sunken boats.
He also was in the welding business, founding the Ron Sullivan Welding Company, which his son now runs.
“He was very active in the Montauk Fire Department,” Ms. Smith said.
He loved collecting trains, particularly American Flyer C gauge, and built an elaborate working display in his basement.
“He loved spending time with his family, his trains, and the water. He loved the beach and fishing and ice fishing,” his daughter said.
“He was a good man. He is very, very missed,” his wife said yesterday.
Besides his two children and wife, he is also survived by a grandchild.
A service was held on Dec. 28 at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton, led by the Rev. Bill Hoffman. Burial services were held at the Montauk Community Church the next day, after which he was interred in the Fort Hill Cemetery in Montauk.
The family asks that donations be made in his name to the Montauk Community Church, P.O. Box 698, 850 Montauk Highway, Montauk 11954