Cover photo for Sean Sullivan's Obituary
Sean Sullivan Profile Photo

Sean Sullivan

May 8, 1985 — March 30, 2024

Sean Sullivan

May 8, 1985 - March 30, 2024


Sean Sullivan went Home unexpectedly on Saturday, March 30, 2024. He passed away in Albuquerque. Anyone who ever met Sean knew immediately that he was unique. He was a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. Sean impressed instantly with his brilliance, honesty, dedication, and good humor. He never approached anyone or anything without a commitment to help and overcome any difficulties. Sean's death represents a loss not only to his family, but also the entire community. He will be sorely missed.

Sean was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 8, 1985 to Barbara (Rand) Sullivan, school teacher and counselor, and Don Sullivan, physicist. He is survived by his loving wife Rebekah (Noe) Sullivan and children John Alexander and Brynn Marie; his parents and two sisters, Heather Sullivan and Shannon Sullivan; mother- and father-in-law Lurley and Charles Noe; aunts and uncles Janie and Raymond Rand, Jeremiah and Maureen Sullivan, and Sonia and James Sullivan. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Sean is preceded in death by his grandparents Frances (Dietrich) Rand and Alexander Rand, and Mary (Davitt) Sullivan and Jeremiah Sullivan, and aunt Ellen (Rand) Sperry.

Sean announced his unique character by being born inside his mom's intact water bag - considered a blessing among Pacific Islanders. He was rambunctious from a very early age. As a toddler, his favorite pastime was wrestling his Dad to the floor every evening until his Dad begged for mercy. A close second was suiting up in his Ghost Busters outfit and capturing all of the ghosts in every room and closet in the house. During childhood, Sean and his best friend Jamen would get in trouble mixing up chemical concoctions and strapping toy soldiers to bottle rockets. They remained close friends until Sean's passing.

Sean always wanted to be a scientist from the time he learned to speak. When he was four, he overheard his Dad and a colleague discussing the composition of a plasma that was causing problems in one of their experiments. Without looking up from his latest Capsela robot design, he said, "It's all electrons." Out of the mouths of babes. He started working on and contributing to numerous Research & Development projects when he was 17 years old. The importance of his novel scientific concepts, inventions, and patents will certainly survive him for decades.

Growing up, the only thing Sean loved more than science was his family. He adored his big sisters and loved teasing and joking with them. Sean loved his pets, from a fish named Boba Fett to numerous cats over the years. He enjoyed outings in the Sandias, Jemez, and Taos; skiing with his Dad; and traveling abroad. As a child and young adult, he went to Ireland (where he met his clan), England, Wales, France, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Morocco. To celebrate his 21st birthday, Sean and his Mom bought Eurail passes, packed two small suit cases, and embarked on an uncharted journey throughout Germany, Switzerland, and Austria never knowing where they would spend the night. His last international trip was taking his bride on a honeymoon to Germany, Spain, and Portugal.

Sean graduated from La Cueva High school in 2004. While there, he was a member of the Marine Corps JROTC when they won the NM State Air Rifle Championship. He earned a BS in Astrophysics at NM Tech in 2009, but his real major was swing, blues, and fusion dancing. Sean was an awesome cook, and he never made anything the easy way. The ingredients had to be superb, and the method had to be the best. He honored complexity in all contexts, from his eclectic taste in music to his passion for cosmology. He completed his MS in Applied Electromagnetics at UNM in 2017.

His love of dancing was rewarded by finding the love of his life, Rebekah. They met at the Maple Street Dance Space in Albuquerque while blues dancing. Watching them dance was a joy. They anticipated each other's moves intuitively without effort. It became a symbol of their growing love for each other. They were married on March 25, 2018, and were blessed with two beautiful children, John and Brynn. Sean's family became the center of his existence. His love for them was unbounded.

Sean's growth as a father reflected his upbringing. He wrestled with his son every night when he came home from work, and then spent the next two hours playing "Monster Trucks". Sean talked to Bekah about how he planned to read science fiction to his son, John, just as his father had read to him. He looked forward to doing science experiments together. Sean's family was struck by the continuity.

Sean was a perfectionist in all his work and relationships. He thought and cared about everything very deeply. Especially over the past year, the stressors of life began to weigh on him greatly. Despite constant support at home and work, the burden continued to grow. His family members were intimately involved and were by his side as he struggled. They even held his hand as he received medical care. Heartbreakingly, it wasn't enough. Sean was an outstanding example of the Love we should all aspire to. Don and Barbara know that they will never experience bear hugs like the ones Sean gave them. He will be greatly missed.

Services will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 11750 San Victorio Ave NE, Albuquerque on Saturday April 20, 2024 at 3PM. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Sean was a huge advocate of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education for children. In lieu of flowers, please make any donations to Explora Science Center and Children's Museum at: https://esccma.explora.us/Donation.aspx?CR=SS .

To send flowers to the family in memory of Sean Sullivan, please visit our flower store.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Bear Canyon Ward

11750 San Victorio Avenue Northeast
Albuquerque, NM 87111

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