Cover photo for Jean Sullivan's Obituary
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1951 Jean 2024

Jean Sullivan

December 7, 1951 — February 10, 2024

Jean Louise Sullivan, 72, passed away peacefully at her home on February 10, 2024, with her family present. Jean’s battles with cancer were finally lost…having survived breast cancer, then pancreatic cancer, and finally esophageal cancer, which was the battle that was lost. God gave her 24 extra years to enjoy life with family and her grandchildren.

Jean was born in Bismarck on December 7, 1951, to Ramus and Ardeth Roberson. She was number five of eight children. She was active in dog and horse showmanship in 4-H with her dog, Tippy, and horse, Pepper. She loved working with animals on the family farm. Jean attended St. Anne’s Parochial School, then Simle Junior High School, then Bismarck High, graduating in 1970. She attended Drake University in Des Moines, IA on an art scholarship for a year, and then she returned to Bismarck after her father’s death and attended Bismarck Junior College attaining an Associates Degree. Shen then went on to attend the University of North Dakota from 1973-1975 and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.

Jean was a free spirit and talented artist whose skills ran the gauntlet from portraits, to air brush work on cars and motorcycles, to even billboards. She laid out and air brushed the ghost flames on the family ’51 Merc Custom Lead Slead. She also helped in the home schooling of her granddaughters by providing an art class with all sorts of projects and mediums.

Jean met her husband, John, whom she referred to as her soulmate and the love of her life, while both worked together. They found many common interests and were married on January 9, 1982. They celebrated 42 years of marriage the month before God called Jean to heaven. Jean and John enjoyed taking the kids camping as well as fishing and boating in Minnesota and on Lake Sakakawea.

Jean’s day job career started as a DOT Officer at the North Bismarck Scale House and then, after marrying John, she applied and was accepted as a line officer at the ND State Penitentiary. She was the first female officer allowed on the tiers and then worked her way up through the ranks to Unit Manager where she, at one time, was in charge of three units, two cell houses and Administrative Segregation. She also worked at Missouri River Correctional Center for several years before being promoted and returning back to the pen. Her career in corrections lasted 33 years and she finally retired in 2018.

Jean will be sorely missed by her husband, John F. Sullivan III; her three children, John F. Sullivan IV (Allison), Bismarck, Chauntel B. Sullivan (favorite dog Mugs), Bismarck, and Lovetta Mullins, Tempe, AZ; six grandchildren, Eloise Sullivan, Aliza Sullivan, Darla Sullivan and Clarabelle Sullivan, plus a new arrival coming in April of 2024, Gunner Mullins and Serek Mullins, both of Tempe, AZ. She is also survived by seven brothers and sisters, Royce (Michele) Roberson, Washburn, ND, Dianne (George) Becker, Selfridge, ND, Corry (Roger) Redfield, Washburn, ND, Burt (Linda) Roberson, Bismarck, ND, Rick Roberson, Colorado Springs, CO, Bruce (Heidi) Roberson, Stevensville, MI, and John (Joan) Roberson, Dayton, MN; brother-in-law, Patrick Sullivan, Bismarck, ND; as well as many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ardeth and Ramus Roberson, Bismarck, ND.

Jean's wishes were for cremation, and, at a later date, a rosary will be held in keeping with her faith.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jean Sullivan, please visit our flower store.

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