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Michael W. Sullivan

February 16, 1949 ~ September 13, 2019 (age 70)


Michael W. Sullivan, 70, of Upton, MA and formerly of Holyoke, MA, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, September 13, 2019, at his home.  He was the beloved husband of 25 years to Joyce C. Chiu, and father of Kristen Brown and Ryan Sullivan.

Born in Holyoke, he was a son of the late Ward D. and Rita J. (Cullinan) Sullivan.  He was raised and educated in Holyoke, MA.

Prior to retirement, Michael worked at James River Graphics for 27 years (1966 – 1993) and at Madico for 23 years (1994 – 2017).  A self-taught chemical engineer, research scientist and coating technologist, he was highly regarded in the chemical coatings industry.  At James River Graphics, he contributed to the high-speed, high resolution defense reconnaissance film before the days of digital imaging.  He was instrumental in the highly successful Polaroid batteries, using a homogenizer to create the uniform dispersion for the conductive film.

At Madico, Michael boosted the profitability of their safety films, transferred products from R&D to manufacturing.  His critical contribution to fluoropolymer coatings vaulted Madico to leadership in the photovoltaic industry.  He led the effort in a new acquisition and the transfer of products to St. Petersburg, FL.  He is best remembered by his colleagues for his personality, sense of humor and endless stories about his weekend ventures.

Michael enjoyed a wide variety of interests, most notably classical music, poetry and reading of the Roman Empire and Shakespeare.  His fanatic love for classic music favored Richard Wagner, Igor Stravinsky and Benjamin Britten, as well as Bach and Beethoven.  He could “name that tune” in that entire genre.  He enjoyed cooking and prepared all the family meals.  As an avid bird hunter, he went on hunting trips with his best friend, Frank Kearney.  In his youth, he achieved eagle scout status and taught canoeing, sailing and boating.  He took up cross-country skiing when he first met Joyce, and together, they grew flower and vegetable gardens, had 14 cats and 2 dogs, as well as raised Ryan.  The family spent summers on Cape Cod over nearly 20 years, riding bicycles on its famous bike trails and frequented Chatham, Orleans, and most of all, Provincetown.

He is survived by his wife Joyce C. Chiu of Upton; his children, Kristen Brown and her husband Kevin, of Milton, and Ryan P. Sullivan of Santa Clara, CA; two grandchildren, Gabriella (Bella) and Nathaniel Brown; three siblings, Carole Sullivan of South Hadley, Dennis Sullivan and his wife Marilou, of Holyoke, Nancy Reale and her husband Karl, of South Hadley; two nephews and a niece.

His funeral service will be held at 12 noon, on Saturday, September 28, in the Williams-Pedersen Funeral Home, 45 Main St., Upton, Andrew D. Pickering – Director.  After the service, all are invited to a buffet and open bar at his “Cheers” where everyone knew him, at the Rose Garden Restaurant & Pub, 16 Milford Street, Upton, in the second-floor dining room.

Calling hours at the funeral home are Friday, September 27, from 4 to 7 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be sent to the Upton Fire and EMS Association, PO Box 580, Upton, MA 01568

For online guestbook, directions and to order flowers, please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael W. Sullivan, please visit our floral store.


Calling Hours
September 27, 2019

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Pickering & Son Upton Funeral Home, Inc.
45 Main Street
Upton, MA 01568

Funeral Service
September 28, 2019

12:00 PM
Pickering & Son Upton Funeral Home, Inc.
45 Main Street
Upton, MA 01568

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