Don Sullivan, a respected plastics industry leader and Southern California representative for Conair, Van Dorn and other lines, died at age 78 in St. Petersburg, Fla., on April 10.
Sullivan was one of those garrulous Irishmen who people loved, said his former partner, Bob Berwick of Laguna Niguel, Calif.
During his most active business years, Don was probably as well-known as anyone in the plastics industry out here, said Berwick, who now owns Sentinel Plastics LLP.
Sullivan served as 1981-83 president of the western region of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and as a national SPI board member. He received the western region's distinguished service award in 1986. He was also active with the Society of Plastics Engineers.
From 1975-95, Sullivan and Berwick were equal-equity partners in Sullivan Plastics Equipment Co., serving the Southern California market. Sullivan remained active in business for several more years and moved to Florida in 2009.
Retired Conair executive Vince Witherup said: Don was a super good guy. His was one of the premier agencies in the country. Not only was he instrumental in making Conair what it is today, he also mentored many folks who have since gone on to have successful careers in the plastics industry.
Donald Keith Sullivan was born and raised in Glendale and attended Glendale College, Chico State University and California State University Los Angeles. He served with the U.S. Navy during the Korean War in the early 1950s, receiving numerous service medals and the Korean presidential unit citation.
Sullivan's survivors include his four daughters, 10 grandchildren, a great-grandson and his fiancée, Patricia Brown. His wife of 46 years, Phyllis, died in 2006.
Donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Institute for Families, City of Hope, Camp del Corazon, or the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation in Orange County.