Retired Air Force Colonel Dwight Everett Sullivan (Sully), 88, a resident of Sun City West, Ariz passed away on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. He was born on Jan. 22, 1931 in Chariton, Iowa, to John Everett Sullivan and Adda Marie Sigler.
Dwight graduated from high school in 1949 in Corydon, Iowa. He attended Simpson College prior to entering the Air Force in 1951. He entered the Aviation Cadet Program in 1953 and received his commission and navigator wings in 1954. After two years in Alaska, he entered pilot training and graduated in 1958. His first assignment was flying F86-D’s out of O’Hare Field in Chicago. Following this, he had tours of duty in Michigan, California, and Maine, flying the F101-D. He entered the F-105 upgrade program at Nellis AFB, Nevada as was assigned to Korat, AFB, Thailand. On Oct. 17, 1967, Dwight was shot down and became a prisoner of war in Viet Nam until his release in 1973. After returning to the States, Col. Sullivan attended the Air War College and was then assigned to Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, Texas as Deputy Commander of Maintenance, where he retired in 1978.
After retirement from the USAF, he was employed as General Manager of the Budweiser distributorship in Del Rio, Texas. He retired from the beer business in 1987 and accompanied his wife, Ada, to London, England where she was employed as a teacher for the Defense Department for three years. Dwight and Ada returned to the States in 1990 and resided in Texas and Iowa before moving to Sun City West, Arizona in 2000.
Colonel Dwight E. Sullivan was a command pilot. His military decoration include two Silver Stars, two Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, seven Air Medals, three Air Force Commendation Medals, and two Purple Hearts.
In 1974, Colonel Sullivan married the former Ada Thompson Vipond of Duluth, Minnesota. They have a blended family of eight children, 14 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.
Dwight is survived by his wife, Ada, of 45-years, his sister, Wanda Brown from Iowa, sister Donna Herndon (Jim) from California, his sons Steven (Jan) from Texas, Brad from Alaska, Scott (Liz) from Nevada, and daughters Dianne (Walter) from Texas, Laura (Michael) from California. Step-sons include George Vipond from Texas, Clark Vipond from Arizona, and John Vipond (Leslie) from Arizona.
A Celebration of Life will be held to honor Sully’s extraordinary life with his family and friends at 2pm, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 at Dignity Memorial – Surprise Funeral Care in Surprise, Ariz., with reception following.
Interment services with military honors will be held at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Sully’s honor to one, or more, of the following organizations: Silent Warrior Foundation: https://silentwarriorfoundation.com/; National League of POW/MIA Families: https://www.pow-miafamilies.org/; and Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association: https://www.river-rats.org/.