Viola Mehrens Sullivan
Born on March 29, 1925
VIOLA MEHRENS SULLIVAN
BAY CITY - Viola Mehrens Sullivan was born March 29, 1925 to the late Emil Mehrens and Mabel Thonsgaard Mehrens at Northern Headquarters near Midfield, Texas. The family later moved to Carancahua near Danevang where they became involved in cotton and rice farming for many years.
Vi attended Louise High School graduating in 1942. She then attended Texas Women's University at Denton, Texas and later transferred to Sam Houston State Teachers College in Huntsville, Texas. She graduated with a degree in Home Economics, English and Science. Later she attended the University of Houston and received her Masters in English and Home Economics. Her teaching started when she joined the staff at Palacios High School in 1945 and taught General Science, Biology and English. After teaching a little more than a year she met A. N. Sullivan who was co-owner of the Palacios Pharmacy. They married soon after on February 15, 1946.
Before long A. N. decided he wanted to complete his Mortuary Science Degree and become a full time mortician for Taylor Bros. Funeral Home. They moved to Houston so A. N. could attend and finish Mortuary School. In Houston their first child, Charles Rickey was born. Later the Sullivan family moved to Bay City where A. N. worked for Taylor Bros. Funeral Home. Their next two children, Randy DuWayne and Susan Kay were born in Bay City.
In 1948 Vi joined the Bay City Independent School Staff. She worked in the Middle School for two years teaching Reading, Spelling and General Science. Before too long A. N. was called back into the Navy to serve in the Korean War and the family moved to California. In 1951 the family returned to Bay City and Vi returned to teaching. She became a full time Home Economics Teacher at Bay City High School and taught there until 1984 when she retired. Her last school teaching assignment was helping to organize the Family Life Education Course for Senior students.
During her lifetime Vi received many honors that were part of Civic, State, and National Groups. Some of these include President of the Vocational Home Economics Teachers Association of Texas 1972-73; Member of the Nominating Committee of the National Teachers Association; charter member of the Texas Classroom Teachers of Bay City; elected as the Legislative Chairman of Vocational Home Economics Teachers of Texas; member of Bay City Pilot Club; Vice-President of Bay City Delta Kappa Gamma; first and only teacher from Bay City ISD to be appointed to the State Text Book Committee by Dr. J. W. Edgar, Commissioner of Texas Education in 1973; member of the Bay City Chamber of Commerce Education Committee; served on the State Board of Texas Teachers; President of the National Association of Vocational Home Economics Teachers; commissioned in 1972 by Governor Preston Smith as a "Yellow Rose of Texas."
After retiring from teaching her life was busy with Church work, volunteering at the Matagorda County Museum, supporting Breast Cancer Awareness and doing whatever she could to help her family and friends. Vi was a member of the First Christian Church where she served as a Sunday School Teacher, Deaconess, Elder and member of the Cradle of Texas Emmaus and Women Faith.
Vi was preceded in death by her husband A. N. Sullivan and their two sons Rick and Randy Sullivan. She is survived by her daughter Susan Kay Sullivan Warren and husband James Ray "Tut" Warren and daughters-in-law Margaret Ann Rhodes Sullivan and Debbie Gray Sullivan. She was lovingly called "Sugar" by her grandchildren Lee Ashley Sullivan Dittlinger and husband Patrick Henry Dittlinger, Trey Horton Sullivan and wife Schelli Holtzclaw Sullivan, Mehrens "Elise" Warren, and Brittany Ann Sullivan. Her great grandchildren are Bryce Henry Dittlinger, Reece Perry Dittlinger, Riley Carson Dittlinger and Rylan Audrey Sullivan. Other family members include Chele Knapp Robinette and husband Vince and their children Ryan, Drake and Reagan, Kay Evans Millsap, and her "Heart" Terry Sullivan. Her family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has cared for Vi the last few years with special recognition to Emma Mack.
Vi lived a good life filled with much love and happiness by her family and many wonderful friends. The family will receive friends and relatives from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Monday, June 17, 2013 at Taylor Bros. Funeral Home. The funeral service will be 10:00 AM Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at the First Christian Church with Rev. Tom Quirk officiating. Interment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park in Van Vleck.
Vi's loving wish to you all is that God lend his blessing on you. Memorials may be made to First Christian Church Memorial Fund, FRAXA Research Foundation in honor of Ryan Daniel Robinette or the American Cancer Society.
Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.taylorbros.net. Arrangements are with Taylor Bros. Funeral Home in Bay City, 979-245-4613.