Family, friends say goodbye to Chief Sullivan

HOWARD COUNTY, TX (KWES/KBYG) - The Dorothy Garrett Coliseum in Howard County was packed with family and friends as they honored and said goodbye to Tommy Sullivan.

(Source: Howard County Volunteer Fire Department / Facebook Page)

At the service, Tommy's brother, Pepper Sullivan, shared what he thought Tommy would say if he were there.

"He would say, 'I'm humbled and I'm honored, and I don't deserve it because I am just doing what I love to do. And, I'm doing what I'm called to do,'" Pepper said.

The former chief had a love for fighting fires since he was a young boy and got burned from the waist down trying to put out a fire at his father's service station. Although he was told he would never walk again, Tommy persevered and used that strength to help people in his community as a firefighter.

(Source: Howard County Volunteer Fire Department / Facebook Page)

"Tommy wanted to conquer what had plagued him early in his life, and not let anyone else go through those fears," Tommy's friend Don Riley said. "Whether it was a house fire, an oil field fire, a grass fire or whatever it was, Tommy was there, and he was fighting that dragon. That's what he loved."

Chief Sullivan's reliance on faith lead him to adopt a humble approach to leadership, which gained him much respect.

(Source: KBest Media.)

"He would give you the shirt off his back, one of those kinds of guys," Tommy's friend Jeff Clifton said. "If he was trying to teach you something, he would very much go all in and make sure that you knew how to do the job, the art of being a firefighter."

Like any artist, Tommy was committed to his work, and that is what his family and friends honored on May 5.

"Dedication, he was dedicated to the job, dedicated to the citizens, and I got that from him," Tommy's friend Robert Henson said. "Thank you. Simple, thank you."

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