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Dr. Sullivan’s life eulogized by a friend

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To The Editor:

The sun shone a little less bright today, Dr. Roger Sullivan died last night (Aug. 25, 2013).

Those who were not fortunate enough to know the man personally, or as a patient, probably knew him by countless stories, endless rumors, and frequent and libelous prevarication and calumny...

I first met him as a patient, oddly enough, one St. Patrick’s Day morning much more than a decade ago when, after a brief examination, we both remarked that it seemed a shame for two Irishmen to be so engaged when we might be better occupied elsewhere quaffing a dram or two of Celtic spirits... which we then set about doing. I didn’t know it then, but that was the opening gambit of a long running game that ended - for him - just last evening.

As I sit here sipping a glass of wine and mulling over our years, I wondered how I would describe Roger to anyone not otherwise acquainted and, immediately, a flood of descriptors came to mind.

I suppose I would start with physician followed closely by extraordinary diagnostician; then would come philosopher, liberal thinker, enthusiastic drinker, gourmand, gourmet, chef, raconteur, sommelier, adroit sophist, dilettante and pedant at the same time. A keen host, I had seen him juggle a half dozen conversations on disparate subjects without dropping a stitch; very (and justly) proud of his family he reveled when his twin brother, sisters and nephew would visit. Not overtly religious, he would remark, “I’m neither agnostic nor an atheist, but indifferent...and yet he once told me, “I hope you’re right” when the subject of an afterlife came up.

Before slipping into a wholly melancholy state, I would describe him mostly as a friend...as a good and cherished friend like most of us, with flaws, but with more saving graces than most.

Goodbye Roger. “Safe Home.”

PJ Murphy

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