Those We Lost
Recent Irish and Irish American Obituaries
James Patrick Seymour, a Notre Dame receiving star passed away at 64 on March 29 in Highland Park, Illinois after a battle with cancer. Born on November 24, 1946 in Detroit, Seymour established many records and earned All-America honors during his three seasons with the Fighting Irish.
He made a strong offensive combination with teammate Terry Hanratty. Both were featured on the cover of Time in 1966. Upon graduation in 1969, Seymour was the all-time receiving leader at Notre Dame, with 138 catches for 2,113 yards and 16 touchdowns. He ranks sixth on Notre Dame’s career chart for receptions.
Seymour was a first-round draft pick for the Los Angeles Rams, but he turned it down and joined the Chicago Bears from 1970-1972. He appeared in 31 career games with the Bears, recording 21 receptions for 385 yards with 5 touchdowns. A hamstring injury in his senior year at Notre Dame limited him in his professional career with the NFL.
After leaving the football life behind, Seymour became the owner of BGS Insurance Agency in Arlington Heights, IL. He also worked with several charities in the state. He is survived by his wife, Nancy Garvey, their sons Jim Jr., Jeff and Todd, four brothers, a sister and six grandchildren. – K.M.
1963 - 2011
For a time, it seems, John Sullivan’s life followed a certain, not terribly surprising trajectory. Raised in Sleepy Hollow, NY, he was a quarterback for the high school football team and a pitcher for the baseball team. After college, Sullivan entered sales and worked for Strick Leasing Company and the Carrier Corporation, where he found professional and financial success. Then, unable to ignore the homeless he saw all over New York, he enrolled at Fordham to pursue a degree in social work and devoted the rest of his life to helping others.
Sullivan died on April 5, at New York Presbyterian Hospital, with family and friends nearby. His death followed a recent diagnosis of esophageal cancer.
He began working with the homeless in 1995, when he joined Pathways to Housing. There, he worked to find homeless people suffering from addiction and mental illness and to coax them off the street and into housing. As the Executive Director of Friends House, he oversaw support services for once homeless AIDS sufferers, and he most recently worked as director of case management and an interventionist at Gallant and Associates.
In 2001 he married Mary Brosnahan, executive director of Coalition for the Homeless, a match the New York Times described as “a royal wedding in the homeless domain.” They had a son, Quinn, in 2002, but separated sometime later in light of Sullivan’s struggle with alcoholism. The two remained very close, though, and raised their son equally, as Sullivan found great support at AA. In addition to Brosnahan and Quinn, Sullivan is survived by his parents, two sisters, and many nieces and nephews. Though too brief, his life was lived admirably in the aid of others.
Chrysandra “Sandy” Walters, a retired senior U.S. National Park Service official, passed away on March 21 in Scarborough, ME after a long battle with cancer. She was 63.
Walters was born on November 29, 1947 and raised in Palo Alto, CA. She graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Park Administration and Recreation. Walters spent her career with the National Parks Service, eventually becoming the Northeast Deputy Regional Director, overseeing the national parks and services programs in the 13-state region. Prior to this, she was the Superintendent of the Lowell National Historic Park.
During her tenure as Superintendent, Walters co-hosted the Lowell National Folk Festival, discovering a love of music in the process. Through the festival she met her husband, Seamus Connelly, a world-renowned fiddler from Killaloe, Co. Clare. Married for eight years at the time of her death, Walters and Connolly developed a priceless partnership. Her organizational skills have been credited as being an asset as her husband ran the Gaelic Roots Summer School at Boston College’s Chestnut Hill campus from 1996-2003, and has run the Gaelic Roots concert series since 2003.
Walters is survived by her husband; her mother and stepfather, Winnie and Larry Moore; two sisters and three stepchildren.
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