Cover photo for Philip Anthony Sullivan's Obituary
Philip Anthony Sullivan Profile Photo
1941 Philip 2023

Philip Anthony Sullivan

June 13, 1941 — March 4, 2023

 

Philip Anthony Sullivan was born on June 13, 1941, in Abington, Pa., to Paul and Emily (O’Neill) Sullivan. He graduated from La Salle College High School in 1959 and La Salle College in 1963 and earned his MBA at Drexel University in 1966.

 

He died on Saturday, March 4, at his home in Gladwyne, Pa. The cause was lymphoma. He was 81.

 

Family meant everything to Phil, who was part of a big, close-knit Irish Catholic clan in and around Philadelphia including 36 first cousins. Phil’s long life was all about being an entrepreneur, a mentor, a cheerleader to others and of course a builder of family ties.

 

A businessman with a variety of interests, he was an owner of Huff Paper Company for more than 45 years.

 

Phil was always active. In school he played basketball and baseball, and later, squash and tennis.  His latest passion was touring Gladwyne on his electric bike, often stopping to catch up with friends and neighbors. 

 

He loved cars.  His first was a 1949 Mercury convertible. And among his first jobs was working at the advertising agency of Aitkin-Kynett. He was delighted to be assigned the automotive accounts, which meant attending the Indy 500, the Daytona 24 Hour and Mint 400 Off Road – all for work. 

 

In 1977, with his business partners, Skip Snyder and Bob Ward, who were also friends, Phil acquired Huff Paper Co., a Philadelphia based redistributor of food service and janitorial products.  In 1979, Huff Paper Co. acquired United Paper based in Richmond, VA. In the early 1990s, Phil was instrumental in forming a national marketing group, RDA, which is a group of independent redistributors. Soon thereafter, Phil helped develop the Grand Travels program for RDA customers, consisting of an annual trip to a warm weather vacation locale. The highlight for Phil was mixing with the customers. In 2020, Huff Paper Co sold its northern operations retaining United Paper, now known as Huff United. 

 

Through friends, Phil met Margot Beach, who was running a Montessori School. They married in 1983 at the Wayne Presbyterian Church; they walked each other down the aisle, and her father, Waldo Beach, officiated the ceremony. 

 

She survives him, as do their son, David Philip Sullivan (Kelley Swain Sullivan); his daughter Alison Krampf O’Callaghan (Brian O’Callaghan); four grandchildren, William and Charlotte Sullivan and Aidan and Lily O’Callaghan; and his brother, Steve Sullivan (Sarah Sullivan). His sister, Paula Sullivan Snyder, died in 2021. He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews and cousins.

 

Apart from enjoying his family, Phil’s favorite activities included gardening, riding his tractor, riding his bike, collecting art- particularly works by Bucks County artists, and skiing in Deer Valley, UT. He loved to travel, and particularly looked forward to the RDA annual trip every January. 

 

He participated in several civic groups, including the Gladwyne Civic Association and the Gladwyne Fire Company, and was a board member at the Shipley School. In the 1970s, he was very involved in the Big Brothers organization, and was even named “Big Brother of the Year” in 1973.  He was unofficially known as “The Mayor of Gladwyne.”

 

He was especially fond of wearing Irish caps.

 

The family asks that any donations be made to the Bryn Mawr Hospital Foundation or to a charity of your choice in Phil’s name. 



 

 

 

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