Noreen J. “Mema” Sullivan (née Johnson), 93, of Haddonfield, passed away on Sunday, January, 2, 2022 at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, one day before her 94th birthday. She was born in 1928 in Little Falls, NY to her loving parents, Theodore and Cecilia A. Johnson (née Fitzgerald) and was raised in their bustling family home on Loomis Street.
After graduating from Little Falls H.S. in 1945, Noreen was soon engaged to her sweetheart, James L. “Jimmy” Sullivan, a Marine recently returned home from the battlefields of Iwo Jima. The two married in 1947 and moved to Troy, NY so Jimmy could further his education. By 1951, the couple had three young children, and with Jimmy’s new degree and a job offer at RCA in Camden, the family relocated to Haddonfield. Noreen put down roots on Radnor Avenue, raised her children there and became an integral part of the community over the next 70 years.
As a proud, life-long Democrat, she often volunteered with the Democratic Club of Haddonfield, working the polls during elections and decorating the club’s floats for the annual 4th of July Parade. She was an active member of both the Tavistock and Downs Farms swim clubs, timing swim meets and dancing in the water ballet. Noreen devoted much of her time to her Catholic faith, attending daily mass at Christ the King Church and regularly knit prayer shawls to donate. She read voraciously and could often be found engrossed in the daily paper or a book of crosswords.
With Jimmy by her side, Noreen spent many years travelling the world, including Ireland, Guam and Hawaii. But for all her travels, her most cherished locale was the camp her father built nestled on the shores of Piseco Lake. She later shared her love for Piseco with her children and grandchildren, making memories as the hummingbirds sipped from her feeders in the Adirondack Mountains.
She served as a girl scout leader, camp counselor for children battling cancer and telephone operator, but the title she enjoyed the most was “Mema”, the name her grandchildren lovingly bestowed upon her. She often declared she was determined to be the best grandmother in the world, and she delivered on that promise in spades. She will be remembered by all for her sharp wit, steadfast determination, unwavering faith, wry humor and legendary crescent moon cookies.
She is preceded in death by her loving parents, devoted husband, sister Rosemary (Bill) Gressler, brother Thomas (Ellen) Johnson and daughter Anne (Edmund) Skernolis. She is survived by her brother Theodore (Janet) Johnson, son James (Patty) Sullivan, daughter Marybeth (Thomas) Ackers, nine grandchildren, twenty great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews, all of whom she adored.
The family will hold a private ceremony at Christ the King Church on Monday, January 10th at 10 a.m. Those who wish to pay their respects to Noreen may join the family for mass through a livestream www.ctkhaddonfield.org/live-stream. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Noreen’s memory may be made to the Anne Sullivan Skernolis Scholarship Fund, c/o Haddonfield Memorial High School 401 Kings Highway Haddonfield, NJ 08033.