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Bedford Daily Voice serves Bedford, Bedford Hills & Katonah

Bedford's Barbara Sullivan, Mother Of Five, Dies At 90

Barbara M. Sullivan
Barbara M. Sullivan Photo Credit: Contributed

Barbara M. Sullivan died peacefully at her home in Bedford on Monday, July 2, in the company of her loving family. She was 90.

She was born Barbara A. McGrath to Dr. James B. and Stella McGrath of Riverdale. She spent happy summers with her family, including her two sisters, Nancy and Suzie, in Westhampton Beach, Long Island where she enjoyed sailing, swimming in the ocean and long walks along the beach -- a lifelong passion.

Barbara graduated from the Academy of Mount St. Vincent in Tuxedo Park, and Trinity College in Washington, D.C. where she made lifelong friendships. After college, she also traveled to Europe, another experience she relished throughout her life.

She married Edward O. (Ned) Sullivan, Jr. of Yonkers, where they began a family. Her husband directed a family real estate and insurance business and embarked on a political career in city, county and eventually national and international politics.

This took them to receptions at the White House and overseas to Paris, her favorite city, where her husband represented the United States as Chief Delegate to the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The family moved to Bedford in 1963 where she and her husband raised five children. She was active in local civic and St. Patrick’s Parish activities.

The family was active members of the American Yacht Club in Rye, and the Surf Club in Quogue.

She was well known for her long walks from her home to surrounding villages, including a trek through a blizzard on snowshoes to buy a quart of milk. She continued to travel internationally, including cross-country skiing in Quebec City and hiking in New Zealand.

Barbara was devoted to her family and friends, had a love and zest for life, and a sense of independence and adventure to her last days.

She is survived by her devoted sister Suzie Dunn of Plymouth, Minnesota, three daughters, Barbara Sullivan Yonkman of Bedford, Cathleen (Chris) Stack of Darien and Tricia (Bobby) Merrick of Greenwich and two sons, James (Nancy) Sullivan of Greenwich, Ned (Tara) Sullivan of Red Hook, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her husband and sister Nancy Johns predeceased her.

A memorial service will be held at St. Patrick’s Church in Bedford, on Saturday, July 21st at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made to Scenic Hudson at

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