HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Family, friends and employees will gather next month to pay tribute to Joanna Sullivan, philanthropist and wife of the late businessman, Foodland founder and entrepreneur Maurice J. "Sully" Sullivan. Joanna passed away at her home on September 2. She was 94 years old.
Born on July 4, 1921 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Chinese immigrants, Joanna was a graduate of McKinley High School and was pursuing studies at the University of Hawaii when she left college to help her mother run Lanikai Store, a small grocery store the Laus had purchased in Kailua. It was at the store that Joanna met the man who would later become her family's business partner and her husband, Maurice J. "Sully" Sullivan, an Irish immigrant and U.S. Air Force Sergeant who was stationed at Hickam Air Force Base. Years later, Joanna, her family, and Sully opened Foodland Market City on May 6, 1948. It was Joanna who named the store, "Foodland."
Joanna and Sully supported many causes and organizations together and Joanna continued to build upon her husband's legacy after his death. In addition to funding scholarships at 'Iolani and Punahou Schools, Chaminade University, and the Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation, Joanna has made lead gifts to St. Francis Cardiac Care Center, the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, Ronald McDonald House, The Queen's Medical Center West Oahu, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Sullivan Administration building at Punahou School, the Sullivan Library at Chaminade University, and the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership at 'Iolani School. Passionate about the many organizations she supported, Joanna was a donor who continually showed she cared through her many acts of graciousness, kindness, and support. She was named Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals -- Honolulu Chapter in 2008 and again in 2013.
Joanna is survived by her four children Kitty Sullivan Wo, Jenai Sullivan Wall, Colleen Sullivan, and Patrick Sullivan and five grandchildren Marisa Wo Azevedo, Liza Wo Davis, Emma Wo, and Alana and Eamon Wall.
A memorial service for Joanna Sullivan will be held on Sunday, October 4 at the Sullivan Center for Innovation and Leadership at 'Iolani School. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the service will be held from 11 a.m. to noon. Parking will be available at the school's parking lot on Kamoku Street. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Joanna Sullivan's memory can be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii; Honolulu Museum of Art; Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation; 'Iolani School; Punahou School or Chaminade University of Honolulu.
All Foodland stores on Oahu will be closed from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 4 so employees can attend the memorial service.