Friday, March 19, 2004
Young man whose passion was kayaking
Jonathan Sullivan, 30, of Missoula, Montana, and Carlisle, Massachusetts, son of Carol White and Greg Sullivan, drowned in a kayak accident January 28, 2004 on the Rio Manso in Chile, South America. Jonathan grew up in Carlisle. He graduated from Fenn School, attended Proctor Academy and graduated from Cushing Academy. Jonathan attended the University of Montana and was an instructor at the outdoor educational program there.
Jon was invited to participate in scouting some world-class rivers in Chile and Argentina. He was attempting, along with six other paddlers, to cross a flat section of the river above a deadly set of rapids. Jon was the last to go and somehow missed his line and was swept by the current into the rapids below. His friends tried desperately to pull him from the river but were unsuccessful. Jonathan's kayak, paddle and much of his gear was recovered but not his body. The Chilean government searched with men and helicopters for a week and a half to no avail.
A friend from Missoula, Tucker Whalen, said "this town has lost an ambassador; he knew how to do everything this town had to offer, from the traditional rustic Montana lifestyle to the adventure extreme athletic lifestyle. He represented it all and really well."
Jonathan worked for the 240 Ranch in Butte, Montana, as a wrangler and an elk hunting guide. He loved to take easterners on horseback high into the mountains for their trophy elk. Jonathan was a natural with horses and, while in Chile, worked with the pack horses accompanying the kayak trips to learn the Chilean horse culture which fascinated him.
His winters were spent leading Telemark skiing trips in the mountains of western Montana, but his real passion was kayaking, and he would be on the river as many as 200 days a year. He was well-known and loved in the Missoula boating community. Fellow kayaker Jesse Kodadek said in an e-mail from Chile: "I never paddled with anyone who so clearly loved his time on the water."
Jonathan's infectious smile and warm personality could be felt in his phone conversations and e-mails from Chile. He would describe the exotic rivers with "several waterfalls pouring down a tight canyon into large crystal clear pools," or breathtaking country with "mountains, wildflowers, parrots flying overhead and an occasional Chilean with a fishing pole and a horse tied to a tree." At a famous kayaking river, the Futaleufu, Jonathan discovered a place more beautiful than anything he had imagined in his life. "The largest most extraordinary river, teal green and white in color, rolling more than 40 miles through landscape that exceeds Glacier National Park, Yosemite and Yellowstone in its size and beauty. Cascades careening down from a thousand feet above off the bottom of blinding white glaciers."
In the brief time that Jonathan lived in Chile and kayaked the rivers of the Andes, he felt the experience was helping him grow into the man he saw himself to be, both on the river and off. "The people that I meet are changing my life for the better every day, as are the adventures. Everybody should be able to travel and see the world, meet people with different perspectives and ways of life. We are all here for the same purpose. To love and be loved; to work and to play and so on. I feel very whole now, at peace with myself as I have never felt."
Jonathan leaves his mother, Carol White, of Carlisle; his father Greg Sullivan and wife Susan of Harvard; his older bother, Peter, of Boston; his younger sister, Hailey, of Cambridge and his trusty Akita named Ku. He is also survived by his grandfather, Thomas J. White, of Cambridge and Osterville; his grandmother, Margaret M. White, of Canton and Jupiter, Fla.; his grandmother, Claire A. Vogel, of Concord and many wonderful relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be held for Jonathan at St. Ignatius Church, 28 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, Mass. on Friday, April 16 at 11 a.m.
Donations in Jonathan's name may be made to the following: National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), 284 Lincoln Street, Lander, WY 82520.
Fifth graders head to state competition
Seven victorious fifth-grade students conquered the Guess DImate problem at the Destination Imagination competition held on Saturday, March 13, at Andover High School. The problem involved building and testing a structure made completely of wood and glue. The team had to estimate how much weight the structure would hold. The team also created and presented a story of a situation in which guessing and estimating was the central theme.
Destination Imagination is a creative educational program for students. It offers challenges that stress teamwork, creativity, critical thinking and presentation skills. The state competition will be held this Saturday, March 20, at WPI in Worcester.
Carlisle piano students perform
On March 6, area piano students participated in the Achievement in Music (AIM) Evaluations. The Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) sponsored the event at Regis College. The AIM program measures a student's abilities in performance, technique, aural skills and written theory. All the Carlisle students achieved ratings of "Excellence" and "With Distinction."
• The Portsmouth Herald has nominated Joan Bissell as "Best Actress in a Musical" for her stand-out lead performances in Seacoast Repertory Theatre's productions of the musicals Summer of '42 and Chicago. Each year the newspaper nominates deserving artists, then asks the public to cast their Internet votes for their favorites. You can vote for Joan by visiting seacoastonline.com, clicking on "Spotlight" in the left-hand column, and following the links to the voting site.
© 2004 The Carlisle Mosquito