Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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October 24, 2013

A community comes together

Farmers harvest man's final crop after accidental death

GALVESTON — Despite light showers and overcast skies, about 100 farmers gathered to help the family of the late Gerald Sullivan harvest his last crop.

By Wednesday afternoon an army of farm combines and farm trucks was bringing in Sullivan’s final corn and soybean crop. Farmers were assigned to different fields to get the work accomplished.

Sullivan, 76, died in early September as a result of a non-farming accident. Within hours of the farming community learning of his passing, farmers began contacting Joe Johnson, general manager of Anderson’s, volunteering to help.

“Dad was raised in Cass County and was raised in a farm family,” his daughter Julie Rybolt said. “He farmed all his life.”

With the emotion of the day obvious in her voice, Rybolt told the gathered farmers they were in the hearts of the Sullivan family and loved by Gerald’s family members.

“Dad was so blessed and honored to have all of you here today,” she said. “It’s truly a blessing. This is a very special gathering of friends, family and neighbors.”

Rybolt said her father planned to retire from farming after this year and this would have been his last harvest.

Daughter Tammy Radez said the turnout was awesome.

“I live in Indianapolis and you don’t see this,” she said. “I love a community where everyone comes together. Dad would love this. I told the guys when they were out harvesting to think of Dad sitting beside you.”

Radez said her father always said his first love was the Lord, his second love was family and his third love was farming.

“He kept that all in perspective,” she said. “He loved his grandchildren and friends.”

Gerald’s son Dean Sullivan said several farmers commented that they didn’t think his father ever had an enemy.

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