Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 27, 2013

Harvesting community

Kokomo Tribune

---- — People driving by Gerald Sullivan’s fields in Walton and Howard County Wednesday likely thought nothing of the combines going about their work.

It’s a familiar sight around these parts this time of year.

But, little did they know, they weren’t just harvesting corn. The farmers in those combines were harvesting community.

Gerald Sullivan died in an accident before he was able to bring in his corn crop. He loved being a farmer.

And more importantly, he loved being a good man and a great neighbor.

There’s been no shortage of stories told about the life lived by Gerald Sullivan.

We heard many of them the day of the harvest, as 70 people gathered to pay their respects. We’ve had people who knew him contact the paper and tell us even more stories. It seems he was a man who touched many lives.

He clearly had an impact on people. So much so that farmers from around the area gathered Wednesday to harvest his 600 acres of corn. Eight combines in Cass County and six in Howard County took to the fields to bring in one final crop for Sullivan and his family.

We could all learn something from Sullivan. He was a man who found what he loved in this world and devoted his life to it. He treated his fellow man with respect. He lived his life in such a way that others put their lives on hold to help him, even after he was gone. He was a man who earned respect.

We could all learn something from the farmers, too. They saw a family in need and acted. There was no gain in it for them, but the satisfaction of helping their fellow man. That was payment enough.

They did the right thing.

Everyone involved reminded us of what a great community we share the privilege of calling home. It’s comforting to know that when times are tough, there’s someone there to hold us up or carry on for us when we can’t.

Gerald Sullivan’s daughter, Tammy Radez, was there Wednesday and talked about the sense of community she felt.

“I live in Indianapolis, and you don’t see this,” Radez said.

This is why we live in a small town.

Life is better here.