Dennis "Spanky" William Sullivan Profile Photo
1928 Dennis "Spanky" 2024

Dennis "Spanky" William Sullivan

November 1, 1928 — March 6, 2024


Dennis “Spanky” William Sullivan of Benedictine Living Community, in Shakopee, MN, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2024, at the age of 95, with beloved wife Mona at his side. 

 A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, March 15, 2024, at 11 am, with a gathering from 9-10:45 am, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 16400 Duluth Avenue SE, Prior Lake, MN. Father Tom Walker will preside. Military honors will be provided by the Prior Lake VFW Honor Guard. Dennis will be laid to rest at a private family burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

 Spanky was born on November 1, 1928, to Peter Martin and Jennie (Conneran) Sullivan in Crookston, MN. He was the youngest of five children. His father Peter passed away prior to Spanky’s birth. Jennie left the farm and moved to Crookston, MN to raise the children. After attending Crookston Cathedral high school (class of “46”) and a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Spanky attended the University of North Dakota and played hockey for the “Fighting Sioux” in the winter of 1948-49! In 1951, he was a member of the National Senior Hockey Champions, the Crookston Pirates. 

 In 1950, Spanky married Mona Ellingson in Crookston, MN. In 1954, the family moved to Thief River Falls to begin a Grain Belt Beer Distribution with his brother Pete. Thus, the company became Pete and Dennis Sullivan, Inc. Expanding the territory in 1961, Spanky and Mona moved the family to Ada, MN and the same occurred in 1969, when the family moved to Moorhead, MN. In 1975, the family completed the cycle and return to Crookston, MN. During these years, they raised seven children. One highlight of his life was participating in a freedom honor flight from Phoenix, AZ to Washington, DC for World War II veterans.

 Later years found Spanky and Mona living in Eau Claire, WI and Phoenix, AZ area only to return to Minneapolis/St. Paul area to be near family. His greatest joy in life was spending time with his family. He was a man of deep Catholic faith and was proud of his Irish heritage. You can bet his Irish eyes are smiling as he meets his Father in heaven for the first time. 

 Dennis is survived by wife Mona; children Joseph of Edina, MN, Janna (Bruce) Reimer of Savage, MN, Richard of Edina, MN, Mary of Hudson, WI, Patrice (Mike) Raths of St. Paul, MN, Paul (Candy) of South Lake Tahoe, CA, Kathleen of Las Vegas, NV; 8 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; lots of nieces, nephews, and friends. 

 Dennis was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Jennie; brothers Joe, Ralph, Pete and sister Patricia Nimens. 

 Share a message with Dennis’ family at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation. Memorials may sent to: The Dennis Sullivan Family, c/o Ballard – Sunder Funeral Home. 104 1st Street West, Jordan, MN 55352


Service Schedule

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Friday, March 15, 2024

9:00 - 10:45 am (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, March 15, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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