Virginia Esther (Hammond) Sullivan died peacefully on May 8, 2020 at River Terrace in Lancaster. She was born in Ayer on June 13, 1930, the youngest child of Frank and Mabel (Farnsworth) Hammond and was raised and educated in Groton along with her devoted sister Helen Chandler and brothers Leonard and Donald Hammond, all of whom predeceased her.
She met the love of her life, Richard P. Sullivan while attending school. They were married in 1948, then moved to Sunnyvale Farm in Townsend where they raised their three children. As a young wife, Virginia helped to grow and harvest strawberries and vegetables on the farm. She was famous for her homemade strawberry shortcake and fruit pies made daily while in season. She hosted wonderful cookouts for special occasions over the years. Favorite dogs and cats were always a comfort to her.
Decorating her antique home brought her to local auctions acquiring furniture which she later refinished. Another hobby was creating berry bowl terrariums made from items gathered in the woods, a gift for Christmas, her favorite time of the year. It is no small coincidence that her name is the same as the girl in the 1897 New York Sun Story, "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus". She would decorate every nook, cranny and shelf with Santa Clauses and all things Christmas, creating a special magic in her home. An evolving interest in miniatures and dollhouses led her to join the Tynietoy Society where she served as treasurer and enthusiast for years. Other hobbies included poetry, music, theater and flower arranging.
She especially loved her home at Hampton Beach where she spent many happy hours with her husband and family, relaxing on the beach and enjoying concerts and plays at Prescott Park. She was an incredible grandmother who took care of many babies and really delighted in taking them for walks and amusing them with games and stories.
Her husband of 68 years died in 2017 and a granddaughter Grace in 2011.
She leaves her daughter Linda and her husband Rodney Sutherland of Hudson, MA, her son Mark and his wife Cinda of Holly Ridge, NC and daughter Rhonda Sullivan of Townsend, MA as well as 10 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, a great great grandson and 4 nieces.
Special thanks to River Terrace staff for their kindness and care of her over the last 8 years.
Family will gather for a graveside service at 2:00 pm on Wednesday May 13, 2020 in the Groton Cemetery.
Donations in her memory can be made to Townsend Ecumenical Outreach, 82 Bayberry Hill Road,Townsend, MA 01469.