Obie B Sullivan was born December 20, 1951 in Claremore OK to Jesse "Buddy" James Sullivan and Leona Tiger Sullivan. His early childhood was spent on the current property outside Broken Arrow where he spent time outside with his many dogs. He and his sister Peggy then moved with their family as Jesse/Bud "Buddy" pastored different Indian United Methodist churches in Oklahoma and Kansas. Obie fondly remembered his dad taking him to many OU and TU ball games everywhere they lived. Jesse took a temporary leave from pastoring long enough for Obie to attend and graduate high school in Okmulgee. In Okmulgee Obie played sports and started his music career with his close friend Paul Cook in bands such as Inside Looking Out. They played all over Northeast Oklahoma, with Jesse driving them and helping with "roadie" duties.
Obie attended OU for a year and a half until he was given the opportunity to play keyboards for the Native American band XIT. The band toured all over the US in the 1970's raising money for the American Indian Movement and made several albums for Motown. A highlight was going to Italy to perform. Obie said he is sure he is on some Most Wanted list somewhere due to XIT/AIM connections.
Upon exiting XIT, Obie returned home to the Tulsa area with his family. They provided a home for Brian Hyland and his wife for a time at Pickett Chapel. When Jesse became District Superintendent for OIMC Obie moved with them to Jenks, where he met his wife Cathy when she called the house doing a random phone survey for her senior paper at Oral Roberts University. They found out they were both preacher kids and played music, so talked on the phone for several months before Obie came to a band concert at ORU and they started going out.
Obie and Cathy moved to their present address in rural Broken Arrow to look after the home Jesse and Leona had built for their retirement, while Jesse and Leona continued to move from church to church. Obie and Cathy were married on Easter Sunday, 1982 at Broken Arrow UIMC. Jesse and Leona moved to the family home in 1991 after Jesse suffered a stroke and retired. The whole family continued to live as one as Obie and Cathy added sons Reuben and William. Obie, Cathy and boys enjoyed season tickets at OU football games for years. Obie and Cathy enjoyed going to many concerts and in recent years having fun together at River Spirit and Hard Rock casinos. For a whole year they were given a free room every month at the Hard Rock and enjoyed those monthly date nights. They took a vacation trip two years ago to Memphis and New Orleans where they enjoyed Beale Street and Bourbon Street. Obie's highlights were playing on the piano Jerry Lee Lewis played at Sun Studio in Memphis and playing "dueling pianos" at Spirits on Bourbon bar and grill in New Orleans. Obie and Cathy welcomed son-in-law Bruno Delor-Sullivan into the family four years ago.
Obie worked various machinist jobs while continuing to pursue his music career. For a time he played with Flash Terry around the Tulsa/Stillwater area, appearing on Six in the Morning. He then joined Blues Nation with Dusty Miller, Terry Tsotigh, Sonny Klinekole and Tom Ware. They toured all over the US playing at Indian art shows, even playing in Canada and Italy. They played at the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of the Native American in Washington DC and also at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. They also made several cd's.
Obie retired from his last machinist job several years ago when the company closed and moved the jobs to Mexico. Obie enjoyed retirement at home with his guitars and pets. His health deteriorated in the last six months.
Obie leaves behind his wife Cathy and sons Reuben and Will, Reuben of the home and Will with husband Bruno of Marseille, France. He was preceded in death by father Jesse "Bud", mother Leona Sullivan and half brother James Freeman. He also leaves behind sister Peggy Colbert and nephews Gregory Allenbaugh, David Allenbaugh & wife Michelle, Tommy Schultz & wife Marylen and Jake Schultz & wife Amanda all of Ada, Oklahoma and six great nieces and six great nephews, and two great-great nieces all of the Ada area. He also leaves behind aunt, Delois June Johnson of Coweta, Naomi Ruth and husband Richard Crowley of Dallas. He also leaves behind his brothers in music and numerous other relatives and friends.
Obie belonged to the Native American Church, participating in tepee ceremonies in previous years. He had a strong faith in the Great Spirit and we trust he is with him today.
Wake services are scheduled from 6-8 pm on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at Integrity Chapel.
Funeral Services are scheduled for 2:00 pm Friday, April 26, 2019 at Thlopthlocco Indian Methodist Church with Pastor, Jim Chalakee and Rev. Eli McHenry, officiating. Interment will follow at Thlopthlocco Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Integrity Funeral Service in Henryetta.
Pallbearers will be Greg Allenbaugh, Dusty Miller, Sonny Klinekole, Paul Cook, Delancey Cook and Brian Siebert.