A sign at Sullivan’s house says it all. It reads “Thank you farmers; God bless you.”
Although the get-together was emotional, there were also shared laughs. A family member told those who were there his stepson said he can’t believe Gerald Sullivan didn’t turn on the Sun today.
“It just crushes your heart,” Johnson said. “The community lost a great person and his family lost a great dad. He was a great guy.”
Around 3 p.m., Johnson thought it would only take four or five more hours to finish.
“I’m glad I didn’t call it off because of weather, it’s worked out great,” Johnson said.
Julie Rybolt, Gerald Sullivan’s daughter, thanked others for coming.
“Dad would be so blessed and I know he’s honored,” Julie said.
Gerald Sullivan’s daughter Tammy Radez spoke of the community feel of the group.
“I live in Indianapolis and you don’t see this,” Radez said. “We’re so thankful for the support.”
Kelly Clark with The Andersons Inc. agreed with the community feel.
“I think it’s a true testament to what our farming is about,” Clark said. “It’s powerful.”
Jeremy Kelly, a family friend, said he wanted to help out.
“Agriculture has a close-knit community,” Kelly said. “It’s nice to get together and return the favor. It just shows what the American farmer does today.”
Lee Franklin with Andersons Inc. agreed.
“You see this a lot in agriculture communities,” Franklin said. “It’s unique to agriculture.”
Friends of Gerald Sullivan, Gary Schultz and Rich Gray, also attended the tribute.
Schultz who grew up with the Sullivan children, said he wanted to help out any way he could. He said it was great to see everyone come together.
“We needed to get this done for them,” Gray said. “It’s stunning to see everyone you’ve known for years come together and help a person. It’s heart-warming.”
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her: @PharosAES.