Obituary: Jonelle Rose Sullivan Jan. 8, 1941 – Oct. 24, 2023

Jonelle Rose Sullivan danced her way into heaven on October 24, 2023. 

Jonelle came into this world on January 8, 1941, in Houston Texas, to Joe and Nelda (nee Pruess) Wallace. She was their only child, and though she was part of a large extended family, she always wanted a large family of her own. 

She was raised primarily by her mother. The strong love between them as well as the love of God, carried them through many hard times.

From an early age, Jonelle had a strong love and talent for worship, with the ability to usher in the very presence of the Holy Spirit with her beautiful voice. This, as well as her love of Jesus would lead her to Nyack, New York for bible college having graduated a year early from high school.

It was there that the tall, dark-haired, southern belle caught the eye of John (Jack) K. Sullivan. When he spotted her coming through the doors of the cafeteria, he was determined to marry her. After 2 years of courtship, on August 5,1960, she did indeed become his bride.

They started their family soon after with the birth of their first son, John (Johnny) Jr., and then with the adoption of their daughter some years later, Joni Marie. Soon after, they welcomed the birth of their daughter Janice Elaine. Finally, welcoming the birth of their son, Joseph Wallace.

After 13 years in the ministry, God called John and Jonelle to Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1980. John pastored a local church and Jonelle made a home. And it was quite the home, always filled with the smells of wonderful food and baking and impeccably decorated for every holiday and season. She had the consummate mother’s heart and a spirit of generosity; one was always welcome in her home and at her table.

Being a pastor’s wife is a very tough roll to fill and one that Jonelle took seriously. She never engaged in gossip and kept the confidences of the many ladies that came to her for counsel. Perhaps her most important role was the close support of John and his ministry.

Jonelle was a natural born teacher. Being called to child evangelism, she taught Sunday school, vacation bible school and was a part of the good news and backyard bible clubs. It is because of her that countless children were led to the Lord and their young faith nourished. She also loved to organize shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. She was a mother at heart and children were always special to her. Two of her favorite memories were working in the nursery of a hospital caring for babies, as well as teaching in local elementary schools. Her mother’s heart knew no bounds.

John and Jonelle were eventually blessed with a granddaughter Bethany Dawn, whom they adopted and made their own. Jonelle got her wish for the big family that she had always wanted. She and John were blessed abundantly by the addition of 8 grandchildren over the years. Her prayers over their lives have carried the family through many storms. She loved her family fiercely and protected and fought for them the whole of her life.

Jonelle was welcomed into heaven by her father Joe Wallace and mother Nelda Wallace. As well as many aunts, uncles and cousins, they have been waiting a long time to see her once again.

Jonelle is remembered in this life by her son John Jr. and grandchildren Shawn, Faith, and Jonathan Sullivan; daughter Joni and granddaughters Erin and Ashley Sullivan (Rob Bueck); daughter Janice (Clay) Taylor and granddaughters Brooke and Cameron Taylor; son Joseph (Michelle) Sullivan and grandson Joshua Harrison, and daughter Bethany Sullivan (Tanner Barber).

Jonelle will be waiting for the other half of her soul and greatest love of 63 years, John K. Sullivan Sr. In sickness and in health were not just words in a wedding ceremony, but the true test of vows. She was his best friend, and to watch them was to be touched by a glimpse of the meaning “the two shall become one”.

Her family rejoices at the end of her suffering with the knowledge that she is healed and whole, once again, and singing at the feet of Jesus. Jonelle will be remembered for the recipes she made, the home she decorated and the many songs she loved to sing. She will be remembered for the lessons she taught and for her pride in and love for her family. Additionally, the powerful anointing she carried with her voice and prayers that chased away the dark night and brought forth the dawn. She was indeed beautiful, not the kind of beauty that fades with time, but the timeless beauty that comes from a pure and loving heart and soul. 

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 6:21 

The family of Jonelle would like to offer a special thank you to Dr. Ziomek and the LAMCC family for their endless care and support. And the LAVNS team, for the comfort and dignity they brought Jonelle on her final journey in this life. The family would also like to recognize and thank her husband Jack, her daughter Joni, and granddaughter Erin. Their sacrifices, love and care allowed Jonelle to remain in the comfort of her home and pass peacefully the way she always wanted.

Services for Jonelle will be held at a later time and place to be announced. 

Rivera Funeral Home of Los Alamos was truly blessed to care for Mrs. Sullivan and her family, and encourages stories and pictures to be shared at