Former Egg Harbor Township Police Detective Phillip Sullivan died on Sunday, March 20.

I didn't know Detective Sullivan, but after reading his family's obituary, I kind of feel as though I do now.

It may sound a little weird, but I have always loved a good obituary -- one that tells a good story and gives you some real insight into who the person was.

Sullivan, 76, died after a long battle with liver cancer. His obituary says Phil would have taken some satisfaction about that by teasing his daughters about his cause of death.

"See, I told you cigarettes weren't going to kill me".

The obituary also finds an interesting parallel between the end of Phil's life and the beginning of Spring, saying that Phil would likely have joked about "croaking" along with a chorus of spring peepers.

Phil obviously had the tough guy act down pretty well, shaped in large part by his 25 years serving on the Egg Harbor Township Police Department.

But, his family also points out Phil's "softer side nourished by his love of God, appreciation for music, delight in fishing, tending to tomatoes, tinkering with inventions, flying of RC airplanes and dedication to his grandchildren."

That softer part tells me about the more important side of Phil that I would have liked to have known.

Condolences to Phil Sullivan's family; his wife, his twin brother, his daughters and step-kids, friends, and former co-workers from the Egg Harbor Township Police.

A memorial service for Phil Sullivan is scheduled for Saturday, April 2nd. See Phil Sullivan's obituary.

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