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RLC Celebrates: Emerald Oak's Jerre Sullivan Turns 101

Age: 101
Birthday: 5/24/1918 
Home: San Antonio, TX 

According to Jerre Sullivan, making it through 100 years is a walk in the park – especially when, “One walks with Jesus.” Jerre was a 5th-grade teacher for 23 years and a public library volunteer for 30 more. She still finds delight in exploring a good book from cover to cover and sharing her years of wisdom with youth. 

As she reflects back on her days of teaching, Jerre shared many fond memories, including a student she befriended who actually shot spitballs at her: 

“A new boy began school, part way into the fifth grade. To my surprise, several spitballs came whizzing at me from his direction. I decided the best way to teach him a lesson was not to interrupt the lesson and not give him the negative attention he was looking for. I asked him to bring his chair and the wastebasket up by my desk and directed him to bring two clean sheets of paper,” she explains. 

With a smile, the boy sat down and listened to her instructions. Without skipping a beat from her class curriculum, she instructed him to rip the papers into small strips and make spitballs to spit into the trash can. 

Jerre recalls, “He asked for a drink of water. Smiling back at him, I explained, ‘No you must continue with your spitballs, as they are more important to you than learning today.’”
When he had finished his spitball assignment, she allowed him to get a drink. After a 10 minute visit to the water fountain, he returned to his seat never to instigate any trouble there forward. 

Inspired by his fifth-grade teacher the young man went on to graduate from Texas A&M University with a degree in math and education. To this day, the two still keep in touch. 

The wife of the late Claude “Sully” Sullivan for 43 years – they had 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters.  Jerre says her secret to longevity is three-fold: loving others, walking daily, and eating properly. Her all-time favorite meal is a well-done 6 oz. filet with mashed potatoes and asparagus. “You can’t go wrong with a small amount of protein and veggies,” she proclaims.

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