Thomas L. Sullivan, toy store owner

September 11, 2012

Thomas L. Sullivan, 91, who owned and operated Sullivan’s Toy Store in Washington for more than four decades, died Sept. 3 at Arcola Health and Rehabilitation Center, a nursing home in Silver Spring, after suffering a stroke.

The death was confirmed by his daughter Missy Sullivan.

Mr. Sullivan started his toy store in the District’s Cleveland Park neighborhood in 1954. He later opened satellite stores in Tysons Corner, Montgomery Mall and Manassas Mall but sold them to the New York-based toy store FAO Schwarz in the early 1980s.

An advocate of gun control, he sold squirt guns but not realistic-looking toy guns in his stores, his daughter said.

Mr. Sullivan retired about 10 years ago. The Cleveland Park location relocated last year to Tenleytown and is now owned by his children and run by his son Thomas.

Thomas Leo Sullivan was a native of Dorchester, Mass., and a 1939 graduate of the Boston Latin School. After Army service in World War II, he graduated from Georgetown University in 1946 and received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 1949.

His memberships included Congressional Country Club in Bethesda and the Black Tie Club, a social organization in Washington. He was a Bethesda resident.

His first wife, Beverly Dillon, whom he married in 1953, died in 1982. His second marriage, to Donna Smith, ended in divorce.

Survivors include five children from his first marriage, Kathleen Sullivan of Arlington County, Joseph Sullivan of Bethesda, Thomas “Tam” Sullivan of Silver Spring, Missy Sullivan of Montclair, N.J., and James Sullivan of Waltham, Mass.; a brother; a sister; and seven grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein