History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Honoring Lives and Caring for Families Since 1898
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Our History

History of Ted C. Sullivan Funeral Home

T. P. Sullivan founded T. P. Sullivan and Sons Funeral Home in 1898 after seeing a need for a funeral home that would provide value, integrity, and service. The funeral home was located in the Del Ray neighborhood of Detroit that consisted of many Hungarian immigrants. T. P. operated the local movie theater in Del Ray as well entertaining at various functions as a ventriloquist.

In early 1900, the firm moved to Grand River Ave. west of West Grand Blvd. At that time funerals were conducted in the home so the funeral home operated out of a storefront

T. P. had four children A. Leonard, Richard J. Ted C., and Ignatius. The firm expanded and Richard became the company attorney, while the three others became funeral directors in separate locations in Detroit. A. Leonard operated a branch on Dexter and Whitney, Ted C. operated the branch on W. Nicholas in Detroit and Ignatius continued to run the Grand River location. All three branches consolidated into the W. McNichols branch in the late 50's.

In 1950, John J. O'Brien joined the firm as an apprentice. John J. graduated from Wayne University Department of Mortuary Science in 1958 as a Board Certified Funeral Director. John was promoted to manager of the newest branch located on Fenkell and Greenfield in the northwest neighborhood of Detroit. In 1970, Ted C. Sullivan died and John J. O'Brien assumed the role of president.

In 1973, the property for a new facility in Novi was purchased. The construction of the new modern facility was begun in1975. In May of 1976, the new facility was opened under the name, The O'Brien Chapel/Ted C. Sullivan Funeral Home, and began serving Novi and the surrounding communities. Bridget O'Brien joined the staff as office manager in 1978. In 1986, John P. O'Brien joined the staff after graduating from Wayne State University.

Recognizing a need for continuing care of the families and community, in 1985, the funeral home began their aftercare program. This monthly program is designed to inform and educate those experiencing a loss on their journey through grief. Dr. Michael Meyer D. Min. facilitates this program.

The funeral home and staff are active in many community programs and events in Novi and surrounding communities. The O'Brien / Sullivan Funeral Home continue the tradition started by T. P. Sullivan of providing families with the most personalized service possible in their time of need. We are committed to the traditions of caring, compassion, and concern started over a hundred years ago by T. P. Sullivan

Our Valued Staff

  • John J.  O’Brien

    John J. O’Brien, 1930 - 2023

    John joined the staff as an apprentice in 1950. After serving his country in the Korean Conflict, he returned to the staff and graduated from Wayne University Department of Mortuary Science in 1958 as a Board Certified Funeral Director. He has been active with the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association, Lions, Novi Chamber of Commerce, Alhambra, 4th Degree Knights of Columbus and Holy Family Church. John resides in Novi and spends his free time traveling, golfing, and spoiling his grandchildren.Email: [email protected]

  • John P.  O’Brien

    John P. O’Brien, Funeral Director

    John graduated from Western Michigan University as a Social Worker in 1981 and Wayne State University Mortuary Science program in 1986 as a Board Certified Funeral Director. John is a licensed insurance agent and received his Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC) certification in 2000. John is active in the local community with Novi Youth Assistance, Wixom Park and Recreation, the Michigan Columbus Federal Credit Union, St James Church, Novi Rotary and Monaghan K of C.Email: [email protected]

  • David S Thomas

    David S Thomas, Funeral Director

    David comes to us from St. Johns, Michigan. He graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) located in Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania with his Mortuary degree. In addition, he attended Hodges University in Naples, Florida where he ultimately received his Bachelor's degree. David resides in the Novi area with his wife, Trish, and enjoys hunting, ATV riding, hiking,and competitive pistol shooting.Email: [email protected]

  • John J. Copley

    John J. Copley, Funeral Director

    John graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science. John resides in Holly with his wife, Maryann and they have four children Alexandra, Lance, Allyssa and Luke. He enjoys all sports and has a passion for coaching.Email: [email protected]