Anitra Jeanne (Snipe) Sullivan, age 90, returned to her beloved Jesus July 30, 2021, from her residence in Clarksville.
She was a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and was the daughter of William Snipe and Lilian (Fulbright) Snipe. Anitra retired from the Montgomery County school system after teaching the arts and music for 21 years.
In her early career, she worked in the banking industry as a teller, then later in bookkeeping while raising her eight children and maintaining her home. In addition, she studied piano in Chicago and was active with her church.
In 1975, when her youngest three children were in high school, Anitra returned to college at Austin Peay State University to finish her degree. She completed her bachelor’s in music education in May of 1979.
Anitra began her second career in education that fall at Ringgold Elementary School as a music teacher. She conceived and implemented numerous programs for the students at Ringgold, including a school partnership with the Nashville ballet to enable the underserved children at her school to attend live performances of the ballet.
She also choreographed and produced a school production of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker”, enabling many students to participate in their first classical musical and dance production. While at Ringgold, she concurrently returned to APSU to pursue her master’s in music education, which she completed within a year.
From there, Anitra went to New Providence Middle school. As a teacher of the arts, she obtained grants for commercial grade kilns and established a ceramic, porcelain and pottery art studio at the school. She also envisioned, planned, organized and established a school-sponsored Renaissance Festival.
She recruited artisans and performers from around the country to come to display their arts and perform their acts. This included: sword swallowers, fire eaters, jugglers, painters, dancers and many others. She organized mothers to help sew period costumes which she designed to allow the children to participate as well as attend. She also choreographed and produced multiple plays and musicals.
As a middle school art teacher, she obtained a Tennessee Arts Commission grant to study in Salzburg, Vienna, and other “Arts” centers in Europe. Upon her return, she not only shared her pictures with her students, but further incorporated the culture, style and history into her curriculum to broaden the exposure and education of her students.
After retirement, Sullivan was an avid artisan, pianist and master quilter. She designed and made her own line of “soft dolls” known as Mary Bee dolls, which were selected as the official doll of the Clarksville bicentennial. In addition, she made hundreds of quilts which she happily gave to her children, grandchildren and the needy. She was a devout Catholic and was active at Immaculate Conception Church, where she served in many of their ministries to help the elderly and sick.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward L. Sullivan; brother, William Leo Snipe; and daughter, Susan Karpinecz.
Survivors include children: Barbara Sullivan and Richard Sharkey, Edward (Patrick) and Lorna Sullivan, Michael and Chris Sullivan, Terrance and Lynette Sullivan, Helen and Vic Cordier, Hilary and Teresa Sullivan, Bob Karpinecz (widower of Susan), and Jane and Jay Brand. In addition, she leaves a legacy of 18 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.
Services will be Thursday, August 5 at 12 noon at Immaculate Conception Church, 709 Franklin Street, Clarksville, TN. Burial will follow in Greenwood Cemetery.
Visitation for friends will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday August 4 at Sykes Funeral Home, 424 Franklin Street, Clarksville and again from 11 a.m. until the time of service at the church.
Sykes Funeral Home in Clarksville is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, Anitra would support donations to Benedictine Sisters, Sacred Heart Monastery, Cullman AL, or the National Right to Life.
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