Jacquie Sullivan has many different chapters in her life – mother, grandmother, Bakersfield City Councilwoman, activist for AIDS education and awareness, founder and president of In God We Trust, and newlywed. Her latest chapter is a love story that began in Lake Tahoe in 1955 with her high school beau, Bob Sach.
Following graduation, Bob joined the Air Force. Although the two kept in touch, and even talked engagement, eventually they both married different people. After fifty plus years, marriages, children, and grandchildren, the two reunited to find love again, and were recently married this summer.
"I was drawn to her eyes," Bob says. "Life happens and changes, but her eyes haven't." Jacquie had been single for almost 10 years, and said she wasn't looking for a relationship, but she felt such a special connection with Bob that she couldn't deny her feelings. "When I saw him again, he wasn't someone I was just meeting for the first time, I felt I was seeing my longtime friend," she says.
The two found the years had not changed their core values, especially when it came to religion and politics. "We were on the same page in extremely important areas," Jacquie says.
With Jacquie's demanding schedule and involvement in politics, she appreciates Bob's support and likeminded attitudes. A realtor since 1979, she recently let her license expire, but will continue to manage her rental property business.
|Jacquie and Bob in 1955|
Since June 1995, she has been a Bakersfield City Councilwomen for Ward 6 when she was elected to finish Kevin McDermott's term. Her activities in this capacity include working on budgets, annexations, code enforcements, and so much more. Jacquie will be running for re-election this fall.
Jacquie also defines herself as a committed activist for AIDS education and awareness. Her motivation stems from the tragic AIDS-related death of her beautiful daughter, Joyce. Diagnosed in 1985, Joyce was one of the first women to test positive in Kern County, and she passed away in 1993.
"I use her story to warn others – to promote education and awareness," she says.
"Back then there was so little information and so much misinformation. People just thought it was 'those' people, and 'those' families," she says. "I tell students it can happen to anyone that put themselves at risk."
Another chapter in her life is as the founder and president of In God We Trust – America. One day in 2001 while listening to local radio station KAXL, she heard about a group back East that wanted to take down our national motto, "In God We Trust," from one of their public buildings. This became a defining moment in her political career, and she decided she wanted to have this truism displayed prominently in California's city halls. In 2002, Bakersfield's City Council Chambers proudly hung these words over its city seal, and to date, approximately 35 cities have followed suit. Currently, she's in the process of promoting it nationwide.
"These people are working so hard to take it down, and I am working hard to put it up," she says.
Jacquie treasures her role as mother to her four children, Richard, Julie, Joyce, and Linda, grandmother to four, and even great grandmother to one grandson. She looks forward to her new life with Bob, and the new chapters in their lives they have yet to write.
Graham Cracker Crust:
32 crushed graham crackers
6 Tbs. melted margarine
½ cup brown sugar
Press into 9" by 13" pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350°. Cool.
8 oz. package cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. almond
½ cup whipped cream
Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Spread filling over cooled crust. Chill. Spoon one can Comstock cherries over pie filling and chill.