Blythe Ann O'Sullivan Memory Cards
Blythe Ann O’Sullivan
April 2, 1982 - December 6, 2007
The Blythe O’Sullivan Memorial Quilt was made for her parents, Joan and John O’Sullivan, in loving memory of their beautiful daughter, Blythe. The quilt incorporates the kousus she wore while volunteering in the U.S. Peace Corps. A picture of Blythe wearing one of her favorite kousus and standing in the Suriname River is on each note card.
In May, 2004, shortly after graduating from Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, Blythe moved to Denver, Colorado, to start her business career as an event planner with a prominent local trade association. There she enjoyed hiking, camping and snowboarding in the majestic Rocky Mountains, volunteering at the local animal shelter, participating in community theatre, and developing a wide new circle of friends.
Blythe possessed a strong desire to be of service to others. Thus, in May, 2006, she began a twenty-seven-month commitment as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Suriname, South America. She lived as the sole volunteer in a hut in the village of Drepada located in the Amazon jungle three hours from the capital city. In this village of approximately eighty people, mostly women and children, Blythe worked with the villagers and Rotary International to bring clean drinking water to the village and to work with the women to develop a sustainable income through various projects.
Tragically, on the afternoon of December 6, 2007, while working with the women in the village’s gardens, Blythe accidently triggered and was shot by a seti-gun, a weapon intended to kill wild animals. Due to the seriousness of the wound and the lack of nearby medical care, Blythe died shortly thereafter, surrounded by the many villagers she served and who loved her dearly. She had served eighteen months with the Peace Corps.
To honor Blythe’s memory and her love of theatre engendered while attending Bradley, her parents have partnered with the University to renovate and upgrade the Student Studio Theatre located in the Hartmann Center on Bradley’s campus.
Renovating the present space will enhance the creative and educational experience in the Department of Theatre Arts. Improvements include new seating, lighting system changes, a tracking system for the curtains and, in the end, overall better use of the space. Upon completion, it will be renamed The Blythe O’Sullivan Studio Theatre. As an inspiration to others, the reception area of the Studio Theatre will be dedicated to Blythe’s memory and the lives she served.