Michael Walter Sullens (65) of Oklahoma City, OK, departed this mortal coil on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022. Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Nancy Bryant Sullens, and father, Reginald Howard Sullens (aka: Jack). He is survived by his loving family: beloved wife, Robyn Sikora Sullens; his son, Christopher Michael Sullens, daughter-in-law Deidre Love Sullens, and their child, Adrian Gray Sullens of Edmond, Oklahoma; his daughter, Melissa Vaughan, her daughter, Angelina Vaughan of Moore, Oklahoma; grandson, Shaughan Vaughan, of Eugene, Oregon; his brother, John Sullens, John’s wife Diane, and their children Johnny & Kenny of Yukon, Oklahoma; foster daughter, Kathy Rose Thomas, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, along with her siblings and children; and many friends, loved ones, and his adoring cat “Ringo”.
Mike was born in Berea, Ohio on November 2nd, 1956. He was raised in Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, and spent his teenage years in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Growing up, he looked up to his big brother John, fell in love with music, learned to play the guitar, dabbled in photography, and had a healthy dose of rebelliousness. He graduated from Putnam City West High School in 1975. After which his work varied from being a Milkman, Salesman, Crossing Guard, Waterbed Deliveryman, to even cooking food at the legendary Molly Murphy’s restaurant. During his first marriage to Teresa Erwin Stromberg, he was blessed with two beautiful children, Melissa and Christopher. They were the source of much of his life’s joy and happiness. He was a dad among dads and became honorary father to many of the latchkey kids in the old neighborhood. He returned to college later in life to study pharmacy, graduating from the University of Oklahoma with his PharmD in 2000. He started his career as a Walmart Pharmacist – later transferring to Sam’s Club, where he stayed for a few years. Later, he was hired at the OU Nuclear Pharmacy where he eventually served as director of the department until retiring early in 2019 due to health complications. He was very proud of the work he did while at the nuclear pharmacy and enjoyed the relationships and the antics of the people he worked with.
He met his wife, Robyn Sikora, June 13th, 1998, after they bonded online over a shared interest in culture and music. Robyn remembers seeing a picture of him leaning against a vintage Firebird and said she “simply found him irresistible.” Their relationship was a serendipitous whirlwind. They naturally fell into a dedicated rhythm that included being a large part of one another’s day, every day. They married in Hawaii during the summer of 2004 and remained dedicated to each other through to the end. The twinkle of love in his eyes for Robyn has always sparkled bright.
Mike had a life-long love affair with music. He believed that music was a doorway into the deepest realms of the human experience. He taught himself to play the guitar by ear and could improvise like a master. He loved classic rock, jazz, grunge, jazz fusion, classical, and more. He appreciated music more than most, for he often got lost in the sound. Mike would DJ events for family and friends; putting his own touch of special on it so the event would be extraordinary. He was also a skilled photographer, learning on a Canon 35mm camera that he came to possess as a teenager and continued to use throughout his life. He loved a good deal, and he spent many weekends going on thrift store dates and hunting for hidden gems. He was a tinkerer and loved building gadgets and contraptions to enhance his life. He had boundless confidence that he could tear any device apart, figure out how it worked, and successfully reassemble it.
Michael was an intellectual with a discerning mind and an uncommon command of the English language. He lived as one on a spiritual journey, seeking to live an examined life, and gently nudging others into the wake of this journey. If you didn’t know him well, he might throw a cheeky joke at you, just to break the ice. But spend more than a few brief encounters with him, and he would likely start a deep conversation about life, the universe, and philosophy; opening minds, hearts, and spirits of so many along the way. He was profoundly accepting of others, as they came; never judging based on income, profession, race, or really anything. He believed all people were on a journey, and that if their journey intersected his, it was a special and celebrated happening. He provided guidance, wisdom, patience, acceptance, laughter and love to those who knew him. He taught that we should not be worried about the future; that we should accept ourselves as we are without regret or guilt, cherish the moment, and share this freeing message with others.
Mike had so much love for his family, friends, and good music. His intelligence, sagacity, calm spirit, genuine nature, propensity to question, respect for others and patience with others made him unforgettable. Many will remember Mike Sullens as a kind soul, who held the highest integrity in both business and family life. Family will forever remember him as the loyal, strong, calm in the storm who always loved us just for being ourselves. Above all, he was truly passionate and proud of his children and grandchildren. His life perspective, easy going comportment, and brilliant problem solving will continue to live on through the legacy of his children and grandchildren.
The family is currently planning a ‘Celebration of Life’ honoring Mike, tentatively scheduled for next month, September 2022. More details and information for this event will be shared once available. His favorite charity was Charity: Water, an organization whose mission is to bring clean water to people all over the world. For anyone wishing to honor his memory, Mike would only hope for you to do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for someone in need.