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Hewlett Kelly Sullivan, Jr., 85, a life-long Greenvillian, died at home, surrounded by his family, of complications from a 2009 stroke.

He was born in Greenville, on September 30, 1929, the son of Christine Mahon and Hewlett Kelly Sullivan.

For fifty years, Mr. Sullivan, who died August 5, 2015, co-owned and managed the family business, Hale’s Jewelers and Diamond Merchants, a retail store established in downtown Greenville in 1856. He served as president and later chairman.

Mr. Sullivan was a devoted Christian and was active in the work of the church. He accepted Christ at a young age and was baptized at First Baptist Church. Later, the family joined Augusta Road Baptist Church.

After his retirement from full-time employment, he became Director of Christian Education at Bethel Baptist Church. At the time of his death Mr. Sullivan was a member of Edwards Road Baptist Church. Over the years, he served as a Sunday School Director, Discipleship Director, Deacon and Sunday School Teacher.

Mr. Sullivan served on numerous boards including the Board of Trustees of Charleston Southern University (formerly Baptist College at Charleston) where he was chairman, the Board of Trustees of North Greenville University, the Board of Visitors of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Board of Directors of Camp Ridgecrest Alumni and Friends where he was co-chairman, the Board of the Downtown Greenville Rotary Club. He was a founding member of the Board of the Greenville Better Business Bureau.

He also received numerous awards and honors.  In 1976, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Baptist College at Charleston, and a scholarship program there was named in his honor. North Greenville University established the Lucile and Hewlett Sullivan Art Gallery.

In 2009, the Rotary Club of Greenville made him an honorary member in recognition of his service. Prior to his illness, he had 58 years of perfect attendance with the Club.

He was a second-generation member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and an active member of the Sixteenth Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers Camp #36. He was one of the founders of the Confederate Museum and Library.

Mr. Sullivan possessed a keen interest in politics and helped establish the Republican Party in the upstate. In 1966 he managed the State House campaign of Representative Robert Watkins who was among the first Republicans to be elected from Greenville County in the modern era.

Mr. Sullivan was a graduate of Greenville High School and attended Furman University, graduating with a business degree in 1951.  There he met (Mary) Lucile Massey; they were married in Athens, Georgia.

Mr. Sullivan is survived by his wife of 64 years and four children: Hewlett Kelly Sullivan III, Sara Francis Sullivan Lesser (Todd), and Christopher Morgan Sullivan all of Greenville, and Dyar Edwin Massey Sullivan (Kathy) of Charlotte; a brother, Heyward Mahon Sullivan (Kay) of Greenville; six grandchildren: Karen Lesser Ponds (Jeremy) of Columbia, Ashley Christine Sullivan of Charlotte, David Michael Lesser, Susan Ruth Lesser, and Joseph Daniel Lesser of Greenville, and Andrew Morgan Sullivan of Nashville; four great-grandchildren: Margaret Isabel, Lauren Abigail, Hannah Claire, and Katelyn Ruth Ponds; and two very close family friends Fred Edwin Aiken, Jr. of Landrum and Deborah Barton Felts of Simpsonville. He was grateful for the many kindnesses of Carolyn Black, his faithful caregiver of over six years.

Mr. Sullivan was buried in the family plot in Springwood Cemetery. A memorial service was held at Edwards Road Baptist Church, on Sunday.

Gifts or memorials may be made to the Confederate Museum & Library, 15 Boyce Avenue, Greenville, SC  29601; or to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Post Office Box 1889, Wake Forest, NC  27588.

 

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Mike Scruggs