OBITUARY

William Franklin Sullivan

September 28, 1945January 21, 2019
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CHAPIN – Funeral services for William F. Sullivan, 73, will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2019, at the Chapin High School Arena with interment at 3:00 p.m. in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Bennettsville, SC. The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 25, 2019, at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Chapin Chapel. Mr. Sullivan passed away early Monday morning, January 21, 2019, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Vera Parrish Sullivan; brothers, Jimmie Lee Sullivan (Mary) and Robbie Sullivan; sister, Frances Terry; sister-in-law, Frances Sullivan; three special nephews – Sully Sullivan, Jack Parrish, and Shane Parrish – and numerous other nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, two brothers, and a sister. A son of the late Claude Ira and Sarah Harter Sullivan, Mr. Sullivan grew up in Fairfax, South Carolina, and attended Allendale-Fairfax schools until his senior year, which he spent in Denmark, South Carolina, in order to play football for his oldest brother who was coaching there. After graduation, he attended Newberry College, majoring in mathematics and minoring in physics. He began his teaching career at Lexington High School in 1968-1969, staying for two years, and then went on to spend the next 46 years at Chapin High School. Mr. Sullivan was passionate about teaching and his students. During those years he devoted his time to helping students master the intricacies of math. He was never too busy or too tired to help a student who sought aid regardless of whether or not the student was in his classes. Another type of teaching close to his heart was coaching. He served as football defensive coordinator for both Cecil Woolbright and Eddie Muldrow. During his years with Coach Woolbright, the team won two state championships in 1973 and 1974. He also coached girls’ basketball teams. His varsity team won the state championship for class AA in 1973. He was known for his skill as a motivator and the ability to instill life skills through his coaching. Mr. Sullivan was a colorful spinner of tales which he interspersed among the algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus problems. Though most of the stories challenged credulity, they kept the students lively, alert, and receptive to the often complex concepts he was trying to instill. A skilled musician, W.F. used his trombone to make spending money from the time he was an eighth-grader. His trombone earned him a music scholarship to Newberry College, and on weekends he traveled around North and South Carolina and Georgia playing dance jobs. For years he continued to play in bands around the Midlands, when his teaching and coaching duties allowed, and especially enjoyed his years with the Chapin High jazz band and occasionally playing for pep rallies to inject spirit. His giving spirit earned him a number of accolades. To name a few, he was Teacher of theYear in 1976-1977, 1986-1987 and 1990-1991. He was in the original group inducted into the Chapin Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also the first assistant coach to participate in a North-South game. He was named Coach of the Year in 1982 by the Columbia Record for Class AA-girls. Throughout his illness, the thing he hated most was being unable to continue his teaching. He simply wanted to return to the classroom and help more students to better their chances for success in life. Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, Chapin Chapel, is assisting the family with arrangements. "To view the live stream of William F. Sullivan’s funeral service, please use the following link https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqrT9uQiROM&feature=youtube".

Services

  • Visitation Friday, January 25, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, January 26, 2019
  • Burial Saturday, January 26, 2019
REMEMBERING

William Franklin Sullivan

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Marty Robinson

February 4, 2019

CHS class of 1993.... Coach Sullivan was my trig teacher; even after I completed his class, he stayed after school to help me when I struggled the next year with calculus. Math was never my strong suit, but his passion for teaching and his commitment to students made a big difference for me (and I’m sure countless others over the many years he dedicated himself to excellence in teaching). I was a classmate of and friends with many of the football players; it was obvious they looked up to him not only as a coach and teacher, but as a man. Coach Sullivan touched so many lives, and he will be sorely missed.

Harold Mills

January 29, 2019

This in addition to my previous tribute to WF and my sympathy to the family at the passing of a great guy. During my time teaching at Chapin High School, 1999-2007, WF had painful trouble with his hips and was struggling to remain as the defensive coordinator of the football team. He could barely stand during a whole game on the sidelines. He attributed his hip condition to high school football injuries. So one day at lunch I asked WF if he knew then what he knew many years later, would he have played high school football. His response was classic WF. He described a typical Friday night football game when all his friends and girlfriend was in the stands, he was handed the ball, cut and ran around the end, broke free and scored a touchdown. He said there is nothing like it and he would do it all again. He loved football!!

Harold Mills

January 29, 2019

I send my sincere sympathy to WF's family. I had the great pleasure to teach with WF at Chapin High School 1999-2007. Most of those years we were neighbors on the math hallway. WF loved math, his students, football, and Chapin High School. One year the school district established an online SAT math prep course which WF taught for Chapin, Irmo and Dutch Fork. Many students were amazed that he was a football coach and math teacher. They were impressed!! At Chapin HS many of our coaches were math teachers!! WF was a true professional and a great team player who always had time to help a student or a colleague. His sense of humor was classic. I once overheard two students at the beginning of the year talking about their math courses. One said to the other that if he could not learn math with Mr Sullivan, then there was no hope. WF did not get his wish which his colleagues teased him about and that was to die in class with chalk in his hand.

Madison Milhous

January 25, 2019

I attended Denmark Olar High School with WF, as we knew him, and played with him in concert and dance band. I remember him for his passion for music and math, and for an inner goodness and enthusiasm that just seemed to radiate in his personality.

I last saw WF at a high school reunion in 2013. He asked me if I was still playing trumpet, and I replied that I couldn’t find the time or a venue. I later found both by playing with the organ at the United Methodist church I attend. The next time I play a prelude or an offeratory , it will be for WF.

Laura Jones

January 25, 2019

My maiden name was Laura Stevenson. I remember W.F. Well as we attended Allendale-Fairfax High School. W.F. Was ahead of me in school and he was friends with my older brother Don Stevenson.
I remember W.F. Playing in the band and I also remember him singing with various groups at different school functions.
To his siblings please accept my deepest sympathy in the loss of such a good man. He will be missed, but he’s now in a better place and he is without pain. May God Bless each of you and give you peace.

John Drafts

January 24, 2019

I must have been 12 or 13 and Coach Sullivan and Ken Long took me to a high school basketball game in Saluda, Newberry or maybe Winnsboro. We stopped @ Greasy spoon and ordered burgers and milkshakes. Coach Sullivan and I could see into the kitchen and they were pouring the milk shake from a plastic jug. We both cracked up but drank them anyway! Why I remember this clearly from 50 years ago, who knows.. As my brother Bryan said: “He and Vera were 2 of his favorites from Lexington.”

John Rodgers

January 24, 2019

W.F. & Vera... you guys are the best... when I first got the Basketball job at Chapin, Coach Woolbright had some fun when WF asked him who was the new Coach... Johnny Rodgers Coach said and WF was so excited he said Man, our faculty b-ball team will be great with someone that fast and quick who can jump...then when Coach introduced me, WF figured out I was not Nebraskas Heisman Trophy winner, but in true positive form, he looked at my 6-4 frame and said, can you rebound?...Cathy and I will miss you greatly my friend... no more slaps on the back... Elvis, Toots, we ❤️ You... God Bless!

Vollie Gibbs

January 23, 2019

As a young athlete at Lexington High. I remember when coach would go nose to nose teaching us how to block and tackle. We had pads and he had none. He made sure we went all out. Never forgot that. He had just come to Lexington to coach. Thanks for teaching so many of us boys the life lessons for life through sports.

Jared Adams

January 23, 2019

I highly doubt I would have been accepted into Clemson University let alone be interested in persuing a degree in mechanical engineering without the guidance of Coach Sullivan. He taught my mother in highschool during the ‘70s and later tutored me in algebra and SAT math through high school. To this day I never enjoyed a teacher or professor more than I did Coach Sullivan. This man had a burning passion for kids and education that was unparalleled. Everyone used to joke around that Coach Sullivan should have been casted for those Dos Equis “Most interesting man” commercials because of his interesting stories. This man truly was so full of life and color and brought so many of us into success by teaching us to believe in our potential. You will be missed Coach.

Shari Smith Graves

January 23, 2019

Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure, you are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure❤️ Love you Coach. Class of 1975

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