OBITUARY

Nell Sullivan

April 3, 1929November 12, 2020
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Mary Nell Ledbetter Sullivan, 91, of Chattanooga passed away Thursday, November 12, 2020. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1929 to Walter and Hanna Barron Ledbetter. Her family moved to Winchester, TN when she was an infant. She was raised in Winchester and Tracy City and was a 1947 graduate of Grundy County High School. She worked her way through Beauty School and graduated in 1953. She Owned and operated Nell’s Beauty Shop for 55 Years. Nell was a longtime active member of East Ridge Church of Christ. She was an avid Tennessee Vols and Lady Vols fan, going to see the SEC Ladies basketball Tournaments well into her 80s and attending football games at Neyland Stadium until she was 88. For many years she was a fixture at games in her UT logo “Vol Van.” In her younger years she was known to race Trans Ams on the interstate in her 455 Rocket powered Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. Driving 100 mph around Harrison Bay on Highway 58 because she was late to church was not an infrequent occurence. A five foot tall combination of spitfire and bulldozer, she remained active and driving herself wherever she wanted to go up until the last two months of her life. She left this life in the same manner she went through it…. on her own terms. She was preceded in death by her parents and all eight siblings, a son, Lewis C. Van Hooser and her husband, Arthur H. Sullivan. She is survived by three sons, Wayne VanHooser of Tracy City, TN; Nathan (Carole) Van Hooser of Dalton, GA and Gerald Van Hooser of East Ridge, TN; six grandchildren, Michelle, Clint, Coleman, Candice, Julia and Shelbie; eight great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Sunday at the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, 404 South Moore Road with Minister Steve Plemmons and Minister Charles Cochran officiating. The family will receive friends from 1-5 PM Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Chattanooga National Cemetery at 10:30 AM Wednesday. Please share your thoughts and memories at www.ChattanoogaEastChapel.com.

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Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, November 14, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Sunday, November 15, 2020

  • Burial

    Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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Memories

Nell Sullivan

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Rita King

November 28, 2020

My mother, Louise Long Schaerer of Tracy City, enjoyed Mary Nell’s friendship. We often visited with Mary Nell when we were on the mountain after we moved to Decherd in 1952.
Mary Nell was devoted to the church. She had a wonderful, entertaining, and uplifting personality.
I visited her just a few years ago. After she finished with a customer, she took me to lunch and was still speeding on the interstate.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family!
Rita Schaerer King

Barbara Agee

November 16, 2020

Nell was one of our most precious and wonderful volunteers at the Riverbend Festival. We ALL loved her and her feistiness at gate she guarded so carefully for us each year. She was a sweet, sweet lady whom we love and cherish. Please accept our sincere condolences from the entire staff of Friends of the Festival...Mickey, Barbara, Amy, Donica, Dixie, Bob, Karen, Sonya and Mitchell.

Karen Respess

November 15, 2020

I don't know a time when I haven't known Mary Nell. She was present when I was born and called my Dad every year on my birthday to remind him of how he had cried when told I was a girl. She was a good person and helped my parents when they were young. She made sure everyone around knew the story of my birth and the part she played. The phrase "dynamite comes in small packages" was made to describe Mary Nell. Prayers for her family and may God Bless.

The Leslie Clift Family

Ken Brooks

November 15, 2020

Mary Nell was a sweet sweet lady, full of life, and she loved her family. She was very much apart of our family. So much so that she went to some of our family reunions. She will be greatly missed. Heaven has its hands full!!!!!! Our thoughts and prayers for the family.

Roger Godwin

November 15, 2020

Miss Nell , I'm thinking of you today and feeling blessed to have known you. My love for you and your family has been an important part of my life for many years. Memories of you make me smile. You are loved and you are missed.
Roger

Peggy Buchanan

November 14, 2020

Nell was quite a character! Always smiling and laughing.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
from the Frank Harris family:
Billie, Donna, Peggy, Pat & Chip

Bill McPherson

November 14, 2020

Wow - still in shock. My mom used to go to Nell for years. They became good friends over the years. So sad to lose a friend that was so full of fire. You will be missed - prayers & condolences to all of the surviving family members. They never knew what Gerald and i got into - lol

Sally Hogan

November 14, 2020

Nell was a dear friend and I miss her already. My young granddaughters adored her too. They would run to her with a hug after church which she gleefully returned. Nell and I were part of the “singles” group at church. We joined the group for a trip to NYC several years ago. Nell and I had a little trouble keeping up the fast paced walking of most of the others in the group but we had a great time. Everything was more fun when Nell was along! Nell lived many years but she was never old!

Laura Burgess

November 13, 2020

Love you, my crazy Aunt Mary Nell. You outlived them all! No one I know can say they packed so much adventure into 91 years of life. Say hello to Mom, Dad, and everyone else we know there in Heaven 🧡

FROM THE FAMILY
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5 Generations

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Mary Nell Ledbetter Sullivan, 91, of Chattanooga passed away Thursday, November 12, 2020. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee on April 3, 1929 to Walter and Hanna Barron Ledbetter. Her family moved to Winchester, TN when she was an infant. She was raised in Winchester and Tracy City and was a 1947 graduate of Grundy County High School. She worked her way through Beauty School and graduated in 1953. She Owned and operated Nell’s Beauty Shop for 55 Years.
Nell was a longtime active member of East Ridge Church of Christ.
She was an avid Tennessee Vols and Lady Vols fan, going to see the SEC Ladies basketball Tournaments well into her 80s and attending football games at Neyland Stadium until she was 88. For many years she was a fixture at games in her UT logo “Vol Van.”
In her younger years she was known to race Trans Ams on the interstate in her 455 Rocket powered Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. Driving 100 mph around Harrison Bay on Highway 58 because she was late to church was not an infrequent occurence.
A five foot tall combination of spitfire and bulldozer, she remained active and driving herself wherever she wanted to go up until the last two months of her life. She left this life in the same manner she went through it…. on her own terms.
She was preceded in death by her parents and all eight siblings, a son, Lewis C. Van Hooser and her husband, Arthur H. Sullivan.
She is survived by three sons, Wayne VanHooser of Tracy City, TN; Nathan (Carole) Van Hooser of Dalton, GA and Gerald Van Hooser of East Ridge, TN; six grandchildren, Michelle, Clint, Coleman, Candice, Julia and Shelbie; eight great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 2 PM Sunday at the East Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, 404 South Moore Road with Minister Steve Plemmons and Minister Charles Cochran officiating. The family will receive friends from 1-5 PM Saturday at the funeral home.
Burial will be in Chattanooga National Cemetery at 10:30 AM Wednesday.
Please share your thoughts and memories at www.ChattanoogaEastChapel.com.

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