November 16, 2019

Kelly Sullivan - Daily Leader Extra : Obituaries

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Kelly Sullivan

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Posted: Monday, October 21, 2019 2:53 pm

Kelly "Swisher" Sullivan, age 66, of Iowa City, formerly of Madison, SD and Long Beach, CA, died Friday, October 11, 2019, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

A memorial visitation will be 5-7 PM on Friday, November 1st at Weiland Funeral Chapel with a Sharing of Memories service at 7 PM. A private family committal service will be held at St. Thomas Cemetery at a later date.

Online condolences can be sent at www.weilandfuneralchapel.com.

Kelly Eugene Sullivan was born on April 14, 1953 in Madison, South Dakota, the son of Mark D. & Donna (Davis) Sullivan. He graduated from Lake Central High School in Madison in 1971. While attending Lake Central he excelled at tennis and basketball. Kelly and his brother Michael were best friends and fierce competitors on the tennis courts. They teamed up to place 2nd in the state doubles tournament in 1968. Kelly that same year was a 2nd place finisher in state singles.

All his life Kelly remained proud of his high school basketball career and could recall names and events of specific games in surprising detail. He became the best Sullivan to compete in basketball, though his father disagreed (and some family debate continues).

Kelly competed in tennis while attending Dakota State College in the '70s. He earned a conference title in singles and doubles as well as a team title in 1977. He is now a member of the Dakota State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Kelly enjoyed the teasing with friends as much as anyone but perhaps enjoyed the nickname "Swisher" more than anything as it took him back to a place he really enjoyed.

After college in Madison Kelly moved to California, where he spent most of his adult life in the Long Beach area, working in the paint ball industry. He liked reading, socializing with friends, spending long weekends in Las Vegas as often as possible, and spending time with his nieces and nephews.

Kelly battled cancer in 2006 and endured longlasting side effects from the treatment, which contributed to his early death. In 2017, he retired and moved to Iowa City, Iowa to be closer to family.

Kelly is survived by his mother, Donna Sullivan of Iowa City; his siblings, Shannon Sullivan-Channon (Greg) of Iowa City, Rory Sullivan of Chicago, Erin Sullivan Wagner of Iowa City (Steve), and Mark J. Sullivan (Kelly) of Madison, South Dakota; his nieces and nephews, Scott, Christopher, Markie, and Maura Channon; Michaela and Anya Sullivan-Ogilvie, Matthew and Mitchell Wagner; Breinn, Caitlinn, Michael and Mason Sullivan.

He was preceded in death by his father, Mark D. Sullivan in 1985; and his older brother and best friend, Michael Sullivan in 1969.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in Kelly's name to Shriners Hospitals for Children, Office of Development, 2900 Rocky Point Dr, Tampa, FL 33607.