Carroll McDowell Sullivan

Carroll McDowell Sullivan

June 3, 1928 to May 12, 2019

Carroll McDowell Sullivan, honored father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, dedicated fireman & disciple of God, passed away Sunday, May 12, 2019 following a period of declining health. Carroll was born in Caldwell County to the late Thomas Lee Sullivan Sr. and Lucy Smith Sullivan on June 3, 1928.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jewell B. Sullivan, adored son, Roger D. Sullivan; and treasured siblings Thomas L. Sullivan Jr., Gwyn P. Sullivan, Kenneth JG Sullivan.

He is survived by his beloved children; Son, Barry Sullivan and wife Deborah of Taylorsville, NC; Daughter, Linda Harrison and husband Rodney of Statesville NC; Son, Rick Sullivan of Charlotte NC; Brothers, Marcus Sullivan of Hudson, NC and John Sullivan of Matthews, NC; sisters, Winona Sullivan Mace of Simpsonville, SC, and Betty Sullivan Pennell of Mooresville, NC. Grandson Christopher M. Sullivan, of Salt Lake City, UT; Granddaughters, Michelle S Brown of Morganton, NC & Ashlee Williams and husband, Preston of Statesville, NC; Great grandson, Jackston R Brown of Morganton, NC.

Carroll lived and loved life to the fullest while being a humble servant to Catawba Valley Baptist Church and community. He enjoyed camping, fishing, gardening, and bee keeping. Carroll was a skilled woodworker. His handmade dulcimers and crafts have been treasured by family and friends alike. He also enjoyed canning produce from his garden. Drop by at the right time of the year and Carroll would treat you to a sack of freshly cracked black walnuts or a jar of green beans or fig preserves.

His 36 + years in the fire service began in the Lenoir, NC fire department in 1953, where he rose to the rank of captain.  In the late 1960s, he worked as a fire consultant and was responsible for organizing fire departments throughout North Carolina. He began his service as Fire Chief in Morganton, NC in 1970, where he remained until he retired in 1983. He was a member of the NC Fireman's Assoc, Western Carolina Fireman’s Assoc, NC Fire Council, NC Dept Community College Fire Service Curriculum Committee, and had served as President of the North Carolina Fire Chiefs Association.

Carroll served the Lord as a member of the Deacon Board and choir. Members of his weekly Sunday School class at Catawba Valley Baptist Church share precious memories of his gifts as a teacher and storyteller.  At work, at home, and in his faith, Carroll was a leader and a role model.

His strength in body may have failed, but his devout faith in God and love for his family never wavered. Spread your wings Soaring Eagle and fly home.

A celebration of Carroll’s life will be held at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 16, 2019 at Catawba Valley Baptist Church (706 Lenoir Rd, Morganton, NC) with Rev. Dean Hart, Rev. Allen Curtis, and Chaplain Dana McKim officiating.  The family will greet friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the North Carolina Firefighters Fund, 216 Lewisville-Clemmons Road, Lewisville, NC 27023 (

Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Service: May 16, 2019
11:30 a.m.

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