April 20, 2021, 73, Goldsboro –
James Hardy Sullivan, 73, of Goldsboro, passed away on Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 at Kitty Askins Hospice Center surrounded by his family. Hardy was born on March 1, 1948 in the Tin City community of Duplin County, North Carolina to the late Chester and Lovie Padgett Sullivan.
Hardy will lie in state on Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home and the family will be present for a time of visitation from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. A service celebrating Hardy’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 23, 2021 at The First Pentecostal Holiness Church. Interment will follow in Willow Dale Cemetery.
Hardy graduated from Goldsboro High School in 1966 where he was a star football player and a State Champion wrestler. Hardy continued his involvement with local athletics throughout adulthood as a member of many local and travel softball teams. Hardy was a coach at the Wayne County Boys Club where he also was the recipient of Boys’ Clubs of America Highest Award to Adult Volunteer, the “Man and Boy Award”. As a sports enthusiast Hardy spent his Friday nights as a High School football play by play announcer with PACC-10 TV for more than 20 years.
He was the owner and operator of Sullivan Insurance Agency; however, he will be well remembered for his lifetime of public service to Wayne County. Hardy was a strong advocate for the less fortunate, for the expansion of mental health services, and for economic development throughout Wayne County.
Hardy served his community in elected office for over a decade as Wayne County Commissioner, including as Chairman, and as Wayne County Clerk of Superior Court. In both offices, Hardy fought diligently to improve the lives of the constituents he faithfully served. He was awarded with the “Community Service Award” in 1996 by the Goldsboro High School Class of 1966 for a distinguished career in public service.
Hardy served as Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Health and was a member of the Wayne Memorial Hospital Board of Directors. He was honored as a lifetime member of the Goldsboro Jaycees and was the recipient of the North Carolina State Jaycee Burn Center Award. He served as emcee for numerous organizations including Crime Stoppers telethon, Goldsboro Christmas parade, and Hot Stove Banquet, among others.
Hardy was raised in Edgewood Evangelical Baptist Church and was a longtime member of The First Pentecostal Holiness Church. He was a strong man of faith and family. “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith”.
Hardy was a generous and kind man. His greatest reward was time spent with his family and friends. His wisdom and guidance were often sought after and will most definitely be missed. He was a wonderful husband, father and Papa.
Hardy shared a love for the ocean with his family, enjoying many trips together to their “happy place” in Salter Path. He was grateful for the community of Oceanfront Court where he made numerous lifelong friendships, conducted the annual fishing tournament, and was affectionately known as “The Mayor”
Hardy is survived by his wife of 56 years and High School sweetheart, Linda Boyette Sullivan; his children, Hardy Sullivan, Jr. and wife Kim of Goldsboro, and Jennifer Hope Glass and husband Jason of Noblesville, Indiana; grandchildren, Nicholas Sullivan, Erin Shuman and husband Tyler, Gracie Glass, and Alx Glass; and great-granddaughters Olivia Shuman and Hallie Glass. He is also survived by a brother, Roy Hassell of Goldsboro, a sister, Carole Wheless of Black Mountain, and brother and sister-n-law, Tommy and Amy Boyette of Raleigh, and an honorary brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Phyllis Woodard of Goldsboro.
In addition to his parents, Hardy was preceded in death by his brothers Wayne Sullivan and Billy Boyette, sisters-in-law, Barbara Boyette and Helen Hassell and brother-in-law Earl Wheless, Sr.
The Sullivan family would like to thank the staff of Duke Hospital, UNC Wayne, and Kitty Askins for the care they provided Hardy. Lastly, we would like to thank the anonymous organ donor whose gift gave Hardy many more years with us.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Hardy’s memory to Cures for the Colors, SMOC, 203 Cox Blvd., Goldsboro, NC 27534 or to the Music Department at The First Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1100 The First Church Road, Goldsboro, NC 27534.