LACONIA — Kevin Mark Sullivan of Laconia passed from this world to the next on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, from complications of COPD and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis while waiting for a lung transplant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Kevin was born on September 10, 1954, in Laconia, and was the youngest of five children born to Daniel J. and Alberta (Lucier) Sullivan. He attended St. John’s School, where his mother was a teacher until he was expelled after setting the railroad tracks behind the school on fire one day after school. “I was only trying to destroy an ant nest,” he explained. He graduated from Laconia High School in 1972 and Plymouth State College in 1976, the same year he met his wife and soulmate, Karen, who he married in 1977.
After a brief career selling computer hardware and software, he returned home to his beloved Laconia in 1979 to purchase Melnick’s Shoe Store. At fourteen Kevin was hired to move inventory from the old Melnick’s to its new location during urban renewal. He became an integral part of the Melnick’s team and family, so he was the logical choice for them when they sold the store. Kevin grew the nearly bankrupt business to one of the most successful owner/operator retail stores in the state. He opened another highly successful store in Plymouth and mentored his young employees, many of whom say he was the “best boss they ever had.” In 2007 Kevin sold the stores to the Miltner Family, who continue to operate the Laconia store as Bootleggers, in order to pursue his second career in commercial real estate. As an agent for the Steve Weeks Agency, he successfully sold many properties in Laconia and the Lakes Region, earning the respect of both buyers and sellers as a fair and dedicated agent and a relentless advocate for the area as a great place to operate a business.
Kevin was a Laconian through and through. Karen would always tease him that he had only lived within a half-mile radius his entire life, moving from Whipple Ave, to Winniocash St. to Holman St. and finally to their home of 35 years on Shore Dr. He loved taking his boat for a sunset loop around Lake Winnisquam and going on “Christmas light rides” around the city during the holidays. The last stop was always Edwards St. He was a familiar figure in Downtown where he could be found strolling down Main Street alongside his good friends Warren Clement and Robert Sawyer.
Kevin was a “Girl Dad.” His daughters Danielle, Nicole, and Brianna were his greatest source of pride. He was a familiar sight on the sidelines of softball, field hockey, volleyball, basketball, and field hockey games. He froze at ski races and sweated at swim meets. He served as the President of the Lakes Region Wavemakers during a transitional time in the 90s. He not only “sat through” but thoroughly enjoyed 21 years of dance recitals, and would nod his head and give a thumbs up to what he considered to be “a good number.” He loved having the house filled with his daughters' friends and delighted in taking them tubing, waterskiing, and on day trips to the ocean. He continued to be their first call when they needed advice or a shoulder to cry on.
Kevin loved flowers and was one of few people to successfully master the art of growing indoor orchids. He was obsessed with having a perfect lawn and planting impatiens, both things he did to honor his father. He loved animals, especially his many Siamese cats and his beloved dalmatian, Patrick. He loved watching the ducks, loons, and mergansers in the lake, the birds that came to the feeder and he even fed chipmunks peanuts throughout the winter.
Although he eschewed most forms of exercise, Kevin was an avid golfer and a member of Laconia Country Club since 1982, serving as President from 1994-1995. He and his brother Dan were familiar faces (and voices) around the club where they founded the Tuesday night “Sully League” and ran the Member- Member tournament for many years.
He loved everything about Christmas; carols, decorations, gift-giving and especially putting up the biggest Christmas tree the house could handle. He especially loved Christmas Eve, celebrating with friends and family, and enjoying the traditional Italian meal Karen would prepare.
Kevin was a people person who treated everyone with respect and was blessed with many friends. His broad smile, quick wit, and infectious laugh filled every room he entered. He was one of a kind, and the lives of all who knew and loved him are forever enriched because he was part of it.
Kevin is survived by Karen (Varricchio) Sullivan, his wife of 43 years; his daughters, Danielle, Nicole, and Brianna Sullivan; his brothers Tom, Daniel and John Sullivan; thirteen nieces and nephews; and friends too numerous to count.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family is holding a private Mass of Christian Burial at Sacred Heart Church in Laconia. The live stream of the Mass will be streamed through the St. Andre Bessette website or the SAB Facebook page at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, November 17, 2020. They encourage friends to watch from the privacy and safety of their homes.
A more inclusive Celebration of Life is planned for the spring or summer of 2021.
A scholarship in Kevin’s name is being established through the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, PO Box. 7312, Gilford, NH, 03247, in memory of Kevin Sullivan. Donations can also be made online through the website lrscholarship.org.