Call now for immediate attention: 772-999-5547

Call now for immediate attention: 772-999-5547

Charles Anderton Sullivan, Sr.

September 19, 1932 ~ November 08, 2023

Charles Anderton Sullivan, Sr. passed away peacefully at his home on November 8, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born September 19, 1932, in Dobbs Ferry, NY to the late Charles James and Mary Kathleen Anderton Sullivan.

Charles attended William and Mary University, Williamsburg, VA, and Florida State University for his undergraduate studies. It was at FSU that he met the love of his life and devoted wife of 69 years, Henrietta Louise MacConnell. He graduated in 1957 from the University of Miami School of Law.

Charles and Henrietta moved to Vero Beach where he began his law career, first working with L.B. Vocelle Sr. and also serving as the youngest municipal Judge in Florida. In 1960, Mr. Sullivan opened his own practice and was soon one of the top trial attorneys on the Treasure Coast.

In addition to being a prominent attorney, Charles was a successful businessman and developed several commercial trade centers and mini-storage facilities in the county. He was very much a people person and was friends with people of all ages and from all walks of life. One of his greatest joys was hosting on his boat, the “Seafox”, and taking out family, friends, and local charitable organizations.

Charles will be remembered as a devoted family man. He leaves his memories to be cherished by his three children, Charles Anderton Sullivan Jr. (Stephanie), Kathleen Ruth Sullivan (Robert), and Patricia Sullivan Radford (Kent), all of Vero Beach; daughter-in-law, Kellee Sullivan; 11 grandchildren, Maggie, Katharine (Brian), Patrick, Sarah, Mike Jr. (Brooke), Joseph, Michelle (Brandon), Kristin (Eivind), Robbie (Ashley), Jamie and Ally (Alex); 19 great grandchildren, Tanner, Kylie, Declan, Elizabeth, Kaily, Bryn, Mikey III., David, Jared, Ava, Addy, Elle, Estin, Lina, Reese, Elton, Anna Wynn, Blaine and Alex Jr.; and 3 great-great grandchildren Mia, Atlas and Ella.

Charles was predeceased by his wife, Henrietta; son, Michael Alan Sullivan, Sr., and sister, Mary Lew Esdale (Bill).

The entire Sullivan Family would like to give special thanks to the dedicated team of nurses and caregivers that provided exceptional care and comfort to both Charles and Henrietta. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the VNA and Hospice Foundation, 920 37th Place Suite 101, Vero Beach, Florida 32960. He also was a contributor to The Veterans Foundation and the VFW, please consider making a donation in his name to any of those organizations.

Condolences may be shared online at


Opening Remarks:
Thanks from family
How the tribute was written: all the stories received from the grandkids and the common threads that the impact Gpa has had on our lives
Words by Maggie M. Sullivan

It was Sept 19th, 1932 in Dobbs Ferry, New York, Charles Anderton Sullivan, Sr. a very special and unique human being was brought into this world. Everyone who has ever crossed his path most certainly has a “Charlie” story. The impact that he had in people’s lives is more far reaching than we could have ever imagined. He assumed many roles in his life, but one of the most important was the devoted husband to Henrietta and the Patriarch to the Sullivan Family. He was known by many names, Charles, Charlie, Silky, Mr. Sullivan… but us grandkids lovingly referred to him as Gpa. Our Grandfather was more than a lawyer and businessman; he was a force of nature, a man who knew no boundaries and wrote his own playbook- his presence filled every room he walked into with warmth and charisma. He was larger than life, a man that everyone seemed to know in our hometown of Vero Beach, and if you were with him as a kid, you most certainly felt like you were walking around with a celebrity.
Charlie was a visionary, a pioneer with an unwavering work-ethic and a drive to succeed that is rivaled by only a few. Gpa was in the business of getting things done, he was up before the sun everyday working on something, whether it was in his law office, at Glendale Trade Center, or a property that he had accumulated through his wheeling and dealing. This was a man that fully embraced everyday and every opportunity, never letting any moment go to waste. Charlie was also a very creative man, sometimes a little unorthodox, especially when it came to fixing and repairing things. Safety was NOT a top priority and it was always a bit comical for us to watch Gpa open up the trunk of his white dodge chrysler minivan, go into his 5-drawer tool chest in the back to see what he would pull out and coax one of us into participating in whatever crazy idea he had in his mind to fix this or that. It was always a bit of a crap shoot if his “Charlie Rig” would work, but I’ll be damned if 9 times out of 10 it did.
He was a free-spirit, confident and bold. He never seemed to be bothered or influenced by anyone’s opinion of him (with the exception of Gma) and most certainly did not conform to societal norms and expectations. He was animated with a sly grin, had bravado and swagger for days. He always knew how to just slightly bend the rules without breaking them. He was a risk-taker, especially in business, on the billiards table where he might clean out all your pockets, and in the casinos, where you could find him shooting craps, lighting up the entire room with his quick wit and bright smile. There was nothing that ever surprised me about our Grandfather because he was multifaceted and a man of many talents; he loved constructing clocks, making lamps and shooting photography. He was a character, often accomplishing feats that no one ever thought possible or plausible. Just ask cousin Robb about ripping the phone book in half.
Another part of growing up with Grandpa that has impacted all of our lives is the time spent together as a tight-knit extended family. We all have so many fond childhood memories growing up with our cousins, roaming in-between houses until the sun went down, and being together for every birthday celebration and holiday, especially Christmas. Family values were always a top priority for our Grandparents, and they never missed a birthday party, wedding, or any event that would bring the family together. Every year we would take family vacations to the Bahamas, the Keys, unique places all over Florida, cruises or trips to the cabin in North Carolina (how we fit 20 people in the house still boggles my mind). But one of the most important places we spent time together was on the Sea Fox. Grandpa loved that boat and loved sharing it with everyone in his life. The magnitude of these experiences and the memories they have created for all of us are worth more than anything money could ever buy.
The most common thread that is echoed amongst all of our family is what our Grandfather has provided, not only for his family, but to his community. He was always concerned with the well-fare of others, making sure to ask if we were ok, and if we ever needed anything he was always there for us. He was generous, caring and had one of the biggest hearts when it came to giving to those in need, most often without praise or accolades. He was an equitable and just businessman, always concerned with treating people fairly and giving them the best price. He always put the well-being of others before himself, and you knew if Grandpa was there, everything was going to be ok. He not only has provided for his children, but also his children’s children. He was a man with the Golden Touch. He has given us all a life that I would never have imagined, and his ambition and work-ethic has been fuel for all of us to do the same for our continued generations. He lived his life with nice things, but never flaunted his worth, didn’t wear fancy clothes or drive fancy cars. He taught us the value of saving and investing, thinking outside of the box, and not being afraid to stand-up for what we view as right in this world. The last few years of our Grandfather’s life were tough: losing our Grandmother and our Uncle, his declining health and his ability to be independent, but through all of that he continued to defy all odds. He lived his life by writing his own playbook, doing things on his terms and even working until the very last few days of life in his physical body. It was the last week of his life that really showed me the humanness of this man. He finally accepted life on life’s terms, maybe for the first and only time in his life. Charles Anderton Sullivan, Sr. will be remembered by many for many years to come, and we are all better for the experiences shared with him in our lives. He was an icon and a legend in his own time. But most importantly, I know from the depths of my heart that Charles and Henrietta shared a love that knew no boundaries, was unconditional and that they have both left a legacy that we can all only hope to live up to.


The Sullivan Family

November 14, 2023, 6:45 pm

A graveside service will be held at 11 am, Sunday, December 10th at Crestlawn Cemetery. Following there will be a celebration of Charles and Henrietta’s life at the Vero Beach Elks Lodge from 1-4pm.

Ann MacConnell

November 15, 2023, 12:16 am

My love and prayers are with the entire family. Blessed to have spent many happy times with them over the years. I hope you find comfort in knowing that he was such a great man.

Katie Sullivan

November 15, 2023, 1:12 am

We love and miss you so much already Grandpa!! You always wanted the best for us and I am forever grateful for you!!

Kelly Carman

November 15, 2023, 2:21 am

My condolences to the whole family he was well known and loved by all he will be dearly missed if y’all need anything please do not hesitate to call me


November 15, 2023, 2:23 am

My condolences he really loving man cared for everyone there’s anything I can do please let me know

mary mullinary

November 15, 2023, 4:31 pm

My condolences to the entire Sullivan family for their loss. My you find peace knowing he lived a long and prosperous life full of love and family.

Mary Mullinary

Kimberly macconnell

November 15, 2023, 4:49 pm

Love you Uncle Charlie. I will always remember our time together when I was little. Sitting in the hot tub with your friends, playing in the big house. Every summer. A great childhood memory. You and Aunt Henny are together again. All my love. Kimmy ❤️❤️❤️

Melanie Grefe’ and family

November 15, 2023, 5:23 pm

What can I say? The Sullivan family has always been and always will be a huge part of the Grefe’ family. The precious times we shared are cherished memories that will be forever embedded in our souls. Our parents are and will always be in a class of their own
They certainly broke that casting a long time ago.
Times spent at the Sullivan house during our childhood were priceless -from being bitten by your dog Bingo, to cleaning out the chicken coup with Michael, to hearing Charles calling for Henrietta at the top of his lungs early in the morning! We love you and simply -thank you for helping mold who we are today

Our deepest condolences with heartfelt love

Lynn Hailey

November 15, 2023, 5:36 pm

What a special man. I had the pleasure of working for him during the last years before his retirement. I learned so much from Charlie.
He will be missed as will his beautiful, infectious smile
Rest in peace ,Charlie.

Ron and Amie Brockway

November 15, 2023, 5:57 pm

Our condolences to the Sullivan family, I know Charlie will be missed by all of you.

Beth Stophel

November 15, 2023, 5:59 pm

You will be so missed Charlie. I have wonderful memories that will always make me smile. You were one of a kind, full of so much love for your family and for Henrietta. I was truly blessed to have been apart of your family and I will always hold those memories close to my heart.

Kelly Hiers

November 15, 2023, 6:12 pm

Thoughts and prayers to the entire Sullivan family. Mr. Sullivan was a wonderful man and loved by all. He will be missed!

Kristin Sullivan Grodås

November 15, 2023, 7:25 pm

Can’t believe it’s already been a week since you left us. Thank you for all the memories Grandpa. They will forever be my comfort.

Emily Williams

November 15, 2023, 7:37 pm

Praying for all, sending love. He was a great man. I’ll cherish the memories made. Love you Papa Charlie, till we all meet again.

Tammy Harp

November 17, 2023, 2:37 pm

So many memories and stories about a very special man. There are not enough words to describe how much he will be missed by so many people. He will be remembered for a lot of things…being an amazing lawyer, a smart businessman, a great friend, a good boss, a wonderful Dad and grandpa. Sending my prayers for peace and comfort for the entire Sullivan family.

Louie Tropf

November 17, 2023, 8:28 pm

Charles Sullivan was a great guy. He was my lawyer many years ago, and he guided me through some of the worse times of my life. Condolences to the family.

Michael Stutzke

November 19, 2023, 3:14 pm

Mr. Sullivan was a true gentleman with a kind heart. An excellent attorney who in 1971 as a high school student helped me with a local car dealer. He charged me 75.00. After getting my car back I went to his office to thank him. He reached in his pocket and gave me the 75.00 back. I have carried his act of kindness with me my entire life and have tried to pay it forward. His passing is a loss to many as his kindness and generosity will be long remembered. My deepest condolences to Chuck and the Sullivan family.

Lorri Grefe Bell

November 30, 2023, 2:29 am

The Sullivan family has been part of my amazing childhood. My father , “Willie” Grefe’ and Charlie were dear friends for over 75 years. Charlie was the only person that could call my father, Willie. My two parents (Bill and Grace) considered Charlie and Henrietta as part of their closest and enduring friends. They had many adventures together and the Sullivan Kids always were close and patient with the Grefe girls. Despite their success Charlie and Henrietta remained down to earth and I will always remember the laughter we all enjoyed. Charlie and Henrietta were a class act and will be remembered and missed always.

Gary Smigiel

December 10, 2023, 2:57 pm

The best trial lawyer I ever met, working with Charles was never dull and uniformly productive for his clients. I am honored too have been associated with him and consider the time I spent with his Firm to be
one of the most productive experiences of my life.


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