Orange family starts GoFundMe to pay for son’s funeral

  • An Orange family has taken to crowdfunding to pay for the funeral of Keith Andrew James Sullivan, pictured, who died a year and a half ago while being held at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in Manchester, N.H. COURTESY LEGACY.COM

Staff Writer
Published: 2/25/2021 2:00:14 PM
Modified: 2/25/2021 2:00:12 PM

ORANGE — A local family has taken to crowdfunding to pay for the funeral of a family member who died a year and a half ago while being held at the Hillsborough County House of Corrections in Manchester, N.H.

The Sullivan family started a GoFundMe page (bit.ly/3dG1tZG) in an attempt to raise $10,000 to cover the cost of Keith Andrew James Sullivan’s services, held in July 2019 at Nichols Funeral Home in Wilmington. As of Wednesday afternoon, the page had garnered $700 in donations.

Sullivan’s father, Dennis J. Sullivan, said his son died of diabetic ketoacidosis, which occurs when the body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones, while in an ambulance on the way to Elliot Hospital. The elder Sullivan insists his son was denied his diabetes medication.

“They killed him,” he said of the Hillsborough County House of Corrections, also known as the Valley Street jail.

Sullivan said Nichols Funeral Home has been wonderfully accommodating, with funeral director Margaret McKenna willing to host the services without being paid upfront. He said the family opted for the most basic service and he wants to pay the funeral home as soon as possible.

The younger Sullivan, who had a mild case of cerebral palsy and was 38 when he died, was being held on multiple charges of sex crimes against a juvenile. His father said he was exonerated and the charges were dropped after his death. The elder Sullivan said his son was framed by a former friend who was bitter because the younger Sullivan was unable to scrounge up enough money to cover his bail.

“Our son was not guilty of any of the crimes he was accused of,” the father said.

Calls to Valley Street jail Superintendent Willie Scurry were not returned before press time.

According to his obituary, Keith Sullivan was born on Nov. 25, 1980 and raised in Tewksbury. He was educated at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School and was a graduate of Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H. He earned an associate’s degree in fine and performing arts before a bachelor’s degree in theology from Elms College.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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