Sullivan, David W. 9/4/57 to 12/21/23 66, Dave Sullivan passed away peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by no one, just as he would have planned. Cursed with a magnetic personality and a raft of siblings, Dave never had the chance to meet his goal to be left alone. He was too supportive as a brother, too kind as a friend, and too funny for the world.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Barbara Sullivan of Minneapolis, and his brother Tom of Edina. He is survived by his siblings Dan (Liz), Bill, Molly, Mark, Dean, and Cathy (Mark); his niece and nephews; and his countless friends.

In high school, Dave was known for his basketball prowess at Southwest in Minneapolis. In fact, Dave's high school graduation portrait featured the same Voit basketball Minneapolitans could see Dave dribbling down the street as he rode his ten-speed bicycle home from Linden Hills or Pershing or Lynnhurst or any park with a hoop. Yes, as he rode his bike.

Dave spent a few years after high school in New York City for work and school. After a brief return to Minneapolis, Dave made for the West Coast to teach high school and coach basketball. But he and a friend from NYC had hatched plans to open a coffee shop, so, in 1990, Dave moved to North Carolina, in search of the perfect bean roast. Despite his best efforts, Dave again connected with a slew of people he soon considered good friends.

A savvy businessman, Dave (and his partners) established a foothold in Raleigh before the national chains arrived. Cup A Joe became a local phenomenon that eventually grew to 3 stores with a thriving mail order bean business. Cup A Joe, with its hip vibe, became a hangout that even featured live music. Ever the iconoclast, Dave once boasted of his refusal to allow a young Ryan Adams to perform in the shop.

Between his dedication to his stores and his disdain for flying, Dave stayed close to Raleigh, although he stayed true to his Minnesota roots in regard to the Twins and Vikings. He also was not averse to a road-trip for the odd graduation or wedding. Dave would stop in every coffee shop possible along the way, scouting service ideas and rating espresso.

Dave loved music, especially the work of Tom Waits, who once wrote: "And the band is going home, it's raining hammers, it's raining nails And it's true there's nothing left for him down here And it's time, time, time, that you love"

Most would disagree that there is nothing for Dave down here. Dave loved, and Dave was loved. He leaves behind a legacy of family and friends, laughter and loyalty.

A Minneapolis event to celebrate Dave's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Southwest Boys Basketball Boosters (3414 W. 47th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55410)

Published on December 24, 2023