Sullivan community supporter passes away

Kelly MacNamara was instrumental in having the city grant Sullivan Hall greater heritage protection. - Leader file photo
Kelly MacNamara was instrumental in having the city grant Sullivan Hall greater heritage protection.
— image credit: Leader file photo

Surrey has lost an ardent defender of history, a tireless volunteer, and an amazing father and husband.

Kelly MacNamara, the soft-spoken community activist for Sullivan heritage, died Friday morning at home of what is believed to have been a heart attack.

He would have turned 50 on June 14.

He is survived by his daughters Christina and Riana and son Evan.

MacNamara was extremely active in the community, volunteering with the fire department, acting as barbecue chef at all Sullivan Elementary School events, coaching the Challenger baseball team in Walnut Grove and donating his time at The Centre for Child Development, to name a few.

He was also involved in heritage preservation.

MacNamara was the grandson of Wes Gillis, a Sullivan homesteader and lifetime member of the association that runs Sullivan Hall.

MacNamara told The Leader last year that burgeoning residential development was quickly swallowing heritage buildings in the area.

He said at the time he would make it his mission to rescue the last piece of history in the area.

In 2010, Surrey granted Sullivan Hall greater heritage designation and protection from development.

Since MacNamara’s death, members of the community he worked so hard to preserve have rallied around his family.

“Kelly would be so proud of them all,” said MacNamara’s wife Michelle.

There will be a celebration of MacNamara’s life at Sullivan Hall on Wednesday, June 8, from 5-9 p.m.

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