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David “Dave” Mullis, 74, known for his love of Clemson football

David Shelton Mullis

WILMINGTON — David “Dave” Mullis, 74, passed away peacefully Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, while at Lower Cape Fear Hospice Care Center.

Dave was the eldest of two children of the late Erlene H. Epps and stepfather, Frank H. Epps, of Fort Mill, S.C. His biological father, Shelton H. Mullis, died in battle during World War II.

Dave graduated from Fort Mill High School, where he was a standout three-sport athlete. He loved sports because of the discipline and life lessons it taught. He was diagnosed with diabetes as a child. This complicated his participation in sports, but he never used it as an excuse or let it deter him from excelling. Dave continued his education at Elon College, where he also played football.

After college, he began his career in human resources at Springs Industries. He said many times that one of his greatest passions was talking to and building relationships with employees, which helped him have a long, successful career in this field.

Dave married his high school sweetheart, and the love of his life, Margie, in 1961. He was a devoted husband, father of two and grandfather of two. His family remembers him mostly as their biggest cheerleader, who supported and followed them in all endeavors. He was never afraid to show his affection and would greet you with a big bear hug, a firm hand shake, or one of his many fist-bump routines.

He was also notoriously known for his love of Clemson football. He even had tiger paws on his prosthetic legs and was rarely seen without his Clemson hat. He enjoyed watching the games on Saturdays while sipping on bourbon and grilling one of his signature steaks. As he grew older, he enjoyed playing golf with his buddies in Fort Mill and working as a starter at Magnolia Greens.

Dave served as an inspiration to others because of his lifelong battle with type 1 diabetes, which took a physical toll on his body over the years. He faced many physical challenges and health concerns, but his fierce determination helped him overcome many obstacles and was one of the oldest diabetics his doctors had ever treated.

Dave was preceded in death by his wife, Margie A. Mullis. He is survived by his children, David Shelton “Shelly” Mullis Jr., and his partner, Steve Staff, of Atlanta, Ga., and Ashley Mullis Keir, and her husband, Daniel, of Wilmington; grandchildren, Emily Ann Keir and Andrew David Keir; sister, Karen E. Melton, and her husband, Tommy, of Fort Mill; and he was “Unka Dave” to many nieces and nephews.

Visitation services will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Andrews Mortuary, Wilmington. A celebration of life service will be held in Pleasant Hill UMC, Indian Land, S.C., at a later date.

Memorials may be made in his honor to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.

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