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Mr. Harold Cade Ellison, 83, was born on June 29, 1936 in Bennettsville, South Carolina to the parents of Willie “Doc” Jennings Ellison and Rachel Bruce Ellison.
Mr. Ellison began his love affair with art at the young age of 6. A teacher suggested he draw to help pass time while recuperating from a long and complicated bout of rheumatic fever. He created a world of black superheroes, who delivered him from the challenges of disease into a world of comfort and transformation.
In fifth grade at Lincoln Avenue Grammar School Harold was drawing of murals earned him the nickname “The Artist” by the teacher and students. In 1956 he graduated from Orange High School in Orange, New Jersey. Because art and life coexisted for him, Harold next attended the Newark Art School of Fine and Industrial Arts in Newark, New Jersey. He graduated from there in May 15, 1961.
As a young man in his twenties, increasingly challenged by what would turn out to be a life-long existence with arthritis, he returned to his art. His works were shown in many galleries in the southeast and he has received many honors. Mr. Ellison’s relocation to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2012 reignited his passion for capturing the beats of southern life.
In his commissioned Summertime Collection, Mr. Ellison’s art captured the tranquility and beauty of life’s simple pleasures that ranged from going to church on a hot summer day to swinging to sweet melodies of jazz on a warm summer night. In 2014, by special request, a selection of Harold Ellison’s work returned to Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center (MGHCC) as part of the “Illumination” Exhibit.
Harold had the privilege of meeting and collaborating with many famous artists and loved to talk about the time he had the honor of meeting internationally known African American painter, Romare Bearden.
Harold was multi-talented. He was commissioned to illustrate a children’s book entitled, “Wheezy Wanda and the Gray Street Kids”. He taught art classes to seniors at the West Citrus Community Center in Homosassa, Florida and was featured in an article on artist in the Citrus County chronicle in Citrus, Fla.
Harold was an active member of First Baptist Church, Apple Street, Burlington, NC for many years under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. Richard W. Styles. And he joined the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Crystal, Fla. under the leadership of Pastor, Ronald Sutton.
Harold was part of a small but close and loving family. Harold often thanked his sister, Rachel Ellison Hayes, for being his biggest supporter. Wherever Rachel moved, Harold was soon to follow. He treasured her and loved to make her and others laugh. He enjoyed people and attributed his ability to make others smile to having “that Ellison charm”.
In addition to his parents, Harold was predeceased by his brother, William J. Ellison, his brother-in-law Adolphus D. Hayes, his nephew, Jeffrey D. Walker (Dr. Karen Winkfield), and his niece, Wanda Walker-Giles (Mr. Jimmie Giles).
He leaves to cherish his memory one sister, Rachel Ellison Hayes of Charlotte, NC; one niece, Dr. Cheryl Walker-McGill (Dr. Paul A.) of Charlotte, NC, and two nephews, Gregory Ellison of Charleston, SC, and Keith Ellison(Bengy) of Yuma, AZ, and great nieces, cousins and friends.
Carolina Cremation of Charlotte and Salisbury is assisting the Ellison family. Online condolences may be made at www.carolinacremation.com.