Leonard Storey Bullock

June 12, 2020

CHARLOTTE – Leonard Storey Bullock could not have wished for more out of life. He found glory on the college football field, performed on Broadway, flourished in business and, best of all, got to share it all with a large and loving family.

Len Bullock passed away on June 12, 2020, after a period of declining health. His wife, Anne, was at his bedside, the two professing their love. Until his last breath, he thanked God for every blessing. He was 87.
Len was born on June 5, 1933, in Perquimans County in eastern North Carolina, the youngest of Garland and Claire Bullock’s five children. He grew up in Ayden, N.C., where he was captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams at Ayden High School. Around Ayden, he will forever remain a sports legend. At the same time, his gift for music and theater blossomed early: He was 10 when he sang his first solo at Ayden United Methodist Church. He attended Fork Union Military Academy on a football scholarship for his senior year of high school, then earned a football scholarship to UNC-Chapel Hill in 1952, where he played quarterback. Deeply competitive in everything he did, Len loved the game. His father, Garland, loved watching him play – until he had a heart attack one Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium and had to make do listening to Teedy’s games on the radio. That was the nickname father gave to son.

Len graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama, having been part of the renowned Carolina PlayMakers theater group. He was good enough at football to earn offers from five NFL teams to play quarterback. But he turned them down to pursue his love of theater, moving to New York to perform in the Broadway production of “No Time for Sergeants.” He became friends with the stars, a couple of actors by the name of Andy Griffith and Don Knotts. Len later played the lead in the touring production of “No Time for Sergeants,” acted in TV commercials and performed in North Carolina’s famed outdoor dramas, “The Lost Colony” and “Unto These Hills” before starting his career insuring and bonding contractors. He spent 30 fruitful years in business, working for several companies before retiring in 2003 as Chairman and CEO of Aon Construction Industries Division

Len was proud to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. He valued the friendships he made in the Wesley men’s class at church. He served as chairman of the McLeod Center in Charlotte, helping those struggling with addiction. His sports background was an asset to the UNC Charlotte Athletic Foundation. He loved watching his Tar Heels and was a four-handicap golfer and nationally ranked tennis player in his day. Later in life, he enjoyed playing gin rummy with his buddies. He was a loving confidante to his children and then his grandkids, who called him Poppy. He and Anne enjoyed traveling, enjoyed every moment together no matter where life took them.

Whether it was in football, theater or business, Len had a gift for building relationships. So it was in his personal life: An avid tennis player, he found himself in a doubles tournament in 1977 in Memphis, Tenn., across the net from a worthy foe. That was the only time Anne Goodwin beat Len in tennis, which probably came up a time or two in their nearly 38 years as husband and wife. They were married on July 10, 1982 and settled in Charlotte for Len’s work. A second marriage for both, they had nine children, 21 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. How deeply did Len cherish his family? The last thing he told Anne before he died was to continue the tradition of having everyone to the house for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Len is survived by his wife, Anne Bullock, of Charlotte; nine children –Leonard Bullock Jr. of Basel, Switzerland, Dr. Joe Boals and his wife, Susie, of Pinehurst, N.C., Bea Griffith-Cooper and her husband, Mike, of Paris, Mich., Bob Boals and his wife, Lisa, of Franklin, Tenn., Jim Bullock and his wife, Kathy, of Charlotte, Anne Leigh Winstead and her husband, Rob, of Charlotte, Bill Bullock and his wife, Carmen, of Charlotte, Mike Boals of Memphis, and Ed Bullock and his wife, Kelly, of Charlotte; 21 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his four siblings.

The family plans to hold a celebration of his life at Providence United Methodist Church when it is safe to gather.

A gift in his memory can be made to the Wesley Men’s Fellowship Class at Providence United Methodist, 2810 Providence Road, Charlotte, N.C. 28211 (make the check out to the church with the class in the memo line) or Charlotte Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 33000, Charlotte, N.C. 28233.

The family is deeply grateful to his caregivers, Samantha Helms, Nina Jones, Micaela Hill and Vonda Ross.

“ When the time comes, will you look back with gratitude or regret?
For Len Bullock, there was no doubt.”

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28204. (704) 641-7606. You can share an online condolence at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

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Comments

  • Hilda Chase Mullen

    Anne, So sorry to read of your husband,s death. He was obviously a unique man who lived an amazing life. I am happy that the two of you had such a wonderful marriage. I'm glad you recognized me that night at Chickasaw some thirty five years ago and came over to say hello. I hope your memories of Len will bring you great comfort. Hilda Chase Mullen

  • Jack and Lael Featherston

    Jack and Lael Featherston
    Len was so very unique. We do not know of another who starred in 3 sports beginning in Ayden and then had a budding career in drama. Len was so versatile or well rounded that it was no surprise to see him succeed in all of which he was a part. It was a joy to sing in a quartet with him because he made me sound good! It was providential that he met Anne on the tennis court which led to 38 years of exemplary love and devotion. Len had reasons to be conceited but was a genuine friend who was very tender hearted and quick to be emotional. We are proud to remember Len as a wonderful friend and confidant. Please feel our love and prayers, Anne and family. Lael and Jack

  • Richard D Boner

    Len was a wonderful person who was a devoted member of Providence United Methodist Church and of the Wesley Men's Sunday School class. As Sunday school classmate and a fellow graduate of UNC, I always enjoyed talking with him over coffee on Sunday mornings about Tar Heel football and basketball. I will miss seeing him and talking with him.

  • Nina Jones

    Mr.Bullock was a wonderful man ! He was A very kind , talented and wise man . I was truly an honor getting to know him.
    He was full of surprises and excitement .
    He taught me so much , I have learned almost all his favorite songs by : Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, John Denver , Dean Martin and his favorite Sammy Davis . Every time I listen to their songs , I think of Mr.Bullock.
    He loved his Strawberry frozen pie that his wife, Anne made him . He was very proud and appreciated all she did for him and for the family. He was very proud of all his children and grand babies.
    He was a great listener and did his best on all his tasks.
    There is so much more I can say about how great of a man he was, but it will turn out to be a chapter book.
    I will miss him so much.

  • Delores Joned

    Anne, I am heartbroken over Len and for you. What a wonderful, kind and caring person Len was. He will be missed by so many. We are praying for you and your family.

  • Col. David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)

    From: President of Fork Union Military Academy
    To: Bullock Family, Friends and Fork Union Military Academy Alumni
    Subj: Salute to Cadet Leonard Bullock (FUMA)
    1. We are sorry.
    2. Please accept the condolences from your Fork Union Military Academy family. We know that our academy turns boys into men (FUMA Men) and their lessons learned and friends last for a lifetime. We mourn with you. May God bless you with comfort during this time.
    3. FUMA salutes Leonard Bullock! Rest in peace brother.
    V/R DLC

  • Traci A Pelletier

    I was very young when i visited my family every summer In Nagshead NC. Uncle Len was very nice and i loved all of the family. Very grateful for all the memories and pictures i still have to look back at. My condolences to you all. Love Traci

  • Bob Kappus

    It was an honor to know and work with Len for several years. He was a true southern gentleman. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. A real man’s man. My sincere condolences to his family.

  • Mark Reagan

    Len Bullock will live in my heart as an extraordinary man. I was lucky enough to know him and learn the qualities that distinguish a life well led. Kind, caring, generous, Len was driven to to the right thing to the best of his considerable talents, then do a bit more. God bless him and may the good Lord hold him in the palm of his hand. God bless the remarkable love of his life, Ann. While we miss him, his memory will nourish our souls everyday.

  • Ray & Ann Collins

    We also grew up in Ayden...5 years behind Teedy. All us boys viewed him as our athletic role model & inspiration. Warmest condolences to his family; May he RIP.

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