Harold “Penny“ Mullis was known for his spicy-hot, all-meat chili. And when he brought it out from the kitchen of his restaurant at 7917 Fairview Rd., customers dug in and asked for more.
Mr. Mullis, a Charlotte native, died Tuesday, Feb. 26, 1991, at Presbyterian Hospital of leukemia. He was 72.“For five weeks and one day he touched everyone at Presbyterian,“ said his son Billy Mullis, 43. “Everyone that came into contact with him fell in love with him.“
Mr. Mullis dropped out of school in the ninth grade and opened Penny`s Place when he was 17 years old, paying $10 a month for rent. He started with a little country store – a service station where customers could drink beer and chat, watch the pinballs race through the machines, or hear the pop and click of colored pool balls sink into the pockets.
Today, Penny`s Place is a restaurant in Mint Hill where “good ol` country cooking“ can quiet grumbling stomachs, said Billy Mullis. “We still have the good hot dogs, hamburgers, and cheeseburgers.“
Mullis was nicknamed “Penny“ by a customer who faithfully bought milk and eggs from his mother. Mullis would always ask for the pennies from his mother`s profit. “(And) to this day, a lot of people don`t know his name,“ Mullis said.
“They knew him as Penny.“
Survivors are his wife, Martha; sons, Ronald Mullis of Fort Pierce, Fla., Banjo Mullis, Junior Mullis, Billy Mullis, Charles Mullis, Tommy Mullis, all of Mint Hill; daughters, Mrs. Irene Furr of San Diego, Ms. Portia Watson, Mrs. Shirley Kiser, both of Mint Hill; brothers, Roy Mullis of Matthews, Ray Mullis of Mint Hill, C.R. Mullis; sisters, Mrs. Thelma Dennis, Mrs. Dot Hagler, both of Mint Hill; 18 grandchildren; one great grandchild.
Funeral is 2 p.m. today at Mint Hill Baptist Church, where he was a member. Memorials may be made to Presbyterian Hospital, Harris Hospice Unit, 200 Hawthorne Ln., P.O. Box 33549, Charlotte, N.C. 28233.
Paper: Charlotte Observer, The (NC)
Title: HAROLD MULLIS, 72, DIES
Author: ANTON DAVIS, Staff Writer
Date: March 1, 1991