Sweeney, James - DD-350
You can use most any measure when you’re speaking of success. You
can measure it in fancy home, expensive car, or dress, but the measure of your
real success is the one you cannot spend. It’s the way your kids describe you
when they’re talking to a friend. Wonderful loving husband, father, and
grandfather loved by all.
James Arthur Sweeney, 84, of St.
Ignace, MI and
St. Petersburg, FL,
passed away Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at his home surrounded by family.
Jim was born June 10, 1925 in Hamilton,
Edward and Ida (Mauk) Sweeney. He was a graduate of Plumville,
school and moved toBattle
Creek, MI where
he enlisted in the Navy in 1943.
Jim saw action during WWII in the Pacific on the U.S.S.
During the battle of Iwo Jima, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Franklin was
hit, resulting in many lives lost and an order to abandon the ship. The
Pittsburgh took the U.S.S. Franklin under
tow, keeping the damaged craft afloat until the remaining crews were able to
extinguish the fire and restart one of the carrier’s engines so it could return
to a safe port for repairs. Later the Pittsburgh was off the coast of Guam when
it was hit by a typhoon with winds exceeding 130 mph, causing damage to the ship
that included the loss of 100 ft of its bow. Jim was honorably discharged from
the Navy in 1946.
After leaving the service Jim became an Ironworker, joining Local
340 and later transferred to Local 25. Jim maintained his Union membership for a
total of 62 years. As an Ironworker he worked on many landmark projects around
Michigan, but the highlight of his career was working on the Mackinac
its construction (1954 to 1957).
Jim married the love of his life, Margaret D. (Miller) Sweeney on
December 30, 1950 and the two of them enjoyed nearly 59 years of marriage.
Together they had 6 children; Dennis (Cindy) Sweeney of St. Petersburg, FL,
James (Brenda) Sweeney of Lansing, MI,
Timothy (Shari) Sweeney of Mason, MI, Tama (Thomas) Snider of Grand Ledge, MI,
Mick Sweeney of St. Petersburg, FL, Gina Caputo of St. Petersburg, FL.
Jim and Marge also have 6 grandchildren; Mitchell Sweeney, Jesse
(Elizabeth) Sweeney, Sara Sweeney, Anais Sweeney, Erin Sweeney, Caitlin (Joseph)
Barshaw, and 2 great-grandchildren; Elena and Luciana Sweeney.
In 1965 Jim moved his family to St. Johns, MI where
he continued to do Ironwork on various projects in Lower Michigan until his
retirement in 1987.
After retirement Jim and Marge returned to their home in St.
Jim enjoyed an active life. He loved spending time with his family, fishing in
of Mackinac, golfing nearly every day at the St.
Ignace Country Club and watching Tiger baseball. During the winter months Jim
and Marge enjoyed life in St. Petersburg, FL.
Jim was a member of St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church and the
Knights of Columbus Council 2173.
Jim is survived by his wife and children, a brother Earl Sweeney
City, FL and
a sister Mona Brandou of E. Lansing, MI.
Jim was preceded in death by his grandson David Sweeney.
Jim was admired by his family for his innovative “can do”
attitude coupled with his jovial wit and wisdom. He could always be counted on
for a smile and a story.
A memorial Mass will be held at St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic
Church in St.
Ignace, MI on
Saturday, September 26, 2009 at 1:00 in the afternoon. Visitation is from noon
to 1 p.m., at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made on behalf of Jim Sweeney to
Hospice of the Eastern U.P., or the St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church Building
Fund. Envelopes are available at Dodson Funeral Home, which is assisting the
family with arrangements.