Inspiring Stories about Ed

Share your memories of Ed / Poppy

 

Saturday, April 07, 2012 1:53 PM

Dear Poppy,

I miss you so much! I am writing a memoir about you for my english class and it is really hard for me to say everything in 3 pages! I titled it "My American Hero" because that is exactly what you were! I still can't believe it has been 3 years since I saw you and I miss hearing your voice! Save a place up there for me Poppy, and tell the big man I say hi! I love you so much and wish everyday we could have had a little more time!

With much love,

Your Granddaughter Kiera Sweeney (Highlands Ranch, CO)

 

Sunday, December 07, 2008 11:58 AM

If one is lucky you have a friend that transcends friendship. Conditions in Vietnam placed me under his leadership in 1970. I am a different person as a result of the friendship we developed living and flying together in Vietnam. Not only was he my friend, he was my platoon leader; for six months I was one of his Scout Pilots. We flew some of the most hazardous flights in Vietnam.

Ed taught me so much about both leadership and friendship. Interestingly, one is that you could effective lead and still be a friend. Sadly, many in the military and the business world think they are mutually exclusive. Sweeney proved them wrong!

In a world where it was easy to succumb to anxiety, fear and even depression, Sweeney taught by example the Serenity Prayer. He taught you to focus on what you had control of and to ignore what you couldn’t control. He taught you to have fun and even happiness in the face of constant danger and poor living conditions. Work hard, play hard was his life and life’s lesson.

He was an unselfish a person you could know. The day before he was to meet Ellen for R&R in Hawaii, he not only scheduled himself to fly, but to take the mission that we all knew would bring heavy enemy fire. Yep, it was one of those bad days and Sweeney was shot down. His engine was shot out and he crashed landed in their backyard. Sweeney got on his survival radio, and confirmed he was safely in a bomb crater next to his downed aircraft, but he could hear the shouts of the VC as they were searching the bamboo and nipa palm for them. Ed popped a smoke grenade and called for his Cobra to lay down fire and not to worry about how close it got to the smoke. The jungle swallowed the helicopter and the only visual the Cobra had was the smoke. Ed had to refresh it with more every several minutes as the old smoke grenade burned out and dissipated.

For over an hour Ed continued calling in Cobra fire around his smoke from a “chain” of Cobras called into maintain a curtain of fire around the bomb crater where he and his two door gunners were hugging the bottom. All this time the Cobras surrounded them with mini gun fire, rocket fired and flechette rocket fire. (Rockets armed with thousands of metal darts or nails that could penetrate the foliage surrounding them.). Finally, Ed called for a “cease fire” and called Scouts in to check his perimeter. They confirmed that the VC were either dead or gone; Ed and his crew were finally extracted. The Cobra pilot providing low level mini gun cover during the extraction observed Ed, climbing up the ladder dangling from the Huey, stop and empty his handgun into the jungle. Of course Ed made his two door gunners preceed him up the ladder.

He flew out the next morning for R&R, same old Ed (a few bruises and scratches) Yahooing and carrying on about meeting Ellen in the States, rubbing our noses with the fact that he would either be on the beach or in bed for the next 6 days!

By the way, when he got back a week later, we asked him how Ellen responded to his ass getting shot down the day before. As you would expect, his answered, “Why would I go telling her about that?” From that day forward the scout pilots forced him to start rotating the known dangerous missions and that he could no longer take more than his share.

Frank Glenn (Rockville, SC)

 

Friday, December 19, 2008 11:25 AM

I have had many friends in my life, especially in my own military career, but there has never been a friendship as meaningful to me as my 15 years with Ed. Ed and I have shared so many thoughts and feelings throughout the years that I feel as though I am a part of his family. He was the kind of person who, once you became his friend; you were his friend for life. He loved his family and friends more than anything else in the world and that became quickly apparent as soon as you began a discussion with him. I can’t say that professionally we agreed all of the time but our love for each other was so much larger than our professional lives that we would argue at the office and laugh about it at lunch.

Ed was a humble hero, a patriot and an advocate for all of his employees. He was distinctively retired military. His compassion and thoughtfulness of others, his self confidence and his ability to inspire others to get the job done were his prevalent characteristics. I have never known any better. He cherished his military career and gave so much credit to his fellow soldiers and friends that served with him in combat. He was so proud to have served his country as a scout pilot and never hesitated to let anyone know that he was a proud American.

There are so many things I could say about Ed. His persona impressed and inspired me, his wit amused me, his compassion taught me how necessary every individual is.

Ed, you will never be forgotten. I love you and trust that you are back in God’s hands. Thank him, for us, for allowing you to be a part of our lives.

Steve Kisiah (Monroe, NC)

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 10:54 AM

Dad, this one is not a pretty memory, but it was a reality nonetheless... gout.

There was a commercial on about gout medicine and I told the kids how much you suffered when battling gout - using crutches, fighting pain, and staying on the go regardless. It helped Garrett understand more why you weren't able to walk well while out golfing with him, etc. He really misses playing golf with you. I need to do a better job taking him out golfing because he loves it. You brought a special sports passion into his life. Thanks.

Sean Sweeney (Highlands Ranch, CO)

 

Wednesday, June 01, 2011 2:52 PM

Hi Ed,

Though I saw you last in Germany in 1981, I have not ever forgotten you and the very special qualities you always brought to every situation. My heart is heavy that you are no longer here, but I look forward to seeing you again and continuing to hone our flying skills; like 'how to make an emergency takeoff in an OH-58 with both feet off the pedals and planted flat on the floor' :>).....Here's another memory; How about the Saturday at Ft. Bragg when you were fully behind my decision to cancel a flight for BG Healy due to excessive wind gusts;....While on this planet you were always leaning forward to make situations better; and you did. So you're are continuing that I know at your new home. Great leader, great example. Though apart still a friend.

Jerry Duncan (VA)

 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 8:40 AM

memory from today... spent some time trying to teach Baylor to "salute" like good ol' Snow puppy did. I need to ask Mom how you guys taught Snow that trick because so far I'm not close - good handshake and jumping high five, but how did you get Snow to lift his right paw while begging on his hinds? I always loved that trick and took pride in him for that. We'll keep trying w/ Baylor - to make him a good soldier like dad and Snow pup :)

Sean Sweeney (Highlands Ranch, CO)

 

Friday, January 06, 2012 10:58 AM

here we go... daily memory #1 happened yesterday while listening to Spotify (online radio) and hearing one of your favorite songs, one I haven't heard in years.

I was immediately transported back to Stuttgart, Germany and recall you singing away in our red VW wagon..."Oh, Lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz..." You used to sing that song at the top of your lungs and Shannon and I would join you and all have fun singing badly :) ... that was a blast! Thanks.

Sean Sweeney (Highlands Ranch, CO)

 

Friday, May 21, 2010 10:14 AM

No particular reason...have some people coming in town to go fishing this weekend, and of course, it always makes me think of you! Miss you lots, Ed! We're still trying to catch the "big one" for you...how about a little help!?

Love you!!   David Schroeder (Merritt Island, FL)

 

Thursday, July 30, 2009 1:03 AM

Hey Uncle Eddie,

Hope your doing OK. We just spent a fun-filled afternoon in Pomponesset swimming, crabbing on Spit Island, and hanging out with Aunt Ellen and the Colorado Sweeneys! Very unfortunately, someone was missing, but not to worry, you were the topic of conversation! It's not the same, but the "Uncle Eddie" stories allow laughter the feeling that you are still clowning around on the beach with us. (by the way, Aunt Ellen was serving Heinekens.....you need to talk to her!)

John & Amy, Celia, Conor, and Jack

 

Monday, February 27, 2012 4:03 PM

Dad,

I shared a good memory of you with Terry Lang y-day. The Langs were over at our house to watch CU play Cal in a big Pac12 end-of-season showdown. The Buffs won - yeah! During halftime, I went down with Terry to fix the mini-hoop in the basement that Garrett and his buds love to play on. As Terry and I fumbled through using a drill, lots of drill bits, pliers, screwdrivers, etc. to fix the hoop we both shared and laughed at our lack of being a handy-man. I told Terry I didn't learn much handy-man stuff because my dad was in-charge of base maintenance and if our base house had any issues - his troops came over to fix it. Instead I had the fortune of spending more time playing with my dad, traveling, and doing other fun stuff that interested us both more :) ... thnx for being a fun, trying new things dad

Sean Sweeney (Highlands Ranch, CO)

 

Saturday, April 11, 2009 6:14 PM

I was very sad to hear of Ed's passing. Ed or MAJ Sweeney as I knew him was my leader in Germany. It was a pleasure working for him. He taught me what leadership was all about. He was dedicated to the mission and always looked out for his troops. It was obvious that he was a devoted family man and he will be missed. I hope to meet up with you one day again.

Patricia Nodurft, 1SG (Ret) (Hopkins, SC)

 

Monday, March 16, 2009 12:18 AM

Happy Birthday Brother, today is your birthday. Today I'll visit your grave, say a prayer ,shed a tear or two, but I'll have a laugh or two also. I'll remember that special day we all shared last summer at pomponesset. That was such a special day that i can't help to think was your goodbye to us. The more that time goes by, the more that I think of your last months on this earth, you made a goodbye tour. I love you for that brother. Now I know how special that vacation was for you.We all had such fun, the BUBBA BURGERS, hitting golf balls into the ocean, a simple day , but now it means so much.

I still can't believe that you are gone. I don't think it will hit us until the first time we see Ellen and no Ed.

It was so nice to be able to meet so many people at your memorial service in Huntersville. You made a difference in so many lives, both in your military years and your time in Huntersville. So many great stories from your friends( thanks Frank!) You can bet that there are many people who are better people today for knowing you. I want to think that I am. I love for that too!

Happy Birthday brother and Happy ST. Patricks Day.

I love you,until we meet again

Michael Sweeney (Foxborough, MA)

 

Wednesday, February 04, 2009 3:12 PM

I couldn't ask for a better uncle than uncle eddie he was the best and he was there when anyone needed help love you -mary beth

Mary Beth Sweeney (Foxboro, MA)

 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 11:35 AM

I think of Mr. Sweeney with appreciation for all the strength he brought to the Union County Schools Maintenance department and school system. He gave to so many yet could tell us "no" and then laugh with us. Mr. Ed led by example.He was involved and when a project needed to be done he was "right in there" with the crew. I can imagine that he and Tom are right there singing and dancing with the Angels, of course they have costumes of some kind. I am thankful for getting to work with and know Mr. Sweeney. You are a Blessed family for having him leave you with so many wonderful memories.

Thanks for sharing him and your family with us.

Wanda Stegall (Marshville, NC)

 

Saturday, December 20, 2008 3:00 PM

Ed, It has been a pleasure to have shared a little bit of your joy and humor. You are truely one of the few people who could make a situation look small in the world. You have comforted me many times and for that I will be forever blessed. I was looking forward to having you become a driver education instructor upon your retirement. You would have continued to bless the lives of children as you had done all your life. I look forward to our reunion in eternity. God bless you Ed

Dr. Jerry T. Cross. Waxhaw, North Carolina

Jerry Cross (Waxhaw, NC)

 

Thursday, December 18, 2008 3:26 PM

Ed

I met Ed when he was with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and knew immediately he was a person that cared, you could trust and depend on. One of his team bulding activities was forming the Maintenace Department Golf League and I had the privilage of playing with the group on any Monday the I was in Charlotte. We shared a few beers, formed a bond and lived life to its fullest. (The only way Ed would have it!)

God bless you and thanks my friend.

Joe Gramer (Raleigh, NC)

 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:31 AM

eddie

never ever thought i would be writing this at such an early age in our lives...52 plus yrs we shared...so many good times...6 littledale st with the gang...sneeking cigaretts and a few cold beers from the house...your mum and dad wondering where verything went so fast...christopher columbus high school...getting to meet ellen for the first time...being asked to be best man and godfather to SEAN

FAMILY PARTIES...trips to myrtle beach..........talks on the telephone....great memories and great times

that can never be taken away from us.....till we meet again

love donna and john

john good (w. yarmouth, MA)

 

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 12:35 AM

Uncle Eddie: awesome uncle, granduncle and friend to us all. We love you so. We have so many great memories, but some of my favorites are;

Riding on the back of your motorcycle up and down Grana and Bampa's driveway on Prospect St., when you cooked the Thanksgiving turkey outside on the barbeque grill in Marietta, GA and it tasted great, your greetings when we would arrive at Grana's house or when we would visit you (you always made us feel so welcome and loved), when you and Auntie Ellen dressed as Rudolph and a Christmas elf and came to our house in Davidson on Christmas day, watching you dance at your 35th anniversary party.

Lyndy Toole (Westport, CT)

 

Monday, December 08, 2008 2:55 PM

To the Sweeney Family,

How honored you must be, to read all the things everyone wrote about Mr. Sweeney. Mr. Sweeney was not only a boss but a friend who cared about everyone. I was blessed to have had him as a boss and friend. Your family is beautiful, I know why Mr. Sweeney loved to talk about you so much. He was so proud of all of you. You will continue to be in my prayers for the days to come. Love to you all,

Sarah Stafford (Monroe, NC)

 

Sunday, December 07, 2008 8:28 PM

Great Ed,

What can we say, but you have always been the greatest! We have looked to you as our hero, our advisor, our professional partier, and our greatest friend. Everywhere you go a good time is sure to be had. That's why its PARTY TIME in heaven right now! Say hello to Mom, Nana, and all the other loved ones that we are missing, we know their heaven just got a little brighter. Though our hearts are heavy, through our tears, we are laughing remembering all of the fun and good times we have shared. We will cherish these memories, until we meet again. Party on, Great Ed! We will miss you.

All our love,

David and Susie Schroeder

P.S. This Bud's for you!

David and Susie Schroeder (Merritt Island, FL)

 

Sunday, December 07, 2008 11:22 AM

Ed, CharlieHorse 16, my Massachusetts Yankee with the North Carolina Smile. I'll never forget my first day walking into the scout hut and everyone (you, sparky, Gary, Walker, Spanky) stopped talking and looked at me. You said "hey look an FNG welcome to the scout platoon want a beer" Of course I responed yes and Ed tossed my a hot Miller in the can. I said throwing it back "I don't drink hot beer" Well after the laughter stopped Ed said "you will by tommorrow after your first mission FNG." Ed was right as usual. That hot beer sure tasted good the next day. Ed from the first day we meet you and I bonded. A bond that has lasted over 39 years and will continue for an eternity. So save me a hot Miller in the can when we meet again. This time I won't throw it back. CharlieHorse 13

Dr. Matthew Ginailck, Jr. (Mt. Airy, MD)

 

Sunday, December 07, 2008 2:24 AM

To Ed's family and many friends, I had the privilege of flying cover for him as the "killer" part of the "hunter-killer" team as well as flying with the other 3/17th Air Cav pilots and crews. As some of you have said the bond between us was incredibly strong. Although I haven't seen Ed is a few years I remember operations like they were yesterday, yet a million years ago. Flying to the AO the cobra's would fly with the guns turned off for safety reason, when the scouts would start the mission and descend to treetop level the cobra would tell them "comin hot" meaning the guns and rockets were engaged. Ed, where ever you are "comin hot" your covered by Charlis Horse 36, Terry Heffernan, Heff

Terence Heffernan (Bangkok, Thailand)

 

Saturday, December 06, 2008 12:30 PM

Uncle Eddie,

Possibly the coolest guy I've ever known (besides Papa). I've looked up to you since I can remember. Humble warrior, I will NEVER forget you, and I miss you already.

The life of the party...always lit up the room. Thanks for the ride on your motorcycle and skiing at the Blue Hills. The treasures you sent us from Germany, I still have them and display them every Christmas. Thank you for my Aunt Ellen and Sean and Shannon, three of my favorites I might add. You and Aunt Ellen doing "The Bump" dance...none better! The excitement of hearing The Sweeneys were coming home!!! From where ever you guys were, and there was always a party! Tell Aunt Maureen and Nana I love them and miss them. A life way to short, but definately worth living. Well done Uncle Eddie. Our loss is Gods HUGE gain.

Sean Scannell (Foxboro, MA)

 

Friday, December 05, 2008 3:04 PM

Captain, I don't like what I am doing in writing this.

So I'll say this, to me you are a great Captain, we flew many of times and I enjoyed every bit of it, mostly because we got back home. Our job was not a easy one, we had the best Pilots and Scout's, we did what we had to do, and we came back home to our Loved One's.There is not too many that know's what the words "Hunter / Killer Team's' mean.

We do. God bless you Ed, I will see you some day, we will do our job all over again.So have the 'Loach' on the ready pad Captain. Love Ya' Buddy.And Thank You. Artie. 1969/70

"Once you have flown Scout's, what else is there" 'Kamakazi'

Arthur C. Bonevich (Newport News, VA)

 

Friday, December 05, 2008 2:54 PM

Ed

You made me laugh with your rain deer antlers,I worked for you at CMS it was the best time at maintenance when you were there!I sure will miss talking to you on the phone from Union County.

My deepest sympathy!  Donna (Wade) Reese (Lowell, NC)

 

Friday, December 05, 2008 2:35 PM

Hey Ed or Uncle Eddy or Godfather,

When I was in grade school I had to write a paper on the topic of who a hero is, and who my hero was. I wrote the paper about you and that has not changed. I got the call from Dad here in LA at 2am when I was on my way home.

Out with friends, I began the night at The Sky Bar for a birthday party, then off to a live show with the band Camp Freddy at the Roxy, and finished the night at a club in Hollywood. How perfect was that, I know you were proud. You showed us all how to 'PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR'!!

All my love and I will see you soon, B.

Brian Scannell (Los Angeles, CA)

 

Friday, December 05, 2008 10:00 AM

Ed

I never thought

you'd be gone so soon

I thought you were timeless

like the Man in the Moon.

You were the one

to bring light in our day

enjoyed life to the fullest

There's no other way!

I remember your laugh

contagious and hearty

Just one special reason

You were the life of the party.

Now that you're gone

I'll shed a tear

In memory of you

I'll raise a glass of Bud Select Beer!

You will be missed, Ed Sweeney, Jr.! Love, Stacey

Stacey Kelly (Castle Rock, CO)

 

Friday, December 05, 2008 8:45 AM

Thought I didn’t know you long in my brief time as a UCPS employee, your steady, fair & even handed leadership comes as no surprise as I learn the foundation of you character, God, country and family.

As you now walk in heaven, where it is sunny every day, the streets are paved with gold, the levees are always colorful, Ted Williams always bats a 1000, Red Auerbach’s cigar never burns out and Patriot coaches have friendly personalities, you will be missed but never forgotten.

Our hearts, thoughts & prayers are with the Sweeny family, as it is always hardest on those that are left behind as we continue our life’s work and glorify the name of God Jesus Christ.

As we reflect on our life and relationship with God, remember that though you lost a husband, father, brother, uncle and we a friend, that you have also gained a guardian angel that will now enjoy & share every second with you as he will now be in your hearts at all times, and you in his..

God bless the entire Sweeny family.

Scott Wahlers (Monroe, NC)

 

 

Eulogy

Dad’s Eulogy –

 

Thanks to all of you that sent your most memorable moments about my dad, Ed Sweeney.  Instead of running an ESPN-style Top 10 Most Memorable Plays of Ed Sweeney’s Life, I’ve decided to relay his legacy in a different way – in a more appropriate and hopefully more entertaining way that he would approve of.

 

Edward J. Sweeney, Jr. was known by many names.  The names represent different facets of his life of service to others.  He served as an exemplary warrior, leader and friend entitled Lt., Capt., Major and LTC Sweeney as Frank Glenn highlighted.  He served as the true unselfish leader and friend entitled Mr. Sweeney alongside Harvey Schumpert and Steve Kisiah, his right-hand man at UCPS in attendance today.  He also served as the consummate family man entitled Ed, Eddie, Uncle Ed, Great Ed, Dad and most recently Poppy.  Many state their personal dedication as God, Country, Family… For my dad it was "Family, Family, Family" - his Family at Home, his Family at Work and his Family of Friends.   He took care of Family first because he understood that serving them was the ultimate way to pay respect to God and Country.

 

Just as Edward J. Sweeney, Jr. was known by many names, he was equally known and revered for the many hats he wore.  My dad wore many hats - quite literally, many hats.  He wore these hats to reinforce his belief that we should not take our work nor ourselves too seriously.  The hats were not meant to make him the center of attention, no, he wore the hats as a part of his service to others.  His service focused on bringing humor and smiles to others in the face of stressful work environments (like with his UCPS maintenance group, where fortunately he served as the ultimate “take care of others first and they will take care of you” Director which certainly helped hide the fact that he was no handy-man himself).  His service of fun hat-wearing also focused on paying respect to and an appreciation for others first, and it reminded us to realign our priorities on what's most important - family first.

 

-One of the first hats dad wore was an Army hat.  This hat represents his service to others in the pursuit of freedom and happiness.  

 

-The next hat, most significant to me, was his Coach hat.  This hat represents his service to youth that began with Shannon and I on the soccer and ball fields and extended to the classroom after we left home.  His empowering coaching style of presenting choices and not mandates certainly helped me steer through those troublesome teen years.

 

-The next hat, the Irish leprechaun hat, represents dad’s ancestry and legacy to be a surprise, a fun surprise to others.  Dad always teased my mother-in-law that his grandchildren, his bloodline, is not 100% Irish.  But then, he laughed approvingly, as Dori reminded him of her German heritage benefits – can you say, German beer-tents with bands.

 

-One of dad’s favorite hats to wear was his Uncle Sam hat.   It represents his American Pride!  No one loved the flag and all it stands for more than Dad.  His antics as Uncle Sam at Grana’s 90th birthday and many other patriotic events I know will have a lasting impression on those that witnessed him.

 

-One of the last hats he received was the Beer hat, appropriately from his grandchildren.  It represents his fun, “live life to its fullest spirit.”  Beer was used as a way to celebrate life’s little and big accomplishments and, of course, brought some of its own challenges along the way.  Like the time he had to go to the emergency room during a big family party because he caught a certain body part in his zipper.  Or, the time that he stayed up all night tossing back a few while trying to build a certain new toy kitchen for Shannon – that kicked his ____, but it never adversely affected his Spirit.

 

The last two hats are his most significant hats…

 

-His Santa hat represents his Giving to others.  What started as a fun way to brighten some kids’ spirits at school has now grown into a UCPS tradition – a tradition of raising money and giving the Wolfe Development Center special needs kids the gifts and entertainment they deserve.

 

-The last and most special hat is dad’s Golfer hat.  It represents all his great qualities in one simple hat…..

It embodies: his Love for mom as he spent many days golfing and watching golf with her at PGA tournaments, his love for others as he invited family, friends and co-workers to play with him, his love for coaching as he provided small tips along the way to improve your game, and lastly, it embodies his GIVING TO OTHERS.  That’s what brought him back to do it again, just like in real life.  As he used to say, “All I need is just one shot and that will bring me back.”  Well, he also got that one good smile or that one good thanks for his hat-wearing antics – and that brought him back to do it again and again.

 

In closing, as a tribute to my dad, please, once a year, break-out your favorite silly hat to bring a smile and eliminate worries from someone else…. but even better as a way to improve our lives on earth together, each day bring at least one smile or at least one thank you from your acts of humor and kindness and remember that IS…  Ed Sweeney and God working through you when you do so.

 

Funeral Vigil

Father Pat's Funeral Vigil
 Funeral Vigil – Edward J. Sweeney, Jr.
Wis 4:7-15; Lk 24:13-35

On behalf of Msgr. Bellow and your parish family at St. Mark, I extend my sincere sympathy to you, Ellen, to Sean and Julie, and to Shannon on Ed’s death.  I consider myself blessed to have known Ed for only a short time and to be here to represent your community of faith during this time of loss.

I don’t think God makes any mistakes, and so today we gather on this feast of St. Nicholas to remember Ed.  There are, of course, many legends that surround St. Nicholas, and the one that is most familiar to us shows the goodness that make him the patron of giving during the Christmas holiday.  A 4th c. man in severe financial straits considered selling his three daughters into prostitution in order to save him, and them, from starvation.  On hearing of their plight, Nicholas, who was from the same town and the recipient of a large inheritance when his parents died young, secretly gave the man bags of gold by throwing them through his window at night.  He did so three times, one bag of gold for each of the man’s three daughters.  And while Nicholas’ anonymous generosity showed not only his goodness but also his humility, equating the lives of each of the three poor young girls showed his recognition of the value of each individual human person, no matter what their circumstances.

I think in reflecting on the time Ed spent in this world, we can learn some of the same lessons.  As an army officer, he served his countrymen faithfully, bravely, and anonymously.  So many of us protected by Ed’s service, including those in foreign nations, are indebted to Ed and his fellow comrades in arms, in ways that never can be repaid.  His service continued in his work after his military service, in the ways he served his children and then his grandchildren, and in the work he did with the Union County Public Schools Maintenance Organization in the organization’s charitable works.  His costumes and his love for children made all of his hard work look fun, masking the countless hours and sacrifice involved in making dreams a reality.

In our Gospel reading today, the disciples fail to recognize Jesus walking along with them, even as He challenges them, even as He makes them recognize along their journey what God has done for them.  Those who faithfully follow our Lord are rewarded with immortality; the continue to accompany their loved ones on a journey they themselves have completed.  St. Nicholas, as all of us know, is with us today.  No child, young or old, will deny that jolly old Saint Nick continues, centuries after his life on this earth, continues to touch the lives of children today.  Sometimes, especially among the very young, his good works and presence are recognized, even if we don’t see him at work.  Other times, he does his work anonymously, but no one can deny its effects.  

In faith, we know that Ed Sweeney lives on.  He will continue to accompany us each day, challenging us and supporting us with his prayers.  His family and friends, and even the many children who benefit from the charitable work he has begun who will never know his name, will experience his love and goodness for many many years to come.  And, as people who know that Our Lord has shared Himself with us in the Eucharist, we will feel His presence most fully each time we attend Mass, for we pray that He is now one with our Lord, so that we will truly know His presence in the breaking of the bread.
- See more at: http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/edsweeneyjr/Subpage.aspx?mod=5#sthash.829cW1El.dpuf

Father Pat's Funeral Vigil

 Funeral Vigil – Edward J. Sweeney, Jr.

Wis 4:7-15; Lk 24:13-35

 

On behalf of Msgr. Bellow and your parish family at St. Mark, I extend my sincere sympathy to you, Ellen, to Sean and Julie, and to Shannon on Ed’s death.  I consider myself blessed to have known Ed for only a short time and to be here to represent your community of faith during this time of loss.

 

I don’t think God makes any mistakes, and so today we gather on this feast of St. Nicholas to remember Ed.  There are, of course, many legends that surround St. Nicholas, and the one that is most familiar to us shows the goodness that make him the patron of giving during the Christmas holiday.  A 4th c. man in severe financial straits considered selling his three daughters into prostitution in order to save him, and them, from starvation.  On hearing of their plight, Nicholas, who was from the same town and the recipient of a large inheritance when his parents died young, secretly gave the man bags of gold by throwing them through his window at night.  He did so three times, one bag of gold for each of the man’s three daughters.  And while Nicholas’ anonymous generosity showed not only his goodness but also his humility, equating the lives of each of the three poor young girls showed his recognition of the value of each individual human person, no matter what their circumstances.

 

I think in reflecting on the time Ed spent in this world, we can learn some of the same lessons.  As an army officer, he served his countrymen faithfully, bravely, and anonymously.  So many of us protected by Ed’s service, including those in foreign nations, are indebted to Ed and his fellow comrades in arms, in ways that never can be repaid.  His service continued in his work after his military service, in the ways he served his children and then his grandchildren, and in the work he did with the Union County Public Schools Maintenance Organization in the organization’s charitable works.  His costumes and his love for children made all of his hard work look fun, masking the countless hours and sacrifice involved in making dreams a reality.

 

In our Gospel reading today, the disciples fail to recognize Jesus walking along with them, even as He challenges them, even as He makes them recognize along their journey what God has done for them.  Those who faithfully follow our Lord are rewarded with immortality; the continue to accompany their loved ones on a journey they themselves have completed.  St. Nicholas, as all of us know, is with us today.  No child, young or old, will deny that jolly old Saint Nick continues, centuries after his life on this earth, continues to touch the lives of children today.  Sometimes, especially among the very young, his good works and presence are recognized, even if we don’t see him at work.  Other times, he does his work anonymously, but no one can deny its effects.  

 

In faith, we know that Ed Sweeney lives on.  He will continue to accompany us each day, challenging us and supporting us with his prayers.  His family and friends, and even the many children who benefit from the charitable work he has begun who will never know his name, will experience his love and goodness for many many years to come.  And, as people who know that Our Lord has shared Himself with us in the Eucharist, we will feel His presence most fully each time we attend Mass, for we pray that He is now one with our Lord, so that we will truly know His presence in the breaking of the bread.

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