In Memory of



Obituary for Joe Sweeney

Sweeney, Joe

Age 89

Of White Bear Lake

Passed away peacefully on December 4, 2023.  Preceded in death by brother Tom (Marguerite); sister Kathleen (Stephen) and brother-in-law Larry Ryan.  Survived by wife Nancy; children Kevin (Diane), Anne (Bill) Nicholas, Tim (Mary Ann), Terry, Maureen (Mike) Gorshe, Megan (Steve) FitzGerald, Michael (Krista), Colleen (Taylor) Shaver, Kathleen (Doug) Shoemaker, Sean (Hilary), Kelly (Brad) Schwartzbauer; 21 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren; sister Rita Ryan; many nieces and nephews.

Joe was a supportive, loving father and grandfather who devoted his life to his family, hard work, and service. He was born in St Paul and attended Nativity of Our Lord school, Nazareth Hall, St Thomas University and the University of Minnesota, where he obtained his master’s degree. Joe became a teacher and spent most of his career at North St Paul High School.

In 1956, Joe and Nancy married. Over the next 20 years, Joe and Nancy would have 11 children.  Joe was incredibly proud of each of his children, often sharing how lucky and blessed he and Nancy were to be so fortunate.  Joe was an empathetic listener who shared his wisdom and wit with all.  He was known for his firm handshake, charming demeanor, and ability to make all he encountered smile. He had a gift for making all people feel welcome and comfortable.

In his free time, Joe loved reading, playing golf, playing cards, and camping with his family.  He also loved to sing and particpated in many groups.  He spent many hours enjoying his children and grandchildren in their extracurricular activities.

Retirement from teaching allowed Joe to volunteer for social causes he believed in, such as the White Bear Relay for Life, Bridging, Habitat for Humanity, Loaves and Fishes, and St Mary’s of the Lake Justice, Peace and Outreach ministries.  He was an unwavering advocate for his family, friends, and beliefs. Joe had a wonderful sense of humor that we all enjoyed, especially the grandchildren and great- grandchildren.  Joe’s remarkable presense and powerful spirit will be greatly missed by his family, friends, relatives and the thousands of students he touched during his decades as a teacher..

Thank you to the wonderful staff at Lyngblomsten Care Center, who helped the family care for Joe this past year.

Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, December 21, 2023 at 11 AM at ST MARY OF THE LAKE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 4741 Bald Eagle Avenue, White Bear Lake.  Visitation at 10 AM. Burial at St. Mary of the Lake Cemetery. Lunch following.  In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Habitat for Humanity or Friends of San Lucas Mission.