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Ruth Rae Sweeney, 94


September 28, 2009

 

Ruth Rae Sweeney passed away in Bellefonte on Thursday, September 24, 2009, at the age of 94.

Born on Dec. 28, 1914, Mrs. Sweeney was the youngest of five children in the family of Thomas and Florence (Bickleman) Shearston, of Shenandoah.

Growing up in Shenandoah, Mrs. Sweeney began a lifelong interest in books and learning.

She graduated from high school at the age of 16 during the Depression and while living with relatives, found work at the Montgomery Ward Co. in New Yor k City.  Later returning to Shenandoah,  she married Michael “Mel” Sweeney, with whom she had two sons, Mel and Robert.

For several years, the Sweeney’s owned and operated a hotel, the Lakeside Inn, at Harvey’s Lake.  They relocated to State College, where both worked at Penn State University ---Mrs. Sweeney at the reactor program---and then moved to Florida where she was a clerical supervisor in the psychology department, including a stint as assistant to Robert Cade, one of the inventors of Gatorade. 

Mrs. Sweeney was a Methodist and loved to listen to hymns.  She was an experienced traveler in Europe and in Canada.  She was a wonderful hostess who enjoyed a house full of people.  She was a sweet loving spirit. 

After the death of her husband, Mrs. Sweeney returned to Pennsylvania to be near her children and grandchildren.  She is survived by four grandchildren, Robert Sweeney, Daniel Sweeney, Ted Sweeney, and Chris Sweeney; three great-grandchildren, Sarah Hazel, Michael Sweeney, and Erin Wells, and one great-great grandchild, Jason Hazel, Jr.  Mrs. Sweeney was preceded in death by both her sons. 

A private ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2009 at Visneski Funeral Home, Inc., Danville, PA, with  a memorial service at 11:00 AM Friday, October 2, 2009 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 216 McAllister St., Bellefonte, PA . Anyone wishing to send flowers please have them sent to the church for the memorial service. www.visneski.com


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