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
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
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