Obituary of John Francis Sweeney
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard" Winnie the Pooh
After a brief illness, John Francis Sweeney passed away peacefully on December 26, 2022 with his wife Shirley (Shirl), and his only son Ian, by his side.
John was born in Windsor, Newfoundland on September 14, 1942, and with the exception of a brief stay in Labrador, and a year or two in Toronto in the late 1960s, he lived in Grand Falls – Windsor his entire life. He loved Central Newfoundland, and felt lucky to have lived in what he called “God’s country.”
John met Shirl in Windsor when they were both 16 years old. Shirl knew the second she laid eyes on him that she would marry him, and he thought that she was just the prettiest girl he had ever seen. They were married for 60 years, and together for 64.
John worked as a sheet metal fabricator at the mill in Grand Falls for over 25 years, retiring at 57. He loved every moment of retirement, but he missed the creative aspects of his work, and especially missed his colleagues as he reminisced about them around the dinner table for years after he left the mill.
John had an adventurous spirit. When he decided he wanted to do something, he did it, and he put his whole heart and mind into it. In his younger years he owned a motorcycle, and made many out-of-town and out-of-province trips with either Shirl or one of his children on the back. For a brief period he taught driver training and motorcycle safety with the Canada Safety Council. After he retired, he taught his trade for a semester at College of the North Atlantic in Happy Valley – Goose Bay. Another bucket list item checked!
John was born with music in his soul. Having come of age during the era of Rock ‘n Roll, he was captivated!! He played guitar for most of his life, and even built an acoustic guitar at one point. He loved artists such as Buddy Holly & The Crickets, The Everly Brothers, The Ventures, The Shadows, and later Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, David Gilmour, and more recently, John Mayer. He particularly loved Tuesday and Thursday jam sessions with his nephews Paul & Larry Higgins.
John was a creative person, and was quite handy around the house. He liked wood-working and fixing things, and was quite the problem-solver. He loved reading Louis L'Amour novels, spaghetti westerns & action movies, napping, and walking. Getting outside in the fresh air was an important part of his daily life that he continued for as long as he could.
John had a sense of humour, and his "Dad-isms" of good advice will be forever remembered. He adored his children and supported them in every choice they made. He was the family chauffeur, philosopher, protector, practical joker, and provider.
John is predeceased by his parents, John and Mary, his brothers James and John, and his sisters Ellen (Nellie), Josephine, Alice, Dorothy, and Patricia. John leaves to mourn his wife Shirley, his son Ian, his daughters Leah and Sylvia, his sisters Mary and Pauline, dozens of nieces and nephews, a large circle of friends, and his 2 beloved cats Rocco and Fluffy. He is loved beyond measure, and will be forever missed.
John was a private person and his final wish was to not have a funeral. In lieu of flowers, we encourage those wishing to express sympathy to donate to the Exploits Valley SPCA or the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Center.
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