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Alamedans Celebrate Life of Jean Sweeney

Earlier today, more than 100 friends, relatives and fellow community activists attended a celebration of the life of Jean Sweeney at the Alameda Elks Lodge.

The former school teacher and local activist died November 25th after a two-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Her father was a Bureau of Indian Affairs Reservation Superintendent, and she grew up on or nearby several native American reservations.

“A celebration is just what she would have wanted,” said her husband Jim Sweeney, when he opened the “remembrances” portion of the service. Jim was an attorney for the U.S. Navy and was stationed at the Alameda Naval Air Station beginning in 1972.

Christine Ahrens, now of Los Alamos, New Mexico, daughter of Jim and Jean led the service and in her opening remarks thank friends and relatives for their support in bringing the service together.

Local real estate and friend to Jean Sweeney Nancy Gordon played piano, and Thom Mantooth sang the song “Jean.”

Jean Sweeney is survived by her husband Jim Sweeney of Alameda; daughters Kathleen (Stephen) Fahley of Renton, Washington and Christine (James) Ahrens of Los Alamos, New Mexico; grandchildren Michael and Shauna Fahley and Peter, Daniel, Connor and Tyler Ahrens; siblings Betty Keller, Chuck (Linda) Spencer, helen Spencer and Tom (Alice) Spencer.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, well-wishers instead make donations in her name to pancreatic cancer research at the University of California San Francisco or to Heifer International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting world hunger through self-reliance.

Jean Sweeney, Feb. 28, 1939 - Nov. 25, 2011 (Photo by Joseph Woodard)

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