Fran­cis H. Sweeney of Thorn­dale

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - OBITUARIES -

Fran­cis H. Sweeney, age 84 of Thorn­dale, died peace­fully at the Coatesville VA Med­i­cal Cen­ter Hospice Unit from com­pli­ca­tions of COPD on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 10, 2017. Fran­cis was the son of the late Cor­nelius and Anna Sweeney and the hus­band of the late Agnes McKay Sweeney.

Born in 1932, Fran­cis grew up in West Philadel­phia’s Man­tua sec­tion and at­tended St. Agatha’s Parish School. He left high school early in 1949 to work and to join the Na­tional Guard and in Jan­uary of 1952, signed up in the US Army, where he com­pleted para­trooper train­ing and spent 13 months, 13 days of his three-year en­list­ment in the Korean War zone.

On his re­turn to civil­ian life in 1955, Fran­cis com­pleted the print­ing ap­pren­tice­ship he had started prior to his mil­i­tary ser­vice and worked as a type­set­ter. He met Agnes shortly af­ter and they mar­ried in Nor­ris­town in 1957. The cou­ple moved to Philadel­phia around 1961; for the next 25 years, they raised their fam­ily on Ger­hard Street in Roxbor­ough as parish­ioners of St. John the Bap­tist, Manayunk. For the past 31 years, they resided in Thorn­dale, Ch­ester County. They were mar­ried 60 years.

Fran­cis com­pleted the high school ed­u­ca­tion he be­gan at St. Tommy More the year the school closed in 1975, claim­ing to be its last grad­u­ate with a Golden Bear di­ploma on his wall. He earned a B.A. in English from La Salle Col­lege in 1981 and was ac­tive with the Ir­ish Cen­ter in Mt. Airy in­clud­ing the Done­gal So­ci­ety, vet­eran groups and char­ity work with the Knights of Colum­bus. He or­ga­nized the Philadel­phia Feis from 1972-1975, an Ir­ish step­danc­ing com­pe­ti­tion held on the Chest­nut Hill Col­lege cam­pus.

Fran­cis spent fifteen years at Brick­lin Press and was fea­tured on the cover of the Oc­to­ber 7, 1977 edi­tion of the Jewish Ex­po­nent news­pa­per as Philadel­phia’s only Ir­ish-Catholic He­brew type­set­ter. The busi­ness closed in 1978 but thanks to the help of his friend Bill We­ber, Fran­cis jointed GE Aero­space’s Man­age­ment and Data Sys­tems or­ga­ni­za­tion in King of Prus­sia in 1980, where he worked as an edi­tor un­til his retirement in 1997

Fran­cis is sur­vived by his five chil­dren Michael (Pa­tri­cia), Neil (Teresa), Nora Sweeney (Jim Sharp), Mau­reen Sweeney and Chris­tine Richard­son and his sis­ter Anna (Al­fred) Camp­bell. He is also sur­vived by his grand­chil­dren Michael Sweeney, Kelsey Richard­son, Frances Sweeney, Me­gan Sweeney, Luke Richard­son and So­phie Sharp. Fran­cis was pre­de­ceased by his wife Agnes in May and also by his sis­ters Mary Sweeney, Betty (Ge­orge) Ford, broth­ers Cor­nelius and Michael and a half-brother James Craig.

Fam­ily Vis­i­ta­tion and a Mass of Chris­tian Burial cel­e­brat­ing his life will be held on Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 16, 2017 at St. Joseph Church on 332 Manor Av­enue in Down­ing­town with the Rev. Mon­signor Joseph McLoone pre­sid­ing. Friends may call from 10 to 11:15 AM with Mass to fol­low at 11:30 AM. In­ter­ment is pri­vate. Funeral ar­range­ments are by James Terry Funeral Home of Down­ing­town.

In lieu of flow­ers, con­tri­bu­tions in his mem­ory can be made to: St. Joseph’s House, 640 Buck Run Road, East Fal­low­field, PA 19320

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