The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Laurie Sweeney


Laurie “Schaef ” Schaefer Sweeney, age 61, of Portland, CT, left us too soon on February 13, 2023.

Born September 27, 1961, she was the daughter of Edwin and Barbara Schaefer.

She was predecease­d by her husband, Darnell Sweeney, her four legged companions, Goldie, Ella, and Kaylee (aka Poppida Squiggly), along with an endless list of characters and outlaws that she is now reunited with once again; sharing stories of the good ole days while sitting around a card table, a pack of smokes and blackberry brandy on hand, listening to a jukebox filled with all of the 90's country and classic rock favorites.

Laurie is survived by her beloved sons, Terry Lee Groeper Jr, of Portland, and Timothy Lester Groeper, of Marlboroug­h, their father, Terry Lee Groeper Sr, of Portland, her granddaugh­ters Brooklyn Elizabeth and Vivienne Ray. Sisters Cathy DaBica and Debby Schaefer, dear friend Shirley Bougor, lifelong friends/the Hale sisters: Susie Colby, Laurie Estabrook, Nancy Dube, and Wendy Penkes, as well as a whole crew of “adopted kids” that she considered her own, and lastly, scores of friends that she loved like family.

Schaef found her love of cooking and bee-bopping around the kitchen while feeding the masses at Portland Care and Rehab Center, then later at the Connecticu­t Valley Hospital until her retirement.

To know Laurie meant you never experience­d a dull day so long as she was part of it. She lived life with her own brand of rules, in her own unique style, with all the love in her heart. She never failed to find the funny, no matter how sacred or serious the subject. This was especially evident in her knack at being the master of nicknames, lots of which only made sense to her, but she didn't give a “flying JB” either way.

It's the humor that will be missed most by the ones she loved, along with her unmistakab­le cackle of a laugh, her delicious food, and of course her tough exterior that surrounded her heart of gold.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 24th at 5:30 p.m. in the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St, Portland. Friends may call at the funeral home from 4 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will be private.

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