Leader Herald Staff
Joe Sweeney loved growing up in this city. He came of age here. He made and kept lifelong friends here. For about 30 years, he was in business here and was a successful politician.
When the time came for a change, he moved to Milton and kept a home in Yarmouth on the Cape.
He died at home surrounded by family in Yarmouth two weeks ago.
He was 80.
A family friend, Alison Veres, summed up Mr. Sweeney’s personality and sense of humor after recalling what he said to her when she visited him shortly before he died.
“I stopped by Elm Rd. recently and found Joe in his usual spot in the living room, checking the news on his tablet. I asked how things were going and he said, “Well, I’m not dead yet.”
“Classic Joe, understated and practical. Not a man to mince words. He was a great husband and father, truly loved by his family. Joe was a unique and steadfastly genuine person. I always got the impression he was comfortable with who he was, and felt no need to be anything other. I liked his company. My love to the family. We lost a good one.”
For the late Mr. Sweeney, who served here as a city councilor and city council president, who owned local businesses, primary among them, the Pub and the Bon Saisone, Everett was a special place.
Like so many from his generation who came before him here, Everett remained his true home long after he moved out. Everett was where his heart resided, and for him, he was proud to have come from this place. Everett and his relationship with the city throughout a long life never wavered.
Mr. Sweeney was remembered as a kind and decent man who never lost his love for life as the end approached.
“Joe to his last days was as sharp and wise as anybody I know. I will miss him dearly,” said Bill Vaughan, a former Everett resident who grew up with Mr. Sweeney.
Like a handful of smart and aggressive young men who came out of this city when it was a far different place than it is today, Mr. Sweeney was pushed to educate himself.
Mr. Sweeney grew up here in humble circumstances, the son of the late James and Catherine Sweeney.
He was a “Double Eagle,” attending and graduating from BC High School and Boston College.
Friends recalled him as an entrepreneur.
He owned the Bon Saison in Everett Square when it still mattered during its most important era of use by the city’s politicians and social groups.
He was also one of the founders and owners of the Pub on Chelsea Street.
Mr. Sweeney had a strong sense of civic duty and patriotism.
His period of public service here as an elected public official was notable.
He also served in the Air National Guard.
Mr. Sweeney knew how to do the right thing.
He was a loving and supportive father and grandfather, a devoted husband and by the recollections of so many who have recalled his presence, he was a wonderful friend.
Joe is survived by his wife, Maureen (Hanley); his children, Caitlin and her husband, Bill Uniack and Kara and her husband, Tom Egan. Four grandsons, Will and Brendan Uniack and Tommy and Charlie Egan. Two brothers, Edward Sweeney and James Sweeney.
Funeral arrangements were provided by the Chapman Funeral Home.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Anthony’s Church, 167 East Falmouth Hwy., East Falmouth, on Saturday, November 12, at 11AM.
His burial was private.