Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 22, 2013

John 'Jack' M. Sweeney

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Jack Sweeney, a carpenter, marathon runner, foodie, accomplished traveler and dreamer, died of brain cancer on Thursday, May 16, 2013. He was born Oct. 1, 1942, the son of Bertram and Catherine Sweeney, and grew up in Mancelona.

His signature can be seen across the landscape in what he built, homes he created and footsteps he left. He put his personal touch to everything he built, from a water’s edge deck, a log cabin beneath the pines, to a tree house escape for the young and old.

Jack’s credo was to “Do something fun every day.” He had a passion for home brewed beer, popcorn with Good & Plenty candy, fruit pies, BBQ ribs and chocolate milk. His own experience with brewing beer led to one of his dreams of growing hops, which will continue to grow on the peninsula land he owned.

Jack took fashion cues from no one. His look was unique: a simple flannel shirt designed by the fashion house of “Where did that come from?”, docksider loafers with sport socks and faded blue jeans that were once-upon-a-time store bought. A world traveler, he only stayed in the finest quality “let’s stay here” isolated beaches, forests and deserts, with his favorite place to land being Baja, Mexico.

Jack will be missed by all who had the pleasure to meet him and especially by his daughter and three sons, Shannon Suarez, Brian and Craig, who live in the TC area, and Joe, who resides in Mississippi, and his companion, Monnie (Mary) Peters. He is survived by his four siblings, Mary Ann McGrath, of Traverse City, Patrick Sweeney, of Mission/McAllen, Texas, Alice Councilor, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Cathy Wills, of Sebastopol, Calif.; a former wife, Colleen Sweeney, of Traverse City; and seven grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Joseph Patrick; and his parents, Bertram and Catherine Sweeney.

A private celebration of life will be held for close personal friends and family this summer.

In lieu of flowers to the family, contributions may be made to Hospice of Michigan, 900 E. Front St., Traverse City, MI 49684.

Please visit Jack’s webpage at to sign the guestbook and share your thoughts with his family.

Take care, Jack, and slide over home plate with a margarita in hand for us.

The family chose Life Story Funeral Home, Traverse City to handle the cremation.