Lois M. Sweeney, 85, of Farley, died peacefully Dec. 26, at UnityPoint Finley Hospital in Dubuque, suffering from a broken heart. She buried her husband, then three days later, long term care regulations kept her family from daily in-person visits. Visits every day from outside the window for nine months took its toll on her, along with missing facial expressions because of masks, eating six feet apart from others, daily conversations that were hard to hear through PPE and times of quarantine.
Visitation for Lois was held from 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 29, at Reiff Funeral Home in Farley, and Legion Auxiliary services were at 6:30 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial was at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Farley, with Rev. Michael Schueller presiding. Soloists were Ron Deutmeyer and Anne Seehusen. Lectors were her granddaughters and Eucharistic Minister was Kristen Schlueter. Placing the pall were Sue Kraus, Carol Coyle, Jane Deutmeyer, Marge Gansemer, Barb Sweeney, Nancy Schlueter, JR Sweeney and Karen Neyen. Services were live streamed on the St. Elizabeth Pastorate Facebook page. Burial was at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Farley. Casketbearers for Lois were Andy Konzen, Marty Konzen, Chad Coyle, Luke Coyle, Jeff Deutmeyer, Tim Deutmeyer, Ben Gansemer, Craig Schlueter, Riley Sweeney, Ricky Sweeney and Nick Sweeney.
Lois was born Dec. 22, 1935, in Delaware County, daughter of Louis and Frances (Tench) Chapman. She graduated from Buck Creek High School in rural Hopkinton, and attended Business College in Dubuque. On June 28, 1955, she was united in marriage to James “Dick” Sweeney at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Hopkinton. They were married 64 years when Dick passed away March 2. She was a great mom and homemaker and worked at Dubuque County Mutual Insurance.
Lois was involved in her community as a member of the St. Joseph’s Parish and Farley American Legion Auxiliary for over 50 years, serving as the Treasurer for many years. She attended many Legion Auxiliary conventions and served as a Page. She was a Girl Scout Leader, a past member of the Farley Park Board, Election official, Blood Drive Volunteer, the Lois Club and helped at church activities. Lois was by her husband’s side helping with the Farley Babe Ruth Tournaments Queen Pageant for 30 years. Holiday and family get-togethers were very special to Lois and everyone will remember the creative gifts she came up with at Christmas, her sewing talent and the full meals that were always served. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren always looked for her home baked buns and cookies. Lois always had a smile and a hug for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They remember her reading many stories to them over the years and dancing at their weddings. She took great pride in watching the accomplishments of her family. She loved hosting many gatherings with family and friends, where you could find Lois at the table playing a game of Euchre, always having time for “one more game.” Lois and Dick took many trips to the Casino to play Bingo and worked together taking care of the garden and flowers.
Lois is survived by eight children: Sue Kraus, JR (Angie) Sweeney and Karen (Keith) Neyen, all of Farley, Carol Coyle (Jeff White) of Cascade, Jane (Ron) Deutmeyer, Barb Sweeney and Nancy (Brian) Schlueter, all of Dyersville, and Marge (Rick) Gansemer of Rickardsville; grandchildren: Andy Konzen, Marty (Bobbie) Konzen, Tracey (Nick) Reicher, Chad Coyle, Kelly (Ben) Kramer, Kristi (Matt) Strief, Luke (Katie) Coyle, Jacque (Jake) Kelchen, Jeff (Carrie) Deutmeyer, Tim (Tanya) Deutmeyer, Anne (Aaron) Seehusen, Amy (Adam) Linden, Sarah (Ben) Bell, Katie and Ben Gansemer, Craig (Kim) Schlueter, Kristen (Fiancé Sam Searls) Schlueter, Riley, Ricky and Nick Sweeney, Maggie and Olivia Neyen, Jackson, Isabelle and Juliana Bennett; 36 great-grandchildren, with more arriving in 2021; brothers and sisters-in-law: Marlene Chapman of Hopkinton, Phil Sweeney of Farley, Tom (JoAnn) Sweeney of Peosta, Julie Hildebrand of Sun Prairie, Wis., Jane Sweeney of Epworth, Charlie Hemmer of Dubuque; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her mother and father-in-law, Leo and Mabel (McDermott) Sweeney; sons-in-law, Jim Kraus and Pat Coyle; granddaughter, Molly Gansemer; great-grandchildren, Claire and Colten Konzen; a brother, Dorrance Chapman; and brothers and sisters-in-law: Therese (John) Connolly, Mary Sweeney, Stephen Sweeney in infancy, Sister Rose Sweeney OSF, Lloyd Sweeney, Louise Conrad, Benny Sweeney, Ann Hemmer, Fritz (Mary) Sweeney, Paul Hildebrand and Sharon Sweeney.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to her many caregivers at UnityPoint Finley Hospital and Hawkeye Care Center for all the wonderful care given to Lois.
“A Life Well Lived”
Anyone unable to attend can send a memorial to: Reiff Funeral Home, ATTN: Lois Sweeney family, P.O. Box #99, Farley, IA 52046.