Willard Shaw Sweeney
Willard Shaw Sweeney
  • June 13, 1930 - November 16, 2017
  • Roscommon, Michigan

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Willard Shaw Sweeney, 87, passed away on November 16, 2017 in Safety Harbor, FL and was born June 13, 1930 in Toledo, OH.

Graduating from Michigan State University in 1952 in civil engineering, Bill became an F86D Sabrejet fighter pilot for the US Air Force. He married his college sweetheart Wally Ruhland in 1953. Later, building on his engineering background, Bill earned a master's degree in Public Health, which enabled him to move his family all over the world with America's efforts to provide aide to underdeveloped countries. In 1968, Bill began work for the Panama Canal Company. He retired from there as the Chief of Sanitation and Grounds Management Division in 1992. He is a member of the Panama Canal Society in Florida.

Bill’s favorite place was the Sweeney Trails End Cabin at Higgins Lake, MI. He spent any spare time at the cabin throughout his life. He was a sailor, tomato grower, motorcycle driver, Cessna pilot, scooter driver, handyman, and CB operator. His favorite pastime was watching college football with the Spartans as his favorite team. He and his partner Lois Sharkey rooted for the Oregon Ducks football and basketball teams without fail.

He was preceded in death by his sister Major Sue Sweeney, who died at age 76 in Tuscan AZ in 2002, and by his son Willard Ruhland Sweeney, who died at age 51 in Homosassa, FL in 2007. He is survived by his children, Heidi Coleman (Clark), Sabrina Nedwed (Tim) and Bill Sweeney (Cote’); grandchildren, Falon Sheard, Sterling and Kevin Coleman, Sophie Charlie, Nicholas Nedwed, and Liam Sweeney; great-grandchild Miriam Coleman; and former spouse Wally Sweeney and Minnie Castillo.