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SWEENEY – Leo Walter

March 9, 1927 – September 6, 2010

Leo Sweeney, beloved husband of Gertrude Sweeney of Calgary, passed away on Monday, September 6,  2010 at the age of 83 years.

 Leo was born and raised in Montreal. He resided in Montreal until he joined the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve (V-95137). Leo joined Northern Electric (Nortel) on July 11, 1943 on Shearer Street in Montreal, transferred in 1958 to the Decarie Blvd. location until 1961 at which time he continued to live in Montreal but worked in Brampton, ON to start the Bramalea Works. Leo stayed there until 1975 when he transferred to Calgary where he was instrumental in the beginning of the Calgary location. Through his many years at Nortel, he held many positions but by far his favourite was being Santa Claus for the yearly children’s parties. He retired from Nortel in 1985 but continued on volunteering with the Telephone Pioneers, spending many hours in “The Store”. Leo also volunteered his time with many other activities and his favourite was helping with the Kid’s Camp Barbeque benefiting Kid’s Cancer Care of Alberta. Throughout his retirement, Leo enjoyed to travel with Gertrude to many places always returning to see as much of his beloved mountains. Leo and Gert never tired in looking to see what was down each and every road. He enjoyed this because he believed the same mountain consistently changed, looking different minute by minute.

 Leo is survived by his darling bride of fifty-seven years, Gertrude (nee Helie), two sons and daughters-in-law Bill and Anne Sweeney of Brampton, ON, Scott and Sandy Sweeney of Madan, ND, five  grandchildren, Brian (Katie), Amanda, Lindsay (Brock), Jessica (Brian) and Dakota, three great grandchildren, Damien, Dominick and Shauvona. He is also survived by two sisters-in-law Gertrude Sweeney of Montreal and Mary Sweeney of Ottawa.

 He was predeceased by a proud Irish family: his father Thomas Sweeney, his mother Margaret (nee Sullivan), brother Michael (V-23565 RCNVR, HMRCS Racoon), brother Daniel (V-23913 RCNR), sister Doris Stewart-Burgoyne, brother Robert, brother George and brother Edward.

Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Crowfoot Chapel (82 Crowfoot Circle N.W.), on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

 Funeral Mass will be celebrated at ST. LUKE’S CATHOLIC CHURCH 1566 Northmount Drive N.W.
Calgary, AB   (Corner of Northmount Drive and Northland Drive N.W)., on Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. You may forward condolences through On behalf of Leo and the extended Sweeney family, we would like to extend special thanks and gratitude to the angels dressed as nurses at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Unit 37. To Dr. Marcy Mintz, words alone cannot convey our sincere gratitude for your compassion, understanding and genuine concern. Thank you again for making Leo’s journey easier.

 If friends so desire, donations in Leo’s name may be made to The Kidney Foundation, 6007 1A Street S.W. Calgary, AB, T2H 0G5, (403) 255 6108,

 In living memory of Leo Sweeney, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park, Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 Crowfoot Circle N.W.  Telephone: (403) 241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. My thoughts are with all of you there in Calgary. I will miss Leo greatly as his humor and my humor were comparable in the long run. We could always make one another laugh and think. If anyone was to ever have a father in law you could not ask for a better one then him.

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  2. To Anne, Bill and the Sweeney family: We are thinking of you all with sympathy and prayers. I never had the pleasure of meeting your father, Bill, but I know he has a wonderful family and I am sure you will all miss him very much.

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  3. Jim and Joyce Gray :

    Gertrude, our hearts go out to you for the loss of your beloved Leo. We were privileged to know both of you on a professional basis and always looked forward to meeting you at the Royal Bank. Believe it or not we still use the same phone Leo was kind enough to give us many years ago. Kindest regards.

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  4. Dear Gertrude and Family:
    Your dear husband Leo was a great friend to many people. I met him when he first came to Calgary. Although we didn’t spend a great deal of time together I’ll always remember the hardy laugh, the extremely unusual humor and a big smile of a big man. His passing has come to me as a shock. I feel stuck in the gap, if I could only see him one more time. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers will be with you throughout this tough time.

    Wayne & Ruthann Turnbull

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  5. Bob Wrigglesworth :

    I will always remember Leo when we started up the Calgary Nortel plant. I was a young man still learning the business. Leo was always there to help, with a hand and a laugh.
    There was only one Leo Sweeney. A big heart and a big laugh.
    I am sorry for your loss.
    Bob Wrigglesworth
    Myrtle Beach SC

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  6. I met Leo in 1964 at the Bramalea Works on Dixie Road. It was my first real job. I was 19. There were many there like me just starting out. Leo was a superviser who remembered what it was to be young. I know there are many guys who are grateful for his understanding caring leadership and example. Thanks Leo. You come up all the time when us now older guys talk about times past.

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  7. I am so sorry to read about the passing of Leo. We both worked at both the Shearer St and Laurentien building in St. Laurent on the No.5 Crossbar System from about 1956 to 1961 when Leo was transferred to Bramalea. Leo was a great guy. Again, my sincerest condolences on his passing. Roland Lussier.. fond memories.

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  8. To Anne, Bill and Family: My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

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  9. Leo is one of the very few people who has provided the insight, wisdom, passion for people in a way that has influenced my life.

    There were times when I would reach a “wall” and couldn’t find the door. After hitting it 2 times and getting no where, I would wonder what Leo would have done…..that moment typically opens up a crack, a laugh, a staight forward simple approach that melts that wall. And typically a story or adventure that creates a smile or laugh.

    A great man! A mentor.

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  10. I first met Leo when he hired me at Northern Telecom in 1979. I always enjoyed his great sense of humour and the wisdom that he shared with me throughout the years.

    Over the years, he was a good friend at work, he was santa for my children and I felt privileged to have him as my friend. He was full of kindness and wisdom.

    I always enjoyed talking with him in the Calgary Nortel store and in Superstore when we would see him and Gert on the weekends. He was a special influence in my life.

    I’m grateful to have known Leo. I will miss him. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Sweeney family.

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  11. Al & Helen Bloemendal :

    Dear Mrs Sweeney, Bill & Scott, It was with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Leo. Its been a long time since I had the pleasure of sharing a moment with Leo but I have many fond memories of time spent in the Sweeney household. Leo was larger than life, always ready with a with a quick joke and smile for every occasion. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Sweeney family.

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  12. I enjoyed working with Leo for almost 8 years at Northern Telecom. He was always a funny, friendly man, with tons of knowledge to share. May he rest in peace.

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  13. Michael and Kathy Sweeney :

    Dear Aunt Gert, Bill and Scott, With apologies for this being so late but just returned from a few weeks in Colorado on holidays and attending our eldest son’s wedding. If anyone in the Sweeney clan reminded me of Grandma’s gravely laugh it was Uncle Leo. When Bill called me with the sad news I remined him of the times we used to stop off for the night at your place in Brampton on our way to Montreal from Detroit and being welcomed by Billy and Scott at the door with their piggy banks in hand after being pompted to do so by Uncle Leo who eagerly awaited my father Dan’s response, mildly put, JC Leo. My brother John and I also recalled waiting for our younger cousin Bill to get so excited at our arrival that we would count down the minutes waiting for Uncle Leo’s attempt to control him with his ..Billy, pause, Billy, pause, GD it Billy! On behalf of my Mom, my brothers and the cousins, nephews and nieces please accept these heartfelt condolences for your loss. Although we havn’t seen each other in quite some time, Leo’s calls to myself and my Mom during and after the period of my father’s illness 4 1/2 years ago were greatly appreciated and he will be missed.

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