Obituary Listings

Nancy Sweeney

July 26, 1939 May 17, 2018
Nancy Sweeney
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Obituary for Nancy Sweeney

After a lingering illness Nancy Lee Sweeney passed away May 17th, 2018 surrounded by family members that lovingly cared for her the last months of her life. Nancy was born at home in McMinnville, Oregon on July 26th, 1939 to parents Dorris and Matt Pumala. Her birth was assisted by legendary, long time county Dr. Barendrick; on a day, according to family lore, “It was so hot, the apples cooked on the trees”.
She grew up on the family’s small farm west of McMinnville and when reaching school age, she attended elementary and high school in McMinnville. After high school graduation she considered going to college but had no idea of what she wanted to study so she applied and got a job as a telephone operator on the local McMinnville switch board.
Several years later she met Sam Sweeney; a returning army service man from Dayton. Love was not far behind and based on mutual attraction, similar interests, values and goals, the two quickly became an evenly matched team. She dedicated herself to raising the growing family, working on the family farm, involving herself in church, Junior Matrons and other similar activities.
Her Dad once described her as being tough; and like her resourceful Finnish Grandmother, Nancy was undaunted by challenging situations and could successfully handle any task before her. This included operating a combine, tractor, driving trucks loaded with corn or beets, or in the office doing bookwork or payrolls.
Nancy loved and had an interest in music which she inherited from her Mother’s family, the Bennettes; a musical family who sang and played many different instruments. While in high school she sang in chorus and trios. Later in life she became a member of Sweet Adeline’s Pride of Portland; a women’s group who sang barber shop four-part harmony. There, she formed many friendships, traveled, and competed in national and international contests with the chorus placing within the top ten bracket four times. She was a member until declining health prevented her from participating.
Nancy could be described as an early conservative feminist believing in equal pay, gender equality at all levels and nondiscrimination. She loved animals and through her life cared for many dogs and cats, even a stray peacock. This love also included an orphaned baby racoon who she raised and fed with a baby bottle.
Nancy deeply loved her family, was very proud of each of her children and grandchildren’s accomplishments; and looked forward to many family activities. She loved her friends, antiques, estate sales, hamburgers and Pepsi. She valued her collection of old musical instruments and a collection of 20 OSU Beaver patches which she received one for each year that one of the children went to OSU. Nancy was able to enjoy Mother’s day with her family. Previously, she and Sam were able to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary. She and her bubbly, infectious laugh will be greatly missed forever.
Nancy is survived by her Husband, Sam, Sweeney, Daughter, Janice/Jim Shelton, Son Tom Sweeney/Pieper, Daughter Jean/Mike Larraneta, Daughter Sandra/Darryl Horn, nine Grandchildren, Austin, Matt, Shawne, Brooks, Sydney, Maria, Raegan, Allie and Devan. A memorial service is planned for 2:00 pm May 25, 2018 @ Dayton Christian Church conducted by Justin Hartpence & Kyle French. In Liew of flowers, contributions may be made to Dayton Christian Church Community Aid Fund.

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