Nurse Jean Sweeney Dies After 26 Years of Service

Jean Sweeney, a nurse at Isham Health Center for 26 years, passed away on December 29 at Caritas Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Ma. She was 70 years old. “When the day ended, it did not mean [Ms. Sweeney] stopped being a nurse…. Nursing was her entire embodiment and being. She was a nurse’s nurse. She was the kind of nurse that you would want to have when you were hurt or injured,” recalled Director of nursing Lois Kelly. School Physician Richard Keller said, “With her warm and gentle sense of humor, she will be sorely missed by her colleagues and students alike.” Ms. Sweeney became ill this summer and took a leave of absence from Phillips Academy with the understanding that she would return once she recovered. “We the nurses are going to miss her a lot,” said Ms. Kelly Ms. Sweeney was raised in Manchester, N.H. After graduating from Sacred Heart Nursing School in Manchester, she moved to Colorado and began focusing on her specialty, intensive care nursing. It was in Colorado where she met her future husband, John Sweeney. They soon moved to Andover, close to where they both had been raised. There, Ms. Sweeney worked at the intensive care unit at Caritas Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Mass. After the birth of her children, Ms. Sweeney began working at Isham. She worked part-time so that she could take care of her three children. Ms. Sweeney was an active member of the Andover community outside of Phillips Academy. She was very involved with her church, Saint Augustine’s Parish, and in town politics. Two years ago, she helped Director of Nursing Lois Kelly to run a local campaign. A passionate sewer, Ms. Sweeney made everything from window curtains to clothing for her grandchildren; She also enjoyed quilting and reading. “There was no topic she wasn’t knowledgeable in,” said Ms. Kelly. After she began working as a full-time registered nurse at Isham nine years ago, Ms. Sweeney often served as a mentor to new nurses. Ms. Sweeney’s colleagues remember her as a creative thinker and excellent problem solver. Ms. Kelly said, “She was genuine and supportive, and she was a great resource.” Catholic Chaplain Francisco Nahoe said Mass in Ms. Sweeney’s honor this past Sunday in Kemper Chapel. The funeral was held on January 2 at Saint Augustine’s Parish in Andover. Ms. Sweeney is survived by her husband, children, and grandchildren.