Sheila Anne Sweeney of Chelmsford, MA

1938 - 2024


February 4, 2024
5-8 P.M.


February 5, 2024
10 A.M.
St. Margaret of Scotland Church, Lowell.

Sheila Anne Sweeney, RN, 85, of Chelmsford, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

Our Mom was our rock. Sheila (Crane) Sweeney was the kindest, most selfless, thoughtful and compassionate person any of us has ever met. We’ve always known and appreciated that we absolutely won the “mom lottery.”  We love her deeply and will miss her immensely but are comforted by the deep faith she instilled in us and the knowledge that she is now once again with our beloved Dad, who adored her.

Sheila Crane was born in Winthrop, MA and spent her mischievous childhood in public housing in Dorchester and East Boston with her parents Joseph and MaryEllen Crane, and her brother Edward. She then of course decided to pursue a career in the care and service of others, receiving a Registered Nursing degree from Catherine Laboure’ School of Nursing in Dorchester, MA. While in school she met and fell in love with a boy from Lowell named Joe Sweeney. They married in 1962 and shared 47 years together before his passing in 2009. Our parents had three of us children – Joe (North Andover), Kath (Kennebunk, Maine) and Tim (Boston).

Our parents raised us in the Highlands section of Lowell, with our dog Brandy, whom Mom loved! We had all that we needed but nothing more. But we needed nothing more – our Mom created a home overflowing with love, support and an insistence that we use the gifts God had given to us to do good in the world and that we always support one another, no matter what.  Our parents took us on “mystery rides” to special fun places on Sundays after church at St. Margarets and to Hampton Beach in the summer. When our family faced adversity, which we did, Mom displayed an almost supernatural inner strength- fueled by her deep faith – that guided us through life’s difficulties and important decisions well into our adulthood.

Mom was a woman of deep faith and proudly served as Prefect of Saint Margaret’s Sodality for many years. She worked first as a nurse at Saint John’s Hospital (now Lowell General), and then as a teacher’s assistant for young children with special needs in the Lowell School System. She loved children and they loved her right back.  But no children did she love more than her two grandsons Connor Murphy and Reilly Murphy, who were the joy of her life. She cherished every moment with them and was so very proud of them every day.  And she would have sooo adored here first great-grandchild who we expect to arrive next month.

Mom also deeply loved her “other daughters” Amy Trask and Susan Ryan, her “granddaughter” Kelly Murphy and her son-in-law, Steve Nicholaides. She was an amazing friend to so many, especially her very closest friends, Peg Cunha and Ellie Laverty.  They shared joys and sorrow, trips together, and many laughs. In recent years, Mom cherished the summers spent in Kennebunkport, Maine, where she created lasting memories with her family.

Mom struggled with many health challenges these last few years – but never, not once, complained and never lost her deep faith and wisdom nor her wonderful sense of humor.  She was supported by the incredible staff at Chelmsford Crossing Assisted Living, to whom we are immensely grateful.

Our Mom is our rock. Everything we have become is because of her.  Her love, faith, wisdom and humor will live in our hearts forever.

Visiting hours Sunday, February 4, 2024 from 5-8PM at DOLAN FUNERAL HOME, 106 MIDDLESEX STREET, N. CHELMSFORD, MA. Funeral Monday, February 5, 2024 at 10AM at St. Margaret of Scotland Church, Lowell.  Burial in St. Mary Cemetery, Tewksbury. Memorials may be made in her name to the Lowell Association for the Blind, 169 Merrimack St., Lowell, MA 01852. ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041. Guestbook at

6 Condolences for Sheila Anne Sweeney of Chelmsford, MA

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    Eileen Glasser


    Dear Tim and family,
    My sincere condolences on the passing of your mom.
    May your memories provide comfort and peace.
    Eileen S Glasser

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    Rick Sweeney


    So sorry for your loss. Your mom was a sweetheart. I always made it a point to talk to her anytime the Sweeneys got together. I always enjoyed our conversations and I think she did too. I will miss seeing her.
    God bless.

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    Donna M Coffey


    Kathy, Joe and Tim – Dennis and I were so sad to hear about your Mom’s passing – but of course she is certainly resting in peace and joy. She was such a kind, loyal, and fun-loving friend. I will miss her every day. My wonderful memories of her will sustain me as I know they will you all too.
    Donna Coffey

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    Sheila Clark Cyr


    Prayers for all of Sheila’s Family and friends. We were classmates at CLSN. Sheila was lovely, fun and always a ray of sunshine. Blessings, Sheila Clark Cyr

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    Joanne McNamara


    Kathy, Joe, Tim, Conor,, Riley: I’m so very sorry for the loss for your beautiful Mom/Grandmother. She was one of the sweetest women I’ve ever known. Always a smile on her face, always a true interest in what was going on with her nephews and nieces, and obviously, an incredible mom, Grandma. We all adored her and your dad. Your story of her legacy is so beautiful and reflects her completely. There’s no doubt her fell faith

  • Avatar

    Valerie Batts


    Sending warm thoughts, Tim as I read about your mom and your family. May the love and resilience you experienced continue to sustain you and yours.

    Peace be with you. Val Batts

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