Patricia H. (Pat) Sweeney(1940 - 2013)

Patricia (Pat) Sweeney


Patricia (Pat) Sweeney was born to Henryx and Katie Hopcus in Oklahoma City, OK on October 22, 1940. She passed away after a brief but valiant fight with cancer in Pensacola, FL on July 19, 2013, surrounded by her loving family and caring friends.

Raised on a farm, Pat was no stranger to hard work and responsibility. In high school, she was a gifted athlete who enjoyed both softball and basketball, and later began nursing school. During that time, she met a young naval aviator and the love of her life, Lieutenant Steve Sweeney, when a mutual friend set them up on a blind date. She married, had 3 children, and put her nursing career on hold to be a homemaker. The family traveled the world to various duty stations including Norfolk, Key West, Pensacola, Rhode Island, Jacksonville, and Sigonella Sicily (their most adventurous and memorable assignment), before settling down in Pensacola.

While in Sicily, Pat's adventurous spirit knew no bounds as she took advantage of the summer breaks to travel Europe with her kids and family friends. In particular, Russ and Peggy Walsh remained life-long friends and were with Pat to the very end, continuing to provide their love and support to her family. After her kids entered high school, Pat completed nursing school and worked at West Florida Hospital as a critical care registered nurse. Her 28-year career culminated with her position as House Supervisor at West Florida, a position that she held for 5 years until her retirement in 2010.

Pat's adventurous spirit didn't wane as she "matured". She had recently taken gourmet cooking classes and loved to try out her new talent on friends and family. Pat loved antique shopping, gardening, a good game of scrabble, weekend getaways, boating and helping those in need. She appreciated a good glass of Chardonnay and didn't shy away from Sunday Brunch Mimosas. She regularly went out to brunch with friends and family and loved trying new places along the gulf coast.

Pat was a member of St. Sylvester Catholic Church where she was an active member of the Columbiettes, Welcoming Committee and served as a Eucharistic minister. She had many, many friends at St. Sylvester's and at West Florida Hospital which was evidenced by the continuous flow of visitors during her last days. Pat's family misses her dearly and cherishes the wonderful memories and sense of adventure that she exposed them to.

Pat was preceded in death by her beloved husband Stephen, her parents and her brother, Buddy.

She is survived by her 3 children, Kathryn Smersh (Greg), Patrick Sweeney (Cheryl) and Michael Sweeney (Jena). She is also survived by her brother Jerry Hopcus, his wife Judi and their son Jason, as well as her precious grandchildren: Ashley, Chelsea, Seth, Ireland, Keegan, Lisie, Brandon and Scarlet.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:30am Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at St. Sylvester Catholic Church.

Pat will be laid to rest with Steve, her loving husband of 36 years at Barrancas National Cemetery following the Memorial Mass.

Pat's family wishes to thank her West Florida Hospital family, her church family at St. Sylvester, Father Kelly, Father Mullins, all those that kept her in their thoughts and prayers. They wish to extend a special thank you to the staff at the Joyce Goldenberg Covenant Hospice who were so very gracious during her final hours.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in Pat's name to the , 5401 Corporate Woods Dr., Suite #100, Pensacola, FL 32504 the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 3832 N. 9th Ave., Pensacola, FL 32503, Joyce Goldenberg Covenant Hospice, 10075 Hillview Dr., Pensacola, FL 32514 or the .

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Published in Pensacola News Journal on July 28, 2013