Vincent Paul Sweeney

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Vincent Paul Sweeney January 4, 1930- September 10, 2017 It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Vincent Paul Sweeney, former Professor of Medicine and Director of Biomedical Ethics, University of British Columbia. A distinguished neurologist and much-loved teacher at UBC's Faculty of Medicine from 1973-1995, Vincent is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Mary Sweeney, five children, Maureen (Alex), Vincent, Sean (Heather), Molly (John) and Desmond (Karin) and nine grandchildren, Gabriel, Marysia, Georgia, Isobel, Sofia, Ruby, Finnbar, Flora and Cormac.

Vincent was an adventurous soul who took on many challenges in life which he managed with his characteristic diligence and humour, topped with an abiding respect and genuine caring for those suffering with illness. Born to Dr. Vincent Hugh Sweeney and Ruby (McLachlan) Sweeney of Glasgow, Scotland, he served in the Royal Army Medical Corp during the Korean War, and later in Malaysia and Suez. Vincent then immigrated to Washington, DC where he became a resident at Washington Hospital Center and later a Fellow at Georgetown University in cardiology. Originally, an internist, Vincent pursued his passion for the "new science" of neurology where he studied with Dr. Ray Adams at Mass General Hospital and Harvard University.

Spurning a safe and illustrious career path in the eastern United States, Vincent and Mary decided to venture west to Vancouver where the family undertook road trips to the west coast in a beat-up Volvo full of children and dogs? and towing Vincent's beloved wooden sail boat. He also developed a love for steelhead fishing and explored many of BC's rivers and lakes, the Dean River being a favourite location.

While his professional accolades and credentials are too numerous to mention, he was most proud of his Excellence in Teaching Award from UBC in 1993 and being the recipient of the Dr. William Marsden Award in Medical Ethics from the Canadian Medical Association recognizing his work as a founding Director of the Biomedical Ethics Program at UBC. Ultimately, what defined him most was his devotion and generosity to his family and friends. He will be remembered by his patients, not for his intellect and driving curiosity, but as someone who, through his gentle and caring ways, gave them loving attention during their time of need.

After a long, brave struggle with Alzheimer's disease, Vincent died peacefully surrounded by family members on September 10 at the Louis Brier Home.

A funeral service will be held at the parish of St. Mark's Church, 5935 Iona Drive, Vancouver (on the UBC campus) at 10 a.m., Friday, September 15. Reception to follow at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, 4300 S. W. Marine Drive, Vancouver. For those unable to attend the Mass, please feel free to attend the Reception. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested donation to the Alzheimer Society of BC.

Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14, 2017
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