ALISON SWEET, Nantucket attorney and community leader died this past Sunday.
Alison Sweet Zieff died at home on Nantucket on Sunday, April 25, 2010, after a long illness at the age of 46.
Born July 2, 1963 in PA, Alison grew up in Radnor PA, graduating from the Shipley School in 1981. She attended Duke University, earning an A.B. in 1985; she remained an avid supporter of the Blue Devils throughout her life and relished their victory in the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Alison attended Boston University School of Law, where she edited the Annual Review of Banking Law; she graduated cum laude in 1989. It was at Boston University that Alison met her husband, David Zieff, with whom she maintained a characteristically fierce competition over grades. She consistently outperformed him.
Alison and David were married on Nantucket on September 16, 1989, during a torrential rain-storm and honeymooned in Thailand. Shortly afterward, she was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and began working as an associate in the real estate department at Palmer & Dodge, LLP in Boston. In 1996, she moved to Nantucket with her growing family and worked at Vaughan, Dale, & Hunter, P.C. until 2003, when she was hired as an associate at Sarah F. Alger, P.C., where she worked until her death. She was a member of the Nantucket Bar Association and the Nantucket Women's Bar Association.
Alison was an active member of the Nantucket community, where she served in various capacities as a dedicated volunteer, especially within the educational arena. She was a board member and clerk of the Nantucket New School; past president of the board of the Children's House on Nantucket and member of the principal search committee at Nantucket High School. Additionally, Alison was a dedicated supporter of Nantucket Student Soccer Association.
At the center of Alison's rich life were her husband David and their 3 children, Katelyn Dougherty Zieff, Joseph "Jojo" Jerry Sweet Zieff and Benjamin Herman Zieff. She followed their every milestone and considerable academic achievement with love and pride and was an avid fan of their various sports teams and extracurricular activities. Those close to Alison know that she was never without a loving anecdote about David or one of her three marvelous children, and that she was able to laugh easily and heartily about the daily joys and challenges of parenthood and family life. The Zieff family's reputation as a colorfully close-knit clan is a lasting testament to Alison's singularly humble, but un-waveringly fierce commitment to her family. Alison began calling her father "Rocks" after he accidentally sailed his boat onto the jetties in Nantucket harbor. The name was a symbol not only of the self-deprecating humor they shared, but also of his place as the firm foundation for her family and the close bond he shared with his grandchildren. She also loved her sister, Lizzie, dearly, and looked forward always to spending holidays with her family, especially her three children. David's family was also dear to Alison, and their love and care were ever-present throughout her life.
Alison's interests beyond her family were many and varied and she approached each with zeal and a good-natured competitiveness for which many will remember her. She loved to travel and was a talented tennis and paddle tennis player and a confident skier. She was an avid reader and a long-time participant in a women's book group. Although she was a notoriously bad cook, she was a regular host of cookouts, pot-luck dinners and impromptu gatherings of her children and their many friends and neighbors. Alison enjoyed the loving company and care of her "Lifestyle Management Team" throughout her illness. Her family is eternally grateful for their unflinching love and support.
Alison will be remembered especially for her mischievous humor, quick wit, remarkable persistence, unwavering loyalty, dogged determination, genuine humility, imposing intelligence and impossibly curly, beautiful hair.
In addition to her husband and 3 children, Alison is survived by her father, Kenneth Stuart Sweet and her step-mother, Mary Sweet of Haverford PA; and her sister, Elizabeth Sweet Harvey, and her husband Scott Harvey and their children, Lilly, Jake and Camilla of Concord MA. Alison was pre-deceased by her mother Carol Anne Sweet.
Services will be held at the Unitarian Church on Nantucket, 11 Orange St., at 11 A.M., on Saturday, May 1. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Nantucket New School, 15 Nobadeer Farm Rd., Nantucket MA 02554.