January 28, 1930 - February 3, 2017 Jack Allen Sweeney was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents John Joseph Sweeney and Edna May (Mooney) Sweeney, the descendants of Irish immigrants. Jack passed away peacefully in his home in Beverly Hills, just days after having celebrated his 87th birthday with his family. Jack attended elementary school and junior high in Pittsburgh. At the age of 16, Jack and his family moved from Pittsburgh to Glendale, California. Jack graduated from Glendale High School in 1949. Jack, a decorated veteran of the Korean War, served in Japan and Korea from 1950 to 1952. Returning from the war, Jack studied at Glendale College. After working various jobs, Jack determined to pursue a career in banking - a career in which he believed he would have a "future." Jack worked at Farmers and Merchants Bank in Los Angeles, and later joined Union Bank in Beverly Hills. Jack's keen analytical mind enabled him to distinguish himself in banking as a credit analyst, underwriter and lender. Jack was not satisfied merely lending money to other people to invest. Always the entrepreneur, Jack could not resist the opportunity to invest himself. With limited capital at first, Jack began his successful career as an investor in real estate. Jack went on to develop apartment complexes, condominiums and shopping centers. In 1979, Jack resumed his career in banking, founding Great American Bank in Century City, which later became First Regional Bank. Jack achieved great success at the Bank, serving as First Regional's principal shareholder, Chairman and CEO. Jack was an active philanthropist. In 1993, Jack and Marilyn formed the Sweeney Foundation, which has supported music, education, the arts and other charitable causes for many years, especially in Southern California. Jack and Marilyn have supported and lent their name to the Sweeney Art Gallery and the Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center, managed and operated by UC Riverside. Jack loved classical music and opera, and enjoyed and supported KUSC Radio Station, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, L.A. Opera and other fine arts institutions in Los Angeles. Jack had three children with his first wife, Julia: Cynthia, Patricia and Steven. After that marriage ended in 1987, Jack married his second wife, Marilyn, in 1989. Jack and Marilyn remained happily married until Marilyn passed away in 2013. Jack was also predeceased by his sister, Audrey Booth, who passed away in 1996, and by his brother, Russell, who died at the age of 2. Jack is survived by his three children, Cynthia Trice, Patricia Sweeney, and Steven (Julie) Sweeney; and his three grandchildren, Nicholas and Jaclyn Sweeney and Brandon Trice, to whom he was a devoted father and grandfather. Jack will always be remembered for his strong work ethic, outstanding leadership, generosity, good humor and friendship. He will be greatly missed. Jack will be laid to rest at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego with military honors. Jack's family may be contacted for details about a memorial celebration to be planned.
Published in Los Angeles Times on Feb. 8, 2017.