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Ann Marie SWEENEY

Ann Marie SWEENEY Obituary
ANN MARIE SWEENEY, B.A., M.S.W., LL.B. Wife, Mother, Lawyer, Advocate Ann Marie Sweeney, of Toronto and West Vancouver, passed away on November 11, 2019 in Toronto after a determined battle against cancer. She was 83 years old. Ann Marie was raised in Hartsdale, New York, the daughter of Edward Forbes and Kathleen Fogarty, both originally from Ireland. The oldest of two bright daughters, Ann Marie was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. From there, she completed a Master of Social Work at Fordham University and worked as a psychiatric social worker first in New York and then Vancouver. Later, she earned a Bachelor of Laws from UBC and practiced law for 30 years. She is survived by her sister Kay Fandetti, her daughter Brenda (Don), sons John (Alba) and James (Jas), and her three grandchildren Daniel, James and Lina. Ann Marie's upbringing and education in a devout Catholic family instilled in her a strong sense of faith, hard work and social justice. She was a builder. She built a marriage of more than 50 years with her husband, James Brian Sweeney (d. 2013), a pediatric dentist. From this marriage, she educated and launched three children into the world while practicing law. She worked tirelessly to assist six religious orders in their work among the poor. With a beloved group of friends, she created two charitable foundations, Familia Christi and the Forbes Foundation. She found great joy in the work these foundations did to help people in Canada, Haiti, Latin America and Africa. Whether at Familia Christi holiday sales or fundraising events at her oceanside home, Ann Marie shone brightly as an active participant in life and work. Her visits to South America with her husband bonded them together in common purpose and joy. Many thanks to the nurses, staff and physicians who provided her with expert care in Toronto, especially Dr. Esther Rosenthal, Dr. Alexandra Easson, Dr. Raymond Jang, and devoted caregiver Haydee Coufadis. A Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at St. Anthony's Parish in West Vancouver, BC. In Toronto, a memorial mass will be held at St. Basil's Church, 50 St. Joseph St. on December 7, 2019 at 10 a.m. Lunch reception will follow at the Four Seasons Hotel, 60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes a donation to the BCIT Foundation and asks that the funds be directed in Ann Marie Sweeney's name to the nursing program.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Nov. 18 to Dec. 4, 2019
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