William (Bill) T. Sweeney, 73, passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 10, 2020 with his loving family by his side.
Bill was born on March 17, 1947 to Jim and Margret Sweeney. An Irishman at heart, he loved celebrating his birthday each year on St. Patrick’s Day.
He graduated from Cardinal Mooney and attended the Pittsburgh Art Institute for Graphic Design. Drafted on April 18, 1969, as a Private, and upon completion of bootcamp he applied for, and was accepted, to the Army Officer Candidate School and Commissioned. Once Commissioned, he chose to enter helicopter training and immediately upon graduation was deployed to Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he served with distinction and rose to the rank of Captain. During his tour in Vietnam, he served with dedication and bravery and was awarded numerous accommodations to include the Bronze Star and 13 Air Metals. Upon completion of his service in Vietnam, Bill’s love for his country and flying led him to the continuation of his military career in the National Guard. He served as a UH-1 helicopter pilot in the Ohio National Guard and later transitioned to a Black Hawk pilot with the West Virginia National Guard.
While serving with the West Virginia National Guard, he was granted a unique and rare consent from a 2-Star General at the Pentagon, to be approved for deployment at the age of 59 with his unit to Iraq. Half way through his tour, he celebrated his 60th birthday. Bill was awarded a second Bronze Star and two Air Metals, while in Iraq. Upon his return to the United States, he retired from his Military Career at the rank of CW5.
In concurrence with his military service, Bill and his wife, JoAnn, owned Sweeney and Associates, a graphic design studio located in Boardman, OH. They operated the company for over thirty years serving clients from small businesses, non-profit companies and major industrial corporations. He took great pride in helping others reach their success through the use of strategic marketing. This type of initiative led to his collaboration in the creation of CSUtest.com, an EMS and Fire online continuing education service.
In 2008, Bill and JoAnn sold Sweeney and Associates and he continued his passion for flying as a pilot for the STAT MedEvac (UPMC critical care transport flight system). Although not on military duty, he continued to save lives. He retired from STAT MedEvac in December 2018.
Besides his country, Bill enjoyed serving his community. He was a 35 year member of Boardman Rotary. He received Rotary’s Service Above Self Award, was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and Past President of the Club. Bill lived his life following the Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self”. Quietly assisting many organizations in the area with both his time and talent, he always felt that it was not what you have but what you give that made the difference.
Bill leaves his beloved wife, JoAnn (Cabuno) Sweeney who he married in November 1969. They recently celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary but truly celebrated each year with love and compassion for each other. He is also survived by two children, Shannon (Nick) Tirone of Boardman and Michael (Marnee) Sweeney of New Middletown. Always a proud father who supported his children with words of wisdom and compassion. The joy of his life was sharing many adventures and activities with his two granddaughters, Jessica Tirone and McKenna Sweeney. All of his awards and recognition did not compare to the pride he had in being called “PaPa”.
In addition, Bill is survived by his siblings; Jim Sweeney of Youngstown, Ed (Joyce) Sweeney of San Francisco, CA and Mary (Walt) Healey of Hemet, CA.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, Jim and Margret Sweeney and a brother, Jack Sweeney.
Calling hours will take place at Davis-Becker Funeral Home, 8536 Market Street, Boardman, OH on Monday, September 14 from 4:00pm - 7:00pm. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 11:00am on Tuesday, September 15 at St. Charles Church with a military honor service to follow at Calvary Cemetery.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all guests visiting the family Monday evening at the funeral home are asked to wear a mask, honor the 6-foot rule and not linger after greeting the family.
In lieu of flowers, monetary donations can be made in Bill’s name to the Freedom Warriors. This organization assists wounded soldiers and disabled Veterans in the local community. Bill served his country and always believed in helping those who sacrificed their lives. Contributions can be sent to: Freedom Warriors, c/o Community Foundation of WPA and EOH, 7 West State Street, Suite 301, Sharon, PA 16146.
Please visit www.beckerobits.com to send condolences.