Kathleen SweeneySeptember 6, 1946 ~ October 26, 2017 (age 71)
NAUGATUCK – Kathleen Bradley Sweeney, 71, died Thursday, October 26, 2017. Kathy was born September 6, 1946, the second of five children, to Edward F. and Kathleen (O'Connor) Bradley, at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury.
Growing up in Bunker Hill, Kathy was a member of the first graduating class of Blessed Sacrament School before graduating from Waterbury Catholic High School and then Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross in 1969. Kathy loved teaching third grade at St. Mary's Grammar School in Waterbury from 1969 to 1972, at which point she changed her focus from the classroom to what became a lifelong source of joy and comfort, her family. Her teaching career at St. Mary's overlapped with her Mother's so they enjoyed commuting to and from school each day and sharing the teaching experience together.
Kathy married Lawrence M. Sweeney in 1969 and together they raised their daughter Katy, the light of Kathy's life. While doting on her daughter, as well as her entire extended family, occupied a significant portion of her time, Kathy was active in the YWCA and quietly devoted time to charitable work and to helping people in need throughout the Naugatuck Valley.
Later, Kathy worked at Naugatuck Valley Community College where for almost twenty years she serves as a job developer, counseling and advocating for countless students looking for internships and employment opportunities. She truly cherished the friends she made working there and the young people she felt privileged to have helped. Kathy touched more lives and impacted more people than could ever fit on this page. To know her was to feel her energy, spirit and passion.
Kathy was incredibly proud of her Waterbury roots. Her father, Ed, was an attorney in town before and after representing Waterbury as a State Representative and Senator. He went on to a distinguished career as a Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commissioner. Her mother, Kay, was a homemaker as well as a teacher at St. Mary's Grammar School. It was from her parents and grandparents, as well as the innumerable aunts, uncles and cousins throughout the Waterbury area, that Kathy developed her abiding love of family, as well as her love for The Brass City. It seems Kathy would run into someone she knew from home almost everywhere she went. On the rare occasion that she bumped into a stranger, Kathy would often simply introduce herself as “Kathy Sweeney; Waterbury, Connecticut.” One time, the unsuspecting recipient of her greeting was the Prime Minister of Canada.
From the time she was a little girl all the way through this past year, Kathy enjoyed few things more than the summers she spent in Rhode Island with family and friends. Family sing-a-longs, days on the beaches and sandbars, searching for sea glass, clamming in the pond and visits to “Elephant Rock” were some of the ways she most loved to spend her time. The beach was not simply her happy place, it was a happier place because of her.
For the last two years of her life, Kathy was given the incredible gift of staying with her daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons. The quiet moments of peace, the loud moments of laughter and the simple moments of being together with the people who meant the most to her (especially her “best boys” Jake and Ben) are a gift that she appreciated until the last. Her family was a precious gift that she treasured greatly, cherished daily and defended fiercely. Nothing was more important to her than the people she loved.
Kathy is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Katy and Allan Bredice as well as her two beloved grandsons, Jake and Ben, of Avon, CT; her older brother, Edward, and his wife, Jane, of Freeport, ME; her dear sister, Beth, of West Hartford, CT; her younger brothers, Brien, and his wife, Ava, of Scarborough, ME and Michael, and his wife Barbara, of Westerly, RI. Kathy is also survived by five nephews and six nieces who she doted on and who meant the world to her, as well as their families and extended families. Kathy is also survived by her ex-husband, Larry, and his wife, Bridget, to whom Kathy and her family are eternally grateful for their love and support. Kathy was predeceased by her parents as well as by her infant son, Lawrence M. Sweeney, Jr..
Kathy and her family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the doctors, nurses and staff who have been there for us throughout this journey. We are most grateful for your care, compassion and professionalism.
St. Vincent de Paul Mission of Waterbury
34 Willow Street P.O. Box 1612, Waterbury CT 06721