Obituaries » KENNETH J. SWEENEY SR.
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Kenneth J. Sweeney, Sr. of Rutland, passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 8, under the loving care of his family and the staff at St. Francis Home in Worcester. He was 96.
Ken was born in Fitchburg on April 3, 1920, a son of the late Charles F. and Anna (Emerson) Sweeney. He was raised in Fitchburg and was a graduate of Fitchburg High School, and received both his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in education from Fitchburg State College. Ken, at an early age, was introduced to music and was taught how to play the piano by his Aunt Flora. While in college, using his musical talent to make a few extra dollars playing the piano at the Rose Garden Ballroom in Lunenburg, Ken met and fell in love with a young nursing student by the name of, Alyce Mosteiko. They were married on September 25, 1943 and lived briefly in the Fitchburg area before moving to Rutland in 1947; where they would spend the next 69 years raising their family and embracing their community.
He taught briefly at the former Rutland High School and later held management positions at Rutland Veteran’s Hospital, Rutland Sanatorium, and Rutland Height’s Hospital. Prior to his retirement in 1982, Ken worked over 10 years as a vocational instructor at the Occupational Training Center in Worcester.
Ken was an accomplished pianist and played with several local bands throughout the years including the Ray Morton Orchestra and Frankie “Mark” Trio. In the 1980’s, he played with the Tuxedo Classic Jazz. His family fondly remembers gathering around their dad during the holiday season, while he played the grand piano and led them in Christmas carols. It was once said, “The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.” Ken understood this and could transpose anything put in front of him, in any key, and give a perfect performance. He loved to improvise and share his music with his family and friends.
Ken was a man of great faith. He was a devout member of St. Patrick’s Church in Rutland and a faithful volunteer with the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He was kind, compassionate, and a great conversationalist. He was proud of his children and their accomplishments and will be remembered as a loving husband, dad and grandpa.
Ken and Alyce enjoyed 71 years together before her passing in 2014. He is survived by his son, Kenneth J. Sweeney, Jr. and his wife, Linda J. of Rutland; his daughter, Linda D. Sweeney and her husband, Peter of Rutland; two grandchildren, Timothy M. and Ryan M. Sweeney. Besides his wife, Ken is predeceased by his brother, David Sweeney.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Ken’s family from 5 to 7 pm on Monday, December 12, at the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main St., Holden, again on Tuesday morning at the funeral home with a procession at 9:30 am to St. Patrick’s Church, 258 Main St., Rutland where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am. Interment will be held at Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Patrick’s Church, 258 Main St., Rutland, MA 01543, or the Rutland Food Pantry, 290 Main Street, Rutland, MA 01543.