Mary D. Sweeney Aug. 18, 1911 - Nov. 30, 2008 Mary D. Sweeney, a resident of Torrance for the past 55 years, died at her home Sunday, Nov. 30, after a long illness. She was 97 years old. Born on Aug. 18, 1911 in Riverton, Ill., Mrs. Sweeney was the third of eight children of Czechoslovakian immigrants George and Marie Durako. After growing up in the Midwest, she married Frank J. Sweeney on Jan. 17, 1942 in Davenport, Iowa. During World War II the couple had two sons, Frank Jr. and George. In 1952, the family moved from Springfield, Ill., to Southern California. The following year, they purchased a home in Torrance where Mrs. Sweeney lived the rest of her life. Mrs. Sweeney was a member of St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Redondo Beach. Her husband, a retired aerospace electrician, died in 1986. She is survived by her sons, Frank Jr. of San Jose and George of Palos Verdes Estates; her daughter-in-law, Sharon Sweeney of San Jose; her sister, Julia Belongia of Green Bay, Wis.; her sister-in-law, Della Sciascia of Anahiem; and her longtime caregiver, Cecilia Ortega of Torrance. She also leaves a number of nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends. A vigil will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at McCormick Mortuary, 1998 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, with Rosary services at 7 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Lawrence Martyr Church, 1900 S. Prospect Ave., Redondo Beach, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.

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  1. We’ve all been blessed by having Aunt Mary in our lives. She was such a thoughtful lady…always remembering every birthday, Christmas, birth, etc. We eagerly awaited “the box” before Christmas. There was something for everyone. Only Aunt Mary would think that my electrician husband could use an extension cord or know that the girls would love the little samples of cosmetics. Although I only had the opportunity of seeing her a few times over the years, she was always a very real presence in my life. She was such a mother hen. When she came to visit my mother, I’d just hang in the background and listen to the two of them going back and forth (some might call it bickering with love). I can only imagine what it was like during their childhood. My family will always think of her with love. She was a very, very special mother, friend, sister, and aunt.

  2. As Liz’s daughter, I always heard about Aunt Mary. I even got to meet her and her sons a few times when they visited Green Bay to see my Grandma, Julie. I remember the special gifts she’d send, and although she looks a lot like her sister Julie, she has that beautiful California accent that differentiates her on the phone. I remember her as being very smiley and sweet all the time! We can all be glad she lived a happy, long life and brought so much joy to those around her!

  3. My Aunt Mary was such a special person. In the times that I did get to see her, what I do remember most, is that she always had a smile on her face. She had such a big heart and would give you the world and she tried to do that on many occasions. Everytime we would see her she would always try to give us something, I always kind of laughed about it afterward but I now realize that she just did it because she cared. She will be missed.

  4. Although I only had the pleasure of experiencing Aunt Mary in person on a few occasions, the many stories grandma Belongia would reminisce about made me feel like I knew her so much better. Keeping track of all us nieces and nephews couldn€™t have been easy yet she always remembered us kids for holidays and birthdays. Her kind nature and never ending smiles will live through the rest of us and continue to make the world a better place.

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