A hole was ripped in the heart of the Lewiston, MT community on April 17, 2012 when a tragic vehicle accident took the life of Anthony “Tony” Sweeney.
Beloved husband, father, son, brother, friend, and co-worker, Tony, age 45, was indeed a special person to all that knew him. He was the proverbial “Good Guy” that would give you the shirt off his back or even his last piece of antelope jerky. His passing has left us all with a great sense of loss that is difficult to bear.
Tony was a proud father and husband with a caring and positive outlook and sense of humor that we all admired. Always the first to help anyone in need, we are all thankful for what he has given of himself over the time we have known him. To his friends, he was known as “Retch”, he was a brother and he was family. He was the person you called in the middle of the night when you really needed someone to talk to, someone to understand you.
Tony had a great love of the outdoors which was instilled in him by his father, Les, at an early age and was a passion he carried throughout his life.
His interest and commitment to hunting, fishing, or anything outdoors was passed on to his children in the same manner. He beamed with pride and satisfaction when recounting times spent with his family and friends. Everyone that knew him can tell you stories of adventures and trials shared with him.
Known as a man of many trades; Tony had a unique ability for fixing things. He had experience with mining, construction, ranching, outfitting, automobiles, and was lastly employed at the Lewistown City public works department. He took pride in all that he did.
A tireless worker, he could solve problems that perplexed others that had thrown their hands up in the air. When others were baffled not knowing what to do next, he would be the one to find a solution and move forward. Many of us leaned on him in times of need, often for tasks that were not very desirable.
Always a catalyst for bringing people together, everyone that knew Tony knows someone else because of him. Almost all of us have made many other friends that we are grateful for thru his introduction. He was very likeable amongst a diverse cross section of people. When parting he always gave a firm hug and said “I love you”. It was sincere and without pretense, a genuine statement that many of us hold dear.
He didn’t seem to get as mired in the trivial things that a lot of people let creep into their existence, things that when looked back on seem petty or unnecessary. Being human, he had his ups and downs, as we all do, but always seemed to get through them and be the better for it in the long run. It was a pleasure to be in his space and absorb good energy from him.
The fact that he was soon to be a grandfather was something he looked forward to with excitement and anticipation. It is unfortunate that he will not be able to share this experience with his family, but his legacy will continue in the next generation. He will still be with us in the form of his families’ continuance and our coveted time spent with him.
To sum up what Tony has meant to each of us in these few short paragraphs is an exercise in futility. These words are but a mere glimpse of his persona. Suffice to say that we all have volumes of memories to cherish and share with each other for the rest of our lives is now what we hold on to.
Our grief and sorrow of his passing can only be overshadowed by the thankfulness and privilege we feel in having had him in each our lives.
Simply stated, he was beautiful. “We love you man.”
Tony was born on April 21, 1966. He attended schools in Monticello and then high school in Virginia City, NV, where he met and later married his soul mate, Laurie Andreasen Sweeney. He graduated from Virginia City High School in 1984. In 1988, he and Laurie moved to Lewistown, MT where he lived until his death.
He is survived by his wife Laurie, son Kyle and daughter Taylre all of Lewistown; parents Les and Cheri of Payette, ID; grandmother Maxine Sweeney of Emmett, ID; brothers Justin (Kim) Wilcomb of Nampa, ID, Lyle Sweeney of Columbus, GA, and Dean (Nancy) Sweeney of Salem, OR; sister Lorie Sweeney of Salt Lake City, UT; soon to be granddaughter and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents and paternal grandfather.
Memorial services were April 23. Cremation has taken place. Cloyd Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the family.
Friends are asked to make memorials to the Sweeny Family C/O First Bank of Montana or the charity of their choice and may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home, PO Box 595, Lewistown, MT 59457.
Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com