DOVER- Susan Kathleen Sweeney died peacefully at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center after a brief illness.
Born in Bridgeport, CT, she and her family relocated to West Dover in the early 1960s, where they owned and operated the Whippletree Lodge for 40 years.
Ms. Sweeney attended the Dover School and graduated from Wilmington High School. She earned a BS in nutrition from the University of Vermont, then followed her interests in floral design and gardening, taking her to Cape Cod and Lake Tahoe. Upon her return to Vermont, she worked as a wedding consultant in the Burlington area, coordinating catering services and flowers for many functions.
In 2006, she returned to West Dover where she joined the staff at Twin Valley Elementary School and helped implement programs to support autistic students in the district. She also offered gardening lessons for the WINGS after-school programs at Twin Valley Elementary School. Most recently, she worked as a paraprofessional at the Windham Regional Career Center and found a new passion in the culinary arts program.
Ms. Sweeney will always be remembered for her contagious laughter, her fun-loving spirit, her gardening and floral talents, and her passion for holiday celebrations and decorations.
She is survived by her mother, Eleanor; brothers Peter, David and wife Rebecca, and James and wife Kimona; and nieces and nephews Angela, Shawn, Jenna, Henry, Jörgen, and Tea. She also leaves her grand-niece and -nephews Leah, Jackson, and Teddy; as well as numerous cousins across the US. She also leaves her companion Bill Miller, of Brattleboro, and her beloved golden retriever, Bonnie. She was preceded in death by her father, Henry J. Sweeney, in 2004.
A private family burial is planned, and a celebration of her life will be held in June. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Windham County Humane Society, c/o Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, PO Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363. To send the family personal condolences visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.