Daniel J. McSweeney, 84, Newport

Posted 11/2/20

Daniel Joseph McSweeney, 84, of Newport, died at home on October 24, 2020, with his beloved wife of 35 years, Rebecca McSweeney, by his side.

He died due to complications resulting from …

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Daniel J. McSweeney, 84, Newport


Daniel Joseph McSweeney, 84, of Newport, died at home on October 24, 2020, with his beloved wife of 35 years, Rebecca McSweeney, by his side.

He died due to complications resulting from Parkinson’s Disease.

Dan cherished family above all else, and was a much loved husband, father, uncle, grandfather and great uncle. As the only boy among six siblings, he was the last McSweeney in his lineage and made it his responsibility to share the family history with younger generations.

He was a steadfast, warm and loving friend who helped many, many people, by encouraging and supporting them through humor and honesty to lead productive and happy lives. He was the best cheerleader ever. 

True to form, he turned his job as a commercial real estate owner and broker and property manager into another opportunity to extend his social circle, befriending everyone from restaurateurs to shop owners, parking lot attendants to hot dog sellers.

Dan was a professional storyteller, never happier than when he was sitting, legs crossed, in his Harvard Chair around the table telling tales. He had an anecdote for every occasion, with a Camp Kiev song sprinkled in for good measure, topped off by a hearty chuckle.

He was a dapper dresser, taking pride in looking “tweedy.” He never met a Herringbone jacket or Shetland sweater that he didn’t like. And he was an extravagant cook, bravely tackling any recipe packed with butter from Julia Child’s hollandaise and bearnaise sauces to Harold and Peter Petropolis’ grandmother’s 3-hour Spanakopita with his sous chef Rebecca at his side.

Dan had a lifetime love affair with sports of all kinds. He was an avid sportsman throughout his youth, earning eight varsity letters from Milton and ranking 7th in New England for squash. His passion for racquet sports extended throughout his life and he continued to play the ancient sport of court tennis into his 80s. If he wasn’t playing sports, he was watching them, be it the Red Sox, Celtics, Wimbledon or the local little league who never won a game. Dan loved them all.

Dan saved a special place in his gentle and generous heart for four-legged friends--his collies as a kid, a rescue named Domino who loyally spent countless work days on the floor by his desk, and the newly acquired Diego.

He is survived by his wife, Becky McSweeney, a member of the Byers/Hatch clan of Little Compton; sister Annsie McBroom; daughters Alison and Brett O’Hara and Kate Sweeney and her husband Colm; granddaughter Katia Holmes; and grandsons Eamon and Siadhal Sweeney. He also has many nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews who love him dearly.

He will be also missed by his in-laws: Deborah and George Schuessler and daughter Angela, Sarah and Clay Statmore, Ann and Blake Morris and daughter Carly as well as countless lifelong friends from Milton, Harvard, the Owl Club, AA, and the Hasty Pudding Club.

He will have an extended family reunion with his father and mother, Daniel and Adelaide Sweeney; sisters, Jane Dowling, Ruth Hadley, and Heidi Eggers; and other assorted family members and friends who died too young.

Calling hours (masks and social distancing please) will be held on Sunday, November 1st from 1:00 to 4:00 at 33 Farewell Street, Newport.  A Memorial service will take place in Little Compton in May.

In lieu of flowers, Dan would have appreciated donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research www.michaeljfox.org.  Arrangements by Fern Acres Funeral Home, Little Compton.

2024 by East Bay Media Group

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.