John  McSweeney

Obituary of John Robert McSweeney

McSweeney, John Robert Passed away peacefully at his home in Orillia, ON May 2nd at the age of 79. Beloved husband of Mildred McSweeney (nee McDermott) for 45 years. Devoted father to Jim Kavanaugh (Kathleen), Ken Kavanaugh & Sharon Kavanaugh (Peter). Cherished ‘Papa John’ of Jaclyn, Liz, Wil, Ralph (d.), Krystal, Tim, Shannon, Ken, Lane & Scott. Great-grandfather of Mercedes, Nicholas, Alexander, Zakariya, Alexis, Hanna, Gregory, Benjamin, Kassidy, Austin, Koltan, Lincoln, Easton, Everlee, Lauren, Felix & Kaycee. Dear brother of deceased siblings & spouses Patricia & Ed Lafontaine, Viola & Alex Ellison, Curtis McSweeney, surviving sisters Marion Joia, Maureen McSweeney, brother Terrence McSweeney & sisters-in-law Jeanette McSweeney & Joan McSweeney .”Uncle John” to Christopher, James, Joe, Sharon, Debbie, Cheryl, Terrence, Patrick, David, Christine, Michael, Michelle & predeceased Stephen, Patrick, Anthony, Douglas & Lori. John was born in Kapuskasing, ON, the youngest of 7 children. He cherished memories of traveling the rivers of the Canadian Shield to his father’s remote cabin. His mother was a nurse and midwife who was active in the Catholic Women’s Groups. John loved Canada’s north and spent 26 years in Iqaluit, NU. He was a Music & English teacher at GREC and elementary teacher at Nakasuk. The many comforting Facebook messages of condolence from his former students are a moving testament to his dedication & the gift of music he gave so many. He loved creating community performances with his students; Christmas Concerts, Talent Shows, etc. John was very active in the community as Chair of the ToonikTyme Committee and co-founder & President of the Baffin Island Regional Museum where he worked tirelessly to preserve & catalogue Inuit artifacts. He was also a dedicated volunteer at the Catholic Parish Church as choir master & organist. Upon retirement, John and Millie settled in Orillia where he continued to be active in the community volunteering at Mariposa Folk Festival, etc. A passionate music fan & Canadian Opera Company season ticket holder, he delighted in taking his family to performances. He loved the outdoors and a roaring campfire. John possessed of a great sense of occasion; whether it was Christmas, a birthday, St. Patrick’s Day, you name it, there was a personal card from Papa John in the mail. Everyone looked forward to his annual extremely detailed Christmas letter! Relentlessly loving, upbeat, engaged and positive, John was one of God’s better people. He will be deeply missed by his many friends and family. John & family would like to thank the compassionate staff at Soldiers Memorial, his long time nurse Katherine Oliver, Dr. Nay at RVH& Dr. Perrigo. A celebration of John’s life will be held at a later date. As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations can be made to the Ontario Lung Association or the Canadian Cancer Society through the Simcoe Funeral Home, 38 James St. E Orillia (705) 327-0221. Messages of condolence are welcomed at


St. Columbkille's Roman Catholic Cemetery
Hwy 12 South
Uptergrove, Ontario, Canada

Memorial Donations

Ontario Lung Association or the Canadian Cancer Society
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