Mary Elizabeth Sweeney

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 16, 2010

A funeral mass for Mary Elizabeth “Liz” Sweeney, 74, of Tallahassee, Fla., will be held Wednesday, July 21, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church on West Tennessee Street at 11 a.m.

Following the funeral mass, graveside services will be held at Pinecrest Memorial Gardens on Caverns Road in Marianna, Fla., at 3 p.m.

Family and friends are invited to attend the visitation and rosary at Culley’s Funeral Home on Riggins Road in Tallahassee on Tuesday, July 20. Visitation is from 6 to 7 p.m. and rosary will take place from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

Email newsletter signup

Born March 9, 1936, in Bainbridge, Ga., Ms. Sweeney died July 14, 2010, at the Select Specialty Hospital in Tallahassee with family and friends at her bedside.

Ms. Sweeney lived the last 40 years of her life in Marianna, Fla., and then in Tallahassee, Fla.

Ms. Sweeney was a member of the Co-Cathedral St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Tallahassee, and an associate of The Missionary Cenacle Apostolate, an organization for devout Catholics who desire greater personal sanctification and are willing to take an active role. The special purpose of the Cenacle is the preservation of the faith.

She was a president of the Florida Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in 1977-1978 and received the FASFAA Honorary Lifetime Member Award in 1998. Her hobbies included reading, fishing, college football and helping others through her love of God.

Dr. Sweeney received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from St. Louis University and her Ph.D. from NOVA University.

She began her professional career at St. Louis University and then moved on to Springhill College in Mobile, Ala., as the first female administrator of the previously all-male school. Following Springhill, she became the director of financial aid at Chipola College in Marianna and finished her career as acting director, Office of Student Financial Assistance, and director of state programs, Office of Student Financial Assistance, Florida Department of Education.

She was instrumental in developing the College Pre-Paid Tuition Program and spearheaded the implementation of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program and development of the State Student Financial Aid Database system.

She was predeceased by her mother, Statira Rawls Sweeney of Marianna; her father, John “Jack” Sweeney of Bainbridge, and a brother, John “Johnnie” Sweeney Jr. 

She is survived by her brother, George Sweeney and his wife, Marilyn, of Marianna; her niece, Jennifer Sweeney Colvin and her husband, Russ; an aunt, Martha Rawls Johnson of Winter Haven, Fla., and several cousins.

Donations to The Missionary Cenacle Apostolate are requested in lieu of flowers. Donations should be provided to Peg McElroy Trinity Region MCA 5630 Homewood Road Pensacola, FL 32504.

Culley’s MeadowWood Funeral Home in Tallahassee, Fla., is in charge of arrangements.