During 86 years of living, Leslie Thomas Sweeney never tired of serving or working.
He was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee, but moved to Tullahoma as a small boy. By the age of 6, Mr. Sweeney already had his first job. His father had died, and although he had older siblings, Mr. Sweeney wanted to help his family. He took a job delivering the Tullahoma News, and for almost the next 80 years, the Tennessee native with an entrepreneurial spirit served his God, country and family.
His commitment to Christ was evident by his faithful attendance at Grundy Street Church of Christ until his illness, his loving devotion as a God-fearing husband to his wife of 62 years, Sadie Sanders Sweeney, and his decision to educate his children, Keith and Sandra, in Christian schools and colleges.
Mr. Sweeney graduated from Tullahoma High School where classmates called him “Baby” because he was the youngest of the sons in his family. It was clearly an endearment that fit his birth order and nothing else. As a patriotic man, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served his country during the Korean War. After his military career, Mr. Sweeney attended Middle Tennessee State College before starting his career as a State Farm Insurance agent in Nashville. Later, he owned an insurance agency. His work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and sharp acumen with numbers led Mr. Sweeney to launch a new career as a property owner in Nashville, before later opening a nursery in Tullahoma. The fighting spirit he’d demonstrated throughout his life served Mr. Sweeney well in his recovery from a serious tractor accident and when he beat both lung and colon cancer.
Since 2012, Mr. Sweeney had lived at Bailey Manor in Manchester wrestling with dementia and the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. On May 25, this servant, veteran, husband, father, fighter, entrepreneur, salesman and faithful Christian died peacefully. His work had been done.
Mr. Sweeney is preceded in death by his parents, Grady Jones Sweeney and Lena Bell Tankersley Sweeney; two brothers, Theo and James Sweeney; and one sister, Juanita Caskey.
He’s missed and loved by wife Sadie Sanders Sweeney of Tullahoma; son Keith (Elaine) Sweeney; daughter Sandra Sweeney Bemis (Rick) and grandchildren Christopher, Adam and Slater.
Visitation will be held on Friday, May 29th, 2015 from 1:00-3:00 pm at Kilgore Funeral Home with the funeral service to immediately follow at 3:00 pm in the Kilgore Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Philip Davis officiating.
Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery in Tullahoma.
For those who wish, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 201 West Lincoln Street, Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388.