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Coach Sweeney --  see http://www.shspoon.stirsite.com/CoachNoelSweeney.html

Sweeney, Noel C. (Coach), 84, died Thursday, July 24, 2008 in Anaheim.

He was born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland to Joseph and Mary (Devlin) Sweeney on Sept. 28, 1923. He came to Orange County in 1930 and lived here for 78 years.

He graduated from Anaheim High School in 1942. Later, he went to Fullerton J.C. and received a Bachelor's degree from Whittier College. A Veteran of WWII, when he rehabilitated wounded servicemen at the San Diego Naval Hospital. He married his childhood sweetheart, Marie Esther Ward on June 30, 1945. Known as "Kid Sweeney" when he pitched in semi-pro fast pitch softball.

He coached High School football, track, and cross-country, and refereed basketball games. But it was baseball where he left his mark. He was the first Varsity baseball coach at Savannah H.S., where his 1962 team won the C.I.F. Championship and his #17 Jersey was retired on May 24, 1999.

The "Grey Fox" was also the first Varsity baseball coach at Katella H.S., where in 18 seasons his teams compiled a 249-162-6 record, a 60.6 winning percentage. O.C. Coach of the Year (1975). C.I.F. Finalist (1972) and Semi-finalist (1975, 1981). Five League Titles. 1985 "Good Guy Award," O.C. Sports Hall of Fame. After retirement, he initiated the Anaheim U.H.S. Breakfast Alumni Club.

He is survived by the love of his life for 63 years, Marie Esther (Ward) Sweeney; children, Christine Marie Wells, Noel Patrick Sweeney, Michael Devlin Sweeney; grandchildren, Chad (Tiffany) Wells, Jared (Ruth) Wells, Shane (Liz) Wells, Ryan McLain Sweeney, Jessica (Josh) Sullens; great-grandchildren, Ariana, Tyler, Jeralynn, Jake, Braden, Erin, Tyler (Ty); sisters, Evelyn Fergus, Patricia Truxaw, Milo LeVecke, Joyce Schumacher; sister-in-law, Esther Sweeney; brothers-in-law, Phil McGraw, Jerry Schumacher; numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by, his parents; brother (mentor), Kevin Sweeney; sisters, Maureen Sweeney, Ailish McGraw; brothers-in-law, Don Fergus,! Bob Truxaw, Neil LeVecke; nephews, Bill LeVecke, Bobby Truxaw, Pat Sweeney. The viewing is Monday, July 28, 2008, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Gardens Crematory in Anaheim. A Memorial Mass at 10 a.m. will be held on Monday, Aug. 4, 2008, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Anaheim. We all miss you terribly.
Published in the Orange County Register on 7/29/2008


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Paul Saevig, '67 on July 29, 2008 at 11:45 AM said:

My AUHS '41 mom remembered Noel Sweeney with a smile. She said he was a "nice kid and a good dancer", also a good friend of the legendary AUHS athlete Bill Lewis who died unfortunately right after WW2. One of Coach Sweeney's classmates was Bill Shipkey, who went on to play NFL football and founded the Shipkey tire company in Anaheim. Other Anaheim Colonists of that era include Bob Fluor, about '39, founder of the Flour Corporation; the Penhall brothers who founded Penhall Construction; OC land investor Jerry Trimble, '42; bandleader George Garabedian; the Morales family that founded Alex's Tamales, and many others.

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