Posted by: caryandjohn | August 10, 2012

Rita Anne Sweeney, 1965 – 2012

My young sister, Rita Anne Sweeney, passed away last night, after a
heroic battle with cancer …

Rita Anne was forty-six and is mourned by her husband, Charley, four year old daughter August, three year old son Baby Charley, step son Simon and step daughter Ruby.






We had trouble sleeping last night, so Cary got out of bed and created a west coast style, dia de los muertos shrine for Rita Anne … It made me feel better …


Our hearts go out to Rita Anne and her beautiful family and many dear friends …



  1. My heart is aching with this news! Rita will always hold a special place in my memories. She was such a great friend growing up and I loved to hear about how she became a respected doctor and was building a wonderful loving family out in CA. My thoughts are with you all. She will surely be missed, especially that warm smile!!! – Janet Zawadsky Cleaves

  2. Hi Janet,

    Rita Anne always had wonderful friends, thanks so much for taking the time to write a comment for us … the memory of you guys running through the halls of PDS back in the day brought a smile to my face … Hope you and your family are well … — Cary & John

  3. So sorry to hear, this is a very sad time. Please let us know if there is anything we can do. We will keep you in our hearts and minds.
    Steve and Stephanie.

  4. Thanks, Steve and Stephanie … Your support means a lot to us right now …

  5. Dear Cary and John,

    I knew Rita when we where in elementary school at PDS, my mother (who still lives in Princeton) were going through photo albums showing my 11 year old daughter my friends when I was her age. There were so many of Rita. She was a wonderful friend and I will hold her dear in my heart. I am so sorry for your loss. It’s nice to know she touched so many lives and wonderful memories will live on. My love and prayers go out to you and your family.

    Warmly, Suzy Davidson Silver

  6. Hi Suzy,
    Thank you for your condolences … I remember you well, and what good friends you were with Rita Anne … Thank you for taking the time to share your memories and for keeping Rita and her family in your thoughts and prayers … — John

  7. I worked with Rita at MGH for the past few years and she left a lifelong impression on me.

    As a respected and well-educated physician, she went out of her way to make each employee, from the housekeepers to the RNs to the technicians, feel like an important part of the team. We were all equals in her mind and all included in caring for her patients right along side her. She seemed to truly enjoy working with us and doing all she could to heal other people.

    Not to mention the constant warm smile she carried that was always sure to make you feel good inside. Rita took the time to say hello to everyone and ask how they and their familys were doing. Her compassion for others was pure and constant. She genuinely cared so much about her patients and coworkers alike. I can only imagine how much she cared for and loved her dearest friends and family.

    I am honored to have worked with her and am deeply saddened to know that her family, our hospital, the patients of this community, and the entire world has lost a very, very special woman.

    I know her legacy will shine on through her wonderful children who can also light up a room like thier mother always did. I know she loved them enough to last a lifetime.

    I can only hope that I can maintain even half of the compassion and concern for others that she had. She taught me so much in the short time I knew her.

    Thank you Rita! You will be dearly remembered and painfully missed.


  8. Dear Jenean,
    Thank you so much for this moving testimonial to Rita Anne … Helped me to smile (through my tears) thinking of the way Rita Anne smiled, and the way August and Charley
    smile like their mom … — John

  9. A piece of my heart is gone now. Rita was an inspiration to me. I always loved coming to work when I knew Rita was going to be there, even if it wasn’t for my whole shift!! I will never forget that warm, loving smile she always had! She was an extraordinary woman, mother and Dr!!! I know her children and Charley will carry on her legacy!!! We love you Rita and the world will miss you!!! We shall meet again!!!

  10. She was an exceptional physician, colleague,
    and friend. She wrote me a recommendation
    in 2009 that was truly the nicest, most generous
    gift. I have spent the week in Lake Tahoe.
    Yesterday was the first day it rained.
    I am certain the lightning, thunder, and rain drops were tears.
    Our world has lost an amazing, beautiful, talented, lovely, smart, generous, and overall
    exceptional human being.
    She will be so incredibly missed!
    My family sends strength and tons of love
    to her family.

  11. Hi Chelsie,
    “We hall meet again!” What a comforting plan that is … our grandmom, my mother’s mom, who was 97, who is Rita Ann’s namesake, passed away a day before Rita did, and it gives me great comfort to think of Rita Anne, Rita and my mom (who passed on six years ago) all sitting together and looking down on their children and grandchildren … Thanks for taking the time to remember Rita Anne … — John A.

  12. Hi Nancy, Thanks so much for the kind words about Rita Anne, and for the strength and tons of love sent from
    your family to Rita Anne’s … — John A.

  13. I, too, am devastated by this very sad news. I was a close friend of Ritas through the PDS and Princeton High years and throughout our early twenties. We also went to Camp Nyoda together. I am having such a hard time with her loss, because she was such an important and influential friend at such an important time in my life. Rita was always a consistently optimistic, positive and thoughtful friend. She cared deeply about her family and friends and made all of us always feel like we had something important to say. She was a great listener and motivator, and was always ready for a new experience or challenge. I will hold on dearly to my Rita memories. I feel grateful that we became such good friends. My heart goes out to her family and children. You will truly be missed. xoxo Karri Bowen-Poole

  14. Hi Karri,
    Thanks so much for your kind and thoughtful words about Rita Anne, and for taking the time to post here … It is such a comfort to hear from Rita’s friends … Best to you and your family, — John

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