Posted by: caryandjohn | July 31, 2013

Obituary of Mark William Sweeney, 1962 – 2013


Mark William Sweeney, beloved husband, father and friend died of cancer Friday July 19, 2013.

One thousand paper cranes, handmade by friends and family, turned gently in the sunlight of his room. He was home with his family caring for him until the end.

Mark was a graphic artist and illustrator who couldn’t help but teach everyone around him something cool about Apple computers. He was fifty years old.

Born in Tucson, Arizona on December 17, 1962, Mark came home from the hospital tucked in a red stocking–fitting for his joyful outlook. His childhood was spent in Princeton, New Jersey where he attended Princeton Day School. Mark studied architecture at Syracuse University before giving in to his passion for art. He was a painter, sculptor and gifted ceramist.

After college, Mark lived in San Francisco for nearly a decade where he created hundreds of illustrations for MacUser magazine and produced maps for several cruise lines, including Royal Viking.

After settling in Upper Montclair sixteen years ago, he was most proud of the many illustrations he created as part of several permanent exhibits at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

Mark became a certified “Creative” for Apple and brought his enthusiasm and know-how to anyone he worked with. Teachers, children and other artists were among his favorite clients.

Mark belonged to Union Congregational Church where he felt right at home and was humbled by their steadfast support throughout his illness. Mark had a twinkle in his eye, was a friend to all and never complained.

He was a devoted father to Evan (17) and Heather (14) and an over the moon soul mate to his loving wife of 21 years, Catherine. Mark cherished his relationship with his father, Dr. William A. Sweeney (of Skillman, New Jersey) and his mother Jeanne Sweeney, deceased. He was a loving brother to both John A. Sweeney (of San Francisco) and Rita A. Sweeney, who preceded him in death.

The family gathered in quiet sorrow and prayer at the time of his passing and intend to celebrate his life with a memorial service in the fall.

If you would like to make a gift in Mark’s name, the family would appreciate a donation on his behalf to the Montclair Art Museum where Mark spent many creative hours in the ceramics studio (

Public Memorial Service for Mark will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013, at 7:30 p.m.

Union Congregational Church
176 Cooper Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07043
(973) 744-7424



  1. Mark, You will be MISSED , BUT NEVER forgotten!!

    Love and Prayers to Cathrine and the girls.

    Love and Prayers to John and Bill!

    Mark was one of a kind! I will MISS him, He and the Sweeney Family
    were/are and always will be a BIG part of the Thomas Family!!

  2. Hi Tucker,
    Thanks for your thoughts and prayers … It is a real comfort to
    hear from Mark’s old friends … And my Mom and Rita Anne’s friends, too, of course …
    Mark was such a sweetheart … He will be missed …
    Please give your Mom and brothers a big hug for me, and for Mark, Rita and Jeannie!
    — John

  3. I hope You are well John, It has been a long time and am sorry it
    took this to talk again!

  4. Hi Tucker,
    I am OK thanks … there’s a joke about weddings and funerals bringing people together as we get older … It’s nice to remember your old family home on Lover’s Lane … Hope you are well!
    Take care,
    — John

  5. Yes, the old saying of it takes Weddings and Funerals!

    Listen, I meant to ask You, What are the plans for Marks Service her in N.J.?

    I don’t ask Stephen because he is Very upset about this,so I don’t want to
    make him even sadder! This is hard on Tebo!! The 2 of them were VERY CLOSE and am VERY HAPPY that Stephen would go see him when Mark was in a stable state, as well as not. A TRUE BOND those 2 had!!!


  6. Tebo and Mark … That brought a smile to my face … Nice to think of them hanging out recently …

    The plan is for a celebration-of-life service in September … I’ll make a new blog post here when I get news about a date and location …

    Give Stephan a hug or a punch on the arm for me … 🙂

  7. Hey John . What’s your address ?
    I want to send you a great picture. Hope you are well


  8. Hi Stephen,
    I’m well, thanks … hope you are well, too!
    Would love to see a pic …

    Best to you and your family,

  9. John, it’s been a tough couple of years for you all. I’ve thought often of you all over the past 12 months. It’s so difficult to comprehend. I hope all is well with you. Be safe, scott

  10. Hi Scott,
    Very difficult to comprehend … certainly not in the natural order of things … Mark is going to have a memorial the weekend of October 12th, probably that Saturday evening … Maybe I’ll see you there …
    thanks for the kind words …
    — John

  11. I worked at Apple with Mark. He was an inspiration to me in lots of ways. I was a new father at that time and he taught me the phrase “Embrace the chaos!” when I felt overwhelmed by the new responsibilities of fatherhood. He was funny and caring and an Artist, meaning he brought his creative perspective to everything he did. He was, to steal a phrase back from pop culture, a warrior. I’m sorry to have learned of this after the memorial, but Mark would have celebrated knowing I don’t use a cell phone. And my text messages on my family iPad are all f**cked up too. I’m f**cked up over this news. Angry at the universe.

  12. Hey Eric,
    “Embrace the chaos!”
    That was Mark and Cath for sure …
    Thanks for posting …
    — John A

  13. I, like Eric, worked at Apple with Mark. I joined the team (after Mark had encouraged me to apply, I was one of his many customers first) as his assistant in the Theater. He was my mentor and friend, always there with a smile, support and kind word… His talents and patience were endless.
    He will always be remembered and missed by his Apple Family… RIP Mark

  14. Hi Betsey,
    Thanks for taking the time to post here … good to know other folks are missing Mark, too …
    — Cary and John

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