Sandra Anne (Sweeney) White

Sandra Anne (Sweeney) White

OSWEGO – Sandra Anne (Sweeney) White, 81, of Oswego passed away after a brief stay at Seneca Hill Manor on June 15, 2024. She was affectionally known as Sandy to her large family members,  along with close friends and neighbors. She was born in the Oswego Hospital on November 28, 1942, the daughter of three children to her loving parents the late Donald and Nancy (Rodriquez) Sweeney. Sandy was a lifelong resident of Oswego. She was pre-deceased by her two cherished brothers, Donald Sweeney. Jr., Peter Sweeney Sr. and his wife Angela, and special godchild and cousin Pamela Treuting. She is survived by her sister-laws Colleen Sweeney and Kathy Wahrendorf of Oswego, and brother-in-law John Paul (Sharon}White of Ontario, NY. She is also survived by her very close cousins, nieces, nephews, and lifetime colleagues she worked with.

It was with deep sorrow that she lost the “love of her life,” her husband, the late William David “Dave” White who passed away on November 19, 2023. To carry on their legacy as loving parents, she leaves behind her daughter Christina (White) Chamberlain and her husband Jeff Chamberlain, and her son Justin Douglas White. Mimi’s two beloved grandchildren, Abigail Anne Chamberlain and Zachary David Chamberlain, were always her pride and joy.

Sandy’s philosophy was to never sit still, inspired by her maternal grandparents. For her, there was always something to learn and accomplish. She had strong cherished memories of her Idyllic childhood growing up on the family compound at East Seneca and Naomi Streets. It was there that Sandy started her passion for gardening, growing flowers, cooking, baking, housekeeping, and as a caregiver for family, friends, and neighbors in need. The family grew a large popular strawberry patch. Sandy enjoyed the opportunity to have a stand in front of the family home, built by her grandfather, to sell the local fresh favorite fruits. Sandy and her brothers attended Fitzhugh Park Elementary School and were able to quickly walk as they lived around the corner. She loved to travel and enjoyed summer breaks in New Jersey. This was when her uncles also took her to New York City to see the famous Yankees baseball stars, and she became a dedicated fan forever.

Sandy was an excellent student and always graduated with high honors in every school she attended. She was a graduate of the Oswego High School Class of 1960. It was there she began learning about the history of her mixed heritage of ancestors of British, Irish and Italian. A favorite teacher gave a lesson on family trees and coined her a Mediterranean-Irishman. She was fascinated by them all and first thought about joining the DAR club and other groups. However, at a very young age, Sandy began meeting nurses and doctors who became her heroes. It instilled in her a lifelong dream of focusing on the medical world of learning.

A moment in time almost derailed Sandy’s plans. It was in her sophomore year she first saw her future husband Dave on their way home for lunch. It was an actual very remarkable local news article, when she was hit by a car. Dave and his friends witnessed the accident, and he remarked, “Who is that girl.” He never forgot her from that moment on. Sandy thankfully survived to tell that story. She was ready to start her career dreams, but she had to wait as she graduated at age seventeen. She went to live with family in North Syracuse to go to sectorial school. When she was eighteen she lived with family in Utica and studied clinical nursing at St. Elizabeth Hospital School of Nursing for her LPN degree. She returned home and worked for a year at the Oswego Hospital as a second-floor nurse to raise money for tuition costs at Crouse Irving Hospital School of Nursing. During her nursing experiences, she did training to treat patients at St. Lawrence Psychiatric Hospital in Ogdensburg, NY.

Upon successfully graduating as a Registered Nurse, Sandy returned to Oswego. She then started a career as the infirmary nurse at the Mary Walker Health Center at SUNY Oswego, treating ill students on campus. She then became one of the first Nurse Practitioners in Upstate New York with a small new group when it officially formed in 1980. She graduated from that new formation at Community General Hospital in Syracuse, NY. Local doctors encouraged Sandy and a close friend to pursue Physician Assistants promotions. They did their studies at Yale University in Connecticut. While working full-time Sandy wanted a college degree. Her entire family supported her, and she graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor of Science in Vocational Education in 1974. Sandy then taught nursing night school classes for Oswego County BOCES. Throughout her medical career, she loved taking care of thousands of patients for more than 30 years. Many often remarked about her magic touch.

 During that time Sandy and Dave had several serendipitous moments that became a romance story fit for a classic movie. They were married at St. Joseph Church and were together for more than 50 years. Sandy devoted herself to supporting the interests, goals, and careers of her husband and children. She loved to decorate her dream home and make many improvements and fine furnishings wherever she lived. She had an extensive rose garden, flower boxes, picket fence, and a gazebo. She enjoyed making floral arrangements from her gardens. She made pies, cakes, and Italian cookies regularly to go around town to give as a hostess gift. Her oven ran constantly for the church bazaars.

 Sandy was very active in the community. She was a member of the Oswego Elks Ladies Auxiliary, served as president, and held Red Cross blood drives. She was a member of the former Ladies Home of Oswego Auxiliary board, Oswego County Historical Society, Oswego Town Historical Society, and Heritage Foundation of Oswego.

 Sandy and Dave loved to travel with their son to historic sites in New York State, Canada, and across the country, with lasting memories. Sandy and her son particularly enjoyed trips to Toronto and New York City Broadway shows. In retirement years, Sandy and Dave enjoyed driving to Florida for winter months to visit family and friends at their home in Lakeland. Sandy and Dave were devoted parishioners at St. Mary’s Church,

Lastly, Sandy will be remembered for her compassion, generosity, and kindness to all. From her own final school quote, “What comes from the heart, goes to the heart.” May she forever rest in peace.

A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, June 20, 2024, at St. Mary Parish & Shrine, Oswego. Arrangements are under the caring guidance of Nelson Funeral Home.

Sandra Anne (Sweeney) White

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