Jean Marilyn Sweeney (Decker) passed away on March 4, 2021. She was 92.
Jean was married nearly 70 years to her husband Charles William “Bill” Sweeney. She is survived by her two children, Kelly Sweeney (Mary) and Koleen Cook (Paul). Her surviving grandchildren are Matt Sweeney, Carly Gronow (Chris), Raquel Cadourcy (Pierre), Daniel Cook and Emily Cook. Her great grandchildren include Harvey Cadourcy, 3 and Brooks Gronow, 1.
Lepha and Borley Decker welcomed their daughter Jean as the 7th of 11 children in Alamo Township, Michigan on January 28, 1929.
The family relocated to Lake Orion in 1930 when her father took work at the American Aggregate Co. in Oxford. Shortly thereafter, misfortune struck and the family lost their father to kidney failure. Jean’s mother Lepha was left to be a single mother to raise 11 children. The youngest had only just been born.
While the older children went to work to help support the family and her mother began to work three jobs, Jean was left to care for the younger siblings. As she became a young teen she would take odd jobs such as doing a neighbor’s dinner dishes to earn some spare change that might help buy shoes to fit or necessary food to feed the family. Two of her older brothers, Robert Decker and Clayton Decker were killed in action during WWII. The family endured great challenges.
Jean graduated from Lake Orion High School and immediately found a way to get ride shares to Pontiac Business Institute. This opened the door to an opportunity at General Motors Truck and Coach division in Pontiac where she enjoyed a 36 year career in Advertising/Marketing. She enjoyed being an active member of the GM Girls Club.
Golfing, bowling and entertaining were her favorite hobbies. Jean’s husband Bill co-owned Lake Orion Furniture and Appliance for 45 years and the couple were an integral part of the Lake Orion community for their entire lives. In retirement, Bill and Jean enjoyed their winter home in Vero Beach, FL for more than 30 years. Mostly, her time spent in retirement was deeply devoted to caring for each of her grandchildren. She had a very special relationship that each of them will cherish forever.
Private family funeral services will be held. Memorial contributions in honor of Jean may be made to St. Joseph Mercy Hospice.