May 9, 1930 - July 29, 2021
Barbara Ann Sweeney (Stansfield), age 91, of Lawrence, MA passed away on July 29, 2021. Her daughters and son were with her. She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. A hard and dedicated worker, she would only miss work if she was extremely ill. Often working two jobs to provide for her family as a single mother most of her adult life. She never owned a car and would walk back and forth to work five days a week, often working Saturdays and nights for extra income. Born to Elizabeth (Nagle) and Ernest Stansfield, Barbara grew up in a cold water flat on Woodland Street in Lawrence. Her father called her Peaches and she enjoyed working with him in the garden. She was a graduate of Lawrence High School and did well in math, accounting and science studies. She wished to go to nursing school but her family could not afford the tuition. She immediately went to work full-time to help support the family household. Beginning a long career of working in downtown Lawrence at stores such as AB Sutherland, Gentry’s and Fanny Farmers Candy Store. She married her high-school sweet heart and true love James Welsh in 1948. Together they had two daughters Janice (Cerullo) and Cynthia (Sirois). Barbara’s world dramatically changed when her husband died of cancer in 1952 at age 22, leaving her to singlehandedly raise two young daughters, ages 2 and 1. A decade later she married Robert Sweeney who she lost when he was killed by an intoxicated driver in 1975. Despite many personal hardships, Barbara carried on and provided for her family. She was an avid reader and loved to read detective novels, watch mysteries and she read a newspaper everyday. She perfected the art of the nap and always slept soundly. She made excellent banana nut bread. She loved to have a cup of tea in the morning and at night, often accompanied by pastry or bread that would be topped with an amazing amount of butter. She sang in the choir at the United Methodist Church for many years. She took great pleasure in seeing her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She beat Covid in the early spring of 2020. She is predeceased by her sister Dorothy Savoie and brothers Ernest, John and William Stansfield, her son Philip Wrigley and her son-in-law John Sirois. She is survived by her daughters Janice, her husband Joseph Cerullo, and Cynthia Sirois, her son Michael R. Sweeney and his wife Laura, grandchildren Gwen, her mother Pamela, and Stanley Sweeney, Jay Cerullo, his wife Heidi, and Eric Cerullo and his wife Carla. Great grandchildren Kaylee, Jake, Olivia and Sophia. In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a scholarship fund to provide opportunities to young women from Lawrence to pursue their dreams of a medical career. Barbara’s dream of being a nurse, while deferred, will be realized by other young women helped by her memory. Donations can be made to the Barbara Sweeney Scholarship Fund, PO Box 1184, Andover, MA 01810. In the alternative donations can also be made to MI Nursing Restorative Center, 172 Lawrence Street, Lawrence, MA 01841-3849. Services will be private and arrangements are under the direction of the John Breen Memorial Funeral Home, Inc., 122 Amesbury Street, Lawrence, MA. For online condolences and other information please visit us at www.breenfuneralhome.com.
Barbara Ann Sweeney (Stansfield), age 91, of Lawrence, MA passed away on July 29, 2021. Her daughters and son were with her. She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. A hard and dedicated worker, she would only miss work... View Obituary & Service Information
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Barbara Ann Sweeney (Stansfield), age 91, of Lawrence, MA passed...View More
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