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Janice Elizabeth  Rickards Sweeny
Palm Coast Thursday, Jul. 2, 2020 1 month ago

Janice Elizabeth Rickards Sweeny

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Janice Elizabeth Rickards Sweeny, 82, most recently of Harrisonburg, Va., died June 25, 2020, at Sentara RMH Medical Center.
In Memoriam:

Janice Elizabeth Rickards Sweeny
1937-2020

Janice Elizabeth Rickards Sweeny, 82, most recently of Harrisonburg, Va., died June 25, 2020, at Sentara RMH Medical Center.

She was born October 25, 1937, in Pennsylvania, the only child of Jay Gamble Rickards and Elizabeth Hunter Rickards.

Janice grew up in Spring City, Pa.. She graduated from Spring City High School in 1955 and went on to earn her R.N. at Bryn Mawr School of Nursing in 1957. Later in the 1970s, she earned her B.S. in psychology at Emmanuel College in Boston.

On Nov. 20, 1958, Janice married the Rev. Dr. Joseph R. Sweeny, who died Jan. 20 , 2006. Together they served churches and communities in Philadelphia and Cold Point, Pa.; Pitman, N.J.; Arlington, Mass; Chevy Chase, Md.; and Hastings and St. Augustine, Fla. They also lived in Laurel, Md., Phoenixville, Pa., and Palm Coast, Fla.

She also led the creation of Operation Figleaf, which provided donated children’s clothing to low-income families.

During the 1960s, Janice and a group of Pitman First Baptist Church women established Housewives Holiday to teach home economics and family skills to disadvantaged women in the community. She also led the creation of Operation Figleaf, which provided donated children’s clothing to low-income families.

As a nurse at Metropolitan State Hospital in Waltham, Mass., in the 1970s, Janice was the prime mover in establishing a halfway house for transitioning warehoused patients to self-care in the community and teaching them basic living skills. Later in the 1980s, she helped start and run an Alzheimer’s unit and train staff at Golden Oaks Nursing Home in Maryland.

Her loved ones include: Jonathan Joseph and Laura Flagg Sweeny of Myersville Md., and their son Owen; Cynthia Sweeny Tashjian of Springfield, Va., and her son, Noah; and Pamela Sweeny and John Chrisman Brock of Harrisonburg, Va., cousins, Steven Rickards of Indianapolis, Ind., and Beth Rickards Miskell of Lake Helen, Fla.; and sister-in-law, Joan Sweeny Woods of Oldsmar, Fla.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.lindseyharrisonburg.com.

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