Friday, October 14, 2022
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Please join us for a visitation where food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
Mass of Christian Burial
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Marjorie “Midge" Page Sweeney of Portage passed away at home in the company of her family on October 8, 2022, after enduring three years of final stage lung cancer.
She was born on November 17, 1940, and spent her childhood and adolescence in Bay City, Michigan. She attended Bay City schools for her elementary and high school education. Among other academic awards, she achieved the status of a Superior ranking in several extemporaneous speaking competitions and graduated as her high school’s Valedictorian.
She attended Central Michigan University, where she graduated with a teaching degree in English and Speech. While at Central, Midge met her future husband Patrick Sweeney in a class with only four students. Following their graduations from Central, Pat studied for his Engineering degree at the University of Michigan while Midge taught middle and high school English and Speech.
After their marriage, they lived in several cities before permanently settling in Kalamazoo with their two daughters, Elizabeth Sweeney DeHority and Jane Sweeney Ghosh. Without meeting the usual prerequisite of a college degree, Elizabeth was admitted to the University of Michigan Medical School directly from high school. She completed her MD in Family Medicine, which she practiced until her death from cancer in 2015. Her sister Jane received her degree from Harvard University before following a business career that included executive assignments in Asia, Europe and the United States. Jane eventually returned to West Michigan and now serves as President of Discover Kalamazoo, the civic organization that promotes conventions and tourism in Kalamazoo County. In addition to her daughters, Midge was blessed with seven grandchildren and an extended family to whom she was devoted and who will grieve their loss of a remarkable woman.
When Midge ended her middle and high school service, she continued teaching as the Director of Religious Education at Saint Monica Catholic Parish in Kalamazoo for twenty-five years, highlighted by a series of awards and other recognitions in the Kalamazoo Catholic Diocese.
Midge’s activities extended beyond religious education and public school teaching. While Midge did not aspire to recognition, virtually every organization she joined discovered her talents and soon elevated her to a leadership position. Perhaps the best example of how Midge could turn an activity, even a hobby, into a dedicated skill was her sewing and quilting expertise. Her hobby led her to return to teaching and outstanding achievement. She served as President of the local chapter of the American Sewing Guild and was active in the Log Cabin Quilters organization. Midge could not escape her instinctive need to teach and soon became an informal instructor and role model for the Guild’s other members. In her own practice of quilting, she created museum quality quilts that have graced exhibitions in Kalamazoo and other cities in the Midwest.
With all her achievements and honors, one of her daughters asked Midge which of all of those experiences first came to mind when she contemplated her life. Without hesitation, Midge singled out the title she earned in a competition among high school girls and boys more than fifty years earlier: The Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow.
What description fairly defines Marjorie Sweeney? She was a brilliant student, natural leader, responsible citizen, dedicated teacher, religious instructor, artist, devoted mother, and a woman adored by her husband of 59 years in a perpetual love affair. And she was a Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow.
Midge’s family and friends will celebrate her life Friday evening, October 14, from 5-8 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900, where food, drinks, and stories will be shared. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 421 Monroe Street, Kalamazoo, Saturday, October 15 at 11:30 AM. Visit Midge’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook.