Terry Sweeney

There are special people in the world who inspire and amaze us with their spirit for life and ability to rise above adversity and insurmountable odds with grace and courage. They unknowingly may prompt you to ask yourself, “How can I complain about anything in my life?” 

Terry Sweeney was one of these people.

Despite being afflicted with a rare degenerative neurological disease at a young age that gradually denied him of his motor skills until it ultimately took his life, Terry had a radiant smile and a magnetic personality that defied his condition. He stayed involved with his passion for sports especially his beloved Saint Peter’s Eagles with its hallowed basketball heritage. Although confined to a wheelchair for his entire adult life, it did not prevent him from attending activities and events that had to have been difficult for him but you could never tell.


Even in his last days when Terry could not speak or eat and the disease was really taking its toll, you could tell how happy he was to see you. His sense of humor was infamous not only to make a joke at your expense but his ability to even laugh at himself.

Terry’s bedroom was a hall of fame collection of sports memorabilia that included pictures of himself with Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, and even George Steinbrenner. You could really tell how special he was by how many true friends he had.

To know him was to love him and anyone who came to know him was a better person. Terry “lived strong” long before the phrase was coined on a yellow rubber wristband. He never had the opportunity to pursue a career or get married and have a family but he never complained and always made the most of what he did have.

Terry led by example without even knowing it.