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Dr. Gerard Anthony Sweeney

February 18, 2024

Dr. Gerard Sweeney Obituary

Dr. Gerard Anthony Sweeney passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family on February 18, 2024, at the age of 81. Gerard was a beloved husband, devoted father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, and dedicated physician. He will be sorely missed by those who had the good fortune to know him.

Gerard defined his life through his incredible work ethic. Whether practicing his chosen career as a physician, dedicating himself to his family, or pursuing his many leisure pursuits, Gerard worked tirelessly to get the most out of life and himself.

Gerard was the first member of his family to obtain a college degree and then continued to medical school, graduating from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1967. While in medical school, Gerard met and married his wife, Carole (Saul) to whom he was married for 58 years. As a member of the last medical school class subject to the Vietnam draft, Gerard spent three years on active duty for the U.S. Army. His military service provided unique opportunities for his medical training, which included the opportunity to train at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a Resident in Medicine and a Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine. Following his training and military service, Gerard practiced at the Prince Georges General Hospital and Medical Center, where he was appointed Director of the Internal Medicine Training Program, supervising the teaching program of 36 interns and residents in medicine.

While living in Maryland, Gerard and Carole welcomed their son, Sean, and their daughter, Sarah. Gerard was immensely proud of his children, and they served as a source of inspiration for him. In 1979 Gerard and Carole moved their family back to Massachusetts, where Gerard took positions as an attending physician at the New England Baptist Hospital and the New England Deaconess Hospital, now the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

During the more than 40 years Gerard practiced medicine in Boston he became deeply involved with the leadership of the New England Baptist Hospital, including serving as Chairman of the Critical Care Committee, Chairman of the Ethics Committee, Member of the New England Baptist PHO Board of Directors, Vice-President of the Medical Executive Committee and President of the Medical Staff. Gerard also continued his dedication to teaching young physicians as a Harvard Medical School Instructor in Medicine. Gerard co-founded and served as co-director of the W. Thomas Nessa Center for Sports Cardiology, which was founded in memory of Gerard’s late partner Thomas Nessa. In addition to co-authoring several publications, Gerard was a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Disease, the American Medical Society, and the Massachusetts Medical Society.

During his career, Gerard was known for his humility and his personal approach to medicine. He was a deeply compassionate physician who dedicated himself to his patients and was revered by patients, colleagues, and staff alike. Among his notable skills, Gerard was gifted at recognizing ailments outside his scope of practice and was a master at routing his patients to the appropriate specialist or subspecialist so that each patient could receive the best possible care. Gerard was honored to have served on the medical team for Reggie Lewis of the Boston Celtics.

Travel and leisure were as important to Gerard as his profession. Together with Carole he traveled the world, skiing the mountains of Switzerland, exploring the rivers of Peru, and enjoying the mountains, lakes, and streams of his beloved New England. One of his favorite trips was to the south of France with Carole, Sarah and his mother in-law, Toni. Together they spent the days visiting chateaus and wineries and the nights eating great food.

In addition to his love of travel, Gerard was an avid fisherman and golfer, loved a good meal and a great glass of wine, and was always eager to introduce these pleasures to others. A longtime member of Wellesley Country Club, Gerard cherished his time on the golf course with his friends and colleagues and especially his son, Sean. Gerard enjoyed numerous golf trips to prized golf destinations such as Pinehurst, Scotland, and Ireland. On one particularly memorable trip in Northern Ireland Gerard’s personal and professional lives combined when he assisted one of his tripmates who he recognized as needing medical attention for a heart attack. Gerard prioritized bringing his friend to the hospital, where he received the necessary medical care. Once Gerard was satisfied that his friend was stabilized, he rejoined his golf trip and on May 19, 2004, was rewarded with a hole-in-one on the third hole of the Dunluce Course at the Royal Portrush Golf Course.

Gerard spent countless hours fishing in pursuit of stripers, bluefish, and bonito off the coast of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, snapper, redfish, and tarpon off the coast of Florida, and trout and salmon in the lakes of Maine and the rivers of New Brunswick. Gerard’s love of fishing was infectious and numerous anglers trace their own passion for the sport to the introduction and guidance Gerard provided.

In contrast to the busy life that Gerard pursued when home in Massachusetts, his condo in Naples, Florida served as a special oasis where he went to relax and recharge. While in Naples, Gerard immersed himself fully in his hobbies, taking advantage of the world class culinary, golf, and fishing experiences Naples has to offer. During these trips Gerard could be found walking the beaches with Carole, fishing with Sarah, and would always make time to unwind on his outdoor lanai with a cigar, a glass of wine and a good book.

During the final year of his life, as his health began to fail, Gerard was blessed to be surrounded by the love and support of his family. Whenever possible he continued to enjoy meals at Wellesley Country Club with his family and relished the opportunity to watch his son and his grandsons play golf. During this time Carole was constantly by his side and he was buoyed by the constant presence of his grandchildren Marley and Boden, who lived with him in Dover. He was especially grateful for the love and care provided by his daughter Sarah, who he trusted implicitly and relied on heavily.

Visitation will be held on Friday, March 1 from 4:00-7:00pm at the Eaton Funeral Home, 1351 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 2 at 11:00am at the Most Precious Blood Church, 30 Centre Street, Dover, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dr. Sweeney’s honor to New England Baptist Hospital c/o Development Office, 125 Parker Hill Avenue, Boston, MA 02120.

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Services

Visitation
Friday
March 1, 2024

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Eaton Funeral Home
1351 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02492

Mass of Christian Burial
Saturday
March 2, 2024

11:00 AM
Church of the Most Precious Blood
30 Centre St.
Dover, MA 02030

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