Anna Sweeney

Anna Shubik Sweeney

1952 - 2021

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Obituary of Anna Shubik Sweeney

Anna Shubik Sweeney died at home in Chester, Connecticut at age 69 on Sunday, September 26, 2021. She was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother; a devoted friend to many; and an indelible part of the town of Chester. Anna was born on April 18, 1952 in Chicago to Virginia and Dr. Philippe Shubik, the second of their four children. She spent the first 11 years of her life in the idyllic suburban town of Glencoe, Illinois. Of her happy childhood she would remember the care of her loving and gregarious mother, trips with her siblings to the local sledding hill, and summers spent at the cottage her parents built on Jack Lake in Ontario. In June of 1963, Anna and her father survived a house fire that claimed the lives of her mother, brother, and two sisters. From this tragedy Anna gained the lifelong trait of resilience. She often repeated the maxim “life goes on” even after the most terrible events. After the fire Anna and her father moved to Carl Sandburg Village on Chicago’s near north side. A year later, Anna’s father married his wife Valerie, and Anna gained two stepsiblings. Anna left the midwest in 1970 to attend Smith College. At Smith she earned a bachelor’s degree in art history and a master’s degree in education, and made friends that she would retain for the rest of her life. She moved to New York City, where she first worked as a paralegal and then attended law school at Rutgers. She often reminisced about her wild 20s: the nights she spent at Studio 54 and the tiny apartment on east 17th Street where she resided. At age 30, Anna met Paul Sweeney through mutual friends. They eloped five months later, marrying on the island of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, and remained married for nearly 39 years. After a year of marriage they settled in Chester, selecting the town for its location halfway between their jobs. They welcomed their son Ben in 1985 and twins Virginia and Sam two years later. Anna quickly became an integral part of the town, playing an active role in Democratic politics, helping incorporate the Chester Land Trust, and serving for years as Chester’s Inland Wetlands Enforcement Officer. In the late 1980s she ran unsuccessfully for Chester first selectman on a platform of “Tomorrow’s Chester.” Anna maintained a law practice in town, supporting her clients through life’s difficult episodes and helping them prepare for the future. Anna had a contagious and often absurd sense of humor and an unquenchable thirst for adventure. Throughout her life Anna loved travel, and in recent years she took journeys around the world with Paul and with her dear friends from Smith. But most of all, she loved spending time at Jack Lake, at the cottage where she had summered as a child. For most of the pandemic, she was unable to cross the border to visit, but she and Paul finally returned in August of 2021. Anna first became a grandmother in 2019, and she thrived in this new role. She was the beating heart of her very close family, speaking with each of her children every day about things large and small. She will be missed beyond measure. Anna is predeceased by her parents, brother Roger, sisters Jennifer and Carlotta, aunts Irene Shubik and Julie Shubik, and uncle Martin Shubik. She is survived by her husband Paul, son Benjamin (wife Amy Todd and daughter Josephine Sweeney), daughter Virginia (husband Bartram Nason and daughter Magnolia Nason Sweeney), son Samuel, stepmother Valerie Shubik, stepsiblings Kathryn Diemer and Peter Shubik, and cousin Claire Shubik-Richards (husband Seth Richards-Shubik and children Elliott and Leopold). Memorial contributions may be made in Anna's name to Smith College Museum of Art.