Joe “Big Joe” Sweeney

CHASSELL – Joe “Big Joe” Sweeney, 61, of Chassell, died with his loving wife by his side on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, at the Houghton County Medical Facility, after fighting debilitating pain most of his adult life.

Born January 21, 1952, in Grand Rapids, Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Joe Sweeney and Judy Harvey of Grand Rapids.

Joe’s parents divorced when he was 12, leaving him to fend for himself. He met his future wife when he was 16 and spent the next couple of years convincing her to marry him. After she said yes, they spent the next 41 years together raising their three kids, camping in the UP (and later moving their family there), and Jeeping.

Joe was a hardened dad, but he softened in his later years and will be remembered as a caring and loving grandpa by his seven grandkids. He enjoyed teaching them about fishing, camping and the art of maintaining his prized aquarium.

His friends and family would agree that Joe liked to tell it like it is. He taught his family to be tough and to enjoy life.

He is survived by his wife, Lynne; children, Shannon Brodeur of Chassell, Tara (Jason) Heikkila of Tapiola, and Joe (Alanna) Sweeney of South Range; grandkids, Sydney, Tate, Jadyn, Mia, Aiva, Dhane, and Kiera; and his brother, Jim (Krys) Sweeney of Rockford, Mich. He is also survived by his many buddies in the UP and Grand Rapids.

In keeping with Joe’s wishes, no service will be held.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Joe’s family would like to thank the Houghton County Medical Facility’s kind and caring staff.

The Memorial Chapel Funeral Home in Chassell has been assisting the family.