Dennis D. McSweeney

February 22, 2021
Dennis D. McSweeney

Colonel (Retired) Dennis D. McSweeney, age 79, a resident of Williamsburg, VA, died peacefully in his home, Monday, February 22, 2021.

Denny was born October 13, 1941, in Erie, PA to Thomas and Charlotte (Dyer) McSweeney, and is survived by his younger brother Msgr. Thomas McSweeney.  A long time native to Erie, Denny’s catholic education included graduating from Cathedral Preparatory High School in 1959, and Gannon College with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 1963. In 1964, Denny wed his soulmate Sheila Frances Kelly, with whom he recently celebrated  57 years of marriage.

Denny was commissioned as a United States Army Second Lieutenant and he started his military career as a Field Artilleryman in 1964. Over a span of 30 years, his assignments included bases around the country, overseas rotations to Europe, and two deployments to Vietnam, where he earned a Bronze Star Medal with V-device for Valor and a Purple Heart. After six years of Civil Service at the Pentagon, Denny culminated his patriotic career, retiring with awards that include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and Meritorious Service and Army Commendation Medals.  While on active duty, he also earned his Master’s Degree in Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

Along with his wife and brother, Denny is also survived by his three children Kelly, Shan, and Erin; their spouses Ofelia, Angela, and Nate; and six grandchildren Cole, Reed, Brady, Ethan, Landon, and Sofia. Along with being a grandpa, Denny also fell in love with fostering abandoned kittens, caring and raising them for adoption, and even adopting two of his own

In his retirement years, Denny enjoyed golfing, traveling, boating, and a busy social life. An avid history buff and storyteller, he developed programs as a history interpreter at Jamestown Settlement, and was host for a private tour with Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. Denny also served as an Executive Partner in the business department at the College of William and Mary.

A receiving of friends visitation is scheduled for Friday, February 26th, from 2-4pm at the Bucktrout Funeral Home located at 4124 Ironbound Rd, Williamsburg, VA (website: A funeral mass will be held at Saint Bede Catholic Church on Saturday, February 27th at 1pm.  Denny’s final resting place will be Arlington National Cemetery at a future date to be determined.


Saturday, February 27, 2021
1:00 PM

Saint Bede Catholic Church - Directions
3686 Ironbound Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188


Friday, February 26, 2021
2:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Bucktrout Funeral Home - Directions
4124 Ironbound Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188

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  • February 24, 2021
    Carol and Dave Brandely says:
    We are so sad to lose such a special friend. Prayers are with Sheila, Erin, Kelly, Sean, and Msgr Tom. Wish we could be there in person but will be with you in spirit.

  • February 24, 2021
    Tom and Nadeen Lime says:
    We are heartbroken to lose a very special friend and a true patriot.

  • February 24, 2021
    Karen Y. Norako says:
    I am so sorry for your loss. I had the privilege to work with Denny for many years in the Education Dept. at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. I enjoyed his Irish wit, his stories and his contribution to our mission to teach Virginia history to children of all ages.

  • February 24, 2021
    Mick and Rita Taylor says:
    When we first moved to Governor's Land, Denny was one of the first people we met. He was so welcoming, friendly and funny. Denny will be missed. funny

  • February 24, 2021
    Marianne Bedard says:
    We were so very sorry to hear the news of Denny's passing. We will cherish our memories of all the fun times we enjoyed with Denny and Sheila at Governor's Land.