Sweeney, Jennifer Gabrielle (June 21, 1960 – March 6, 2017)
Jennifer bid farewell to this life peacefully, with her love and soulmate Daniel by her side. Those who knew her will find it hard to believe that a flame that burned so bright has been extinguished.
Jennifer was born in Vancouver on the summer solstice in 1960. Shy as a young girl, she grew up to be a curious and passionate woman with many interests and a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. She went to Immaculate Conception School and Little Flower Academy. Her post-secondary education included a bachelor’s degree at UBC in speech science, and a Master of Science degree from Purdue University (Indiana). Her career as a speech-language pathologist led her to spend time in the US, first at Marshfield Clinic (Wisconsin) and then in Olympia (Washington), before coming back home to Vancouver where she worked with pre-school children and adults for many years. She was passionate about the therapeutic and healing work accomplished in group work which she learned and practiced at G.F. Strong Rehab Centre. This later inspired her to found a charitable organization, the BC Aphasia Centre. Toward the end of her working life, she engaged in consulting work and private practice, until she was sidelined by illness. In her career and her life, she showed a constant desire to help people, and she will be remembered by many as a trailblazer, a guiding light, and an inspiration. She fiercely battled trigeminal neuralgia and MS for many years and left a moving account of her life and struggles on her blog at www.jennifersweeney.ca.
She devoted her life to learning. Her interests included reading, spiritual growth, health and nutrition, Vancouver and BC history, and politics. She had a beautiful mind, a warm presence, an exceptional memory, and a true gift for connecting with people. She loved having long and interesting conversations with friends around the dining room table. What she cherished the most in this life was the gift of love.
She was predeceased by her parents John and Maureen Sweeney. She leaves behind her husband Daniel Ouellet, her brothers John Paul, Bill, and Tom, and her sister Miriam Rollock. Special thanks to her dear friends from high school who supported her through the ups and downs, and to all therapists and health providers who helped her over the final 7 years of her life.
Jennifer was fond of “the little guys” – small charities who do great work. In her memory, she requested donations to be made to the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association of Canada, Direct-MS, the Canadian Neurovascular Health Society, or the Vancouver Historical Society.
Jennifer will be buried at Mountain View Cemetery after a private funeral. A commemorative event to honour her life will be held at Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St, on Sunday April 2nd at 1:00.