Mary McSweeney

In Memoriam

Below is the death notice of Mary McSweeney, Wife of Daniel McSweeney, Class of 1954. Please keep the McSweeney family in your prayers.

Mary McSweeney, 74, passed away on February 16, 2024 at White Sands in La Jolla, CA surrounded by her family, leaving behind a legacy of love and friendship. Dr. George and Dorothy Pelkey, an army doctor and nurse, welcomed Mary Loretta Pelkey, their second born, but first-born girl, on November 20, 1949. She grew up with 3 other siblings in San Bernardino, CA and attended Pacific High School. College brought her to the Sun Devil campus of Arizona State University in Phoenix where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Education. After college she set her sights on the coastal community of Pacific Beach in San Diego and found a place right on the sands of Mission Bay. From there, she commuted south as a teacher for the Sweetwater School District, near the border. She continued her education at the University of San Diego while teaching and successfully completed her Masters in counseling. She went on to spend the majority of her 20 year career as a guidance counselor, a job she loved, at Southwest High School in the South Bay of San Diego.

Philanthropically, she was very involved with the Junior League of San Diego and enjoyed a large and supportive group of friends. In 1987, she met the love of her life Daniel McSweeney, through an introduction by a mutual friend. It all began when they decided to meet for drinks at the Hotel La Valencia in La Jolla. That night the pianist played the song, "Somewhere in Time", which became "their" song and marked the beginning of their 2 year courtship and subsequent 34 year marriage. Mary and Dan were married November 24, 1989 at All Hallows Church in La Jolla. After their wedding, Dan wanted to travel with his bride so he convinced her to trade her counseling bag for a suitcase and off they went around the globe several times. True to her educational roots, Mary was drawn to the history of their destinations and she loved dragging Dan (who would prefer to sit on the beach) to as many museums as she could on their travels. As avid golfers, they split their time between Indian Ridge Country Club in Palm Desert and La Jolla Country Club. She was an active member of both clubs, serving as past president of the La Jolla nine-hole ladies' golf organization and participating in the Happy Hackers golf group. On the creative front, Mary enjoyed making her own jewelry (that she would frequently wear and gift to loved ones) and was also a member of the La Jolla Garden Club.Above all, her favorite role was that of being Gramma to her four grandchildren. Ryan, PJ, Catie and Chase benefited greatly from her attention, guidance and love. She enjoyed watching them grow, listening to their stories, and attending their events and competitions.Throughout her life, Mary was known for her warmth, kindness, and unwavering love for her family and friends. She touched the lives of many with her happy spirit and generous heart. If you invited her over, one of the first things she'd ask is "how can I help?" and "can I do anything?"

Even in the White Sands Memory Care she could be found assisting her neighbors by pushing a wheelchair or offering help in the kitchen - always with an enthusiastic smile. She made every occasion beautiful and special from birthdays to holidays.In addition to her husband Dan, she is survived by her step-daughter Michelle Alexander (Steve), step-son Matt McSweeney (Nikki), her sister Marti Merritt, nephew Jeff Merritt (Anais, grand-nephew Jackson), and niece Lesley Merritt (Michael, grand-nieces Everly and Bobbie), nephew Michael (Judy, their children Jack and Grace), former daughter in law Jennifer Bowdich (Dave), and friend and companion, Samantha Andrews.

She is preceded in death by her parents and by brothers, Michael Pelkey and Mark Pelkey. A celebration of Mary's life was held at Mary, Star of the Sea. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to the Alzheimer's San Diego Mary McSweeney Tribute page at will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her. May she rest in eternal peace, knowing that she was dearly loved and will never be forgotten.

Posted on: March 7, 2024

You can view a list of all St. Ed's Alumni who have passed away on our website.

Mary McSweeney

Make a Gift in Honor of Mary McSweeney

St. Edward High School is humbled by the generosity expressed by our community. Commemorative gifts enable us to empower our students with the knowledge, skills, and Holy Cross values to grow into Christ-like servant leaders. To make a memorial gift, click below.

matt stepnowsky teaching a class