Pat is now in South Carolina with our sons. She left Lincoln last weekend after a memorial service at the funeral home. There were about thirty people there — her brother, Gary, and his family, our sons and daughter-in-law and Christians from the local congregation where Lee worshipped.
Pat and Gary were asked if their mother had any faovrite hymn. They both agreed that “Amazing Grace” was the one she liked and the director at the funeral home said they has it on a CD. When it came time to sing it, there were five or six false starts but no one was able to find the hymn! When Pat told me over the phone later, we laughed — it was just the kind of humor that Lee would’ve enjoyed! She wasn’t one to stand on parade or observe formalities.
After the service, the Jefferson St Christian Church hosted a luncheon for everyone. Afterwards, Gary and his family returned to Texas, Kent and Louise Zimmerman (Brice’s wife) left for South Carolina to their jobs. Pat, Kyle and Brice remained to clear up the last details and collect Lee’s ashes.
Pat will remain with our sons until Oct 24th when she will return to South Africa. We want to thank everyone for their e-mails, cards and donations during this time. It brings us so much encouragement to know that there are so many people who care.
It was while we were in Ft. Wayne that Steve called reqauesting help to get Pat from Washington D.C. to Chicago and then on to Lincoln. I did what little we could do while out of the office. We found out about Lee’s death directly from Steve and I talked with Pat when we got back home.
Lee Sweeney’s funeral will be at 11:00 am Wednesday at Bennett Funeral Home in Lincoln IL. Her brother is there with her and by now, sons Kyle and Kelly (Brice) will be there, also. The funeral home has a website but not much information.
Will you put the information on the SACM website and forward it to the directors, please?
By way of further information, she died in her sleep last Monday in the early morning hours. She requested to be cremated and her ashes taken to Africa.
Pat is staying in Lee’s apartment and the phone number is: 217-735-1605.
The apartment address is: Pat Zimmerman c/o Lee Sweeney; 517 College St. Apt 4A; lincoln IL 62656.
Dave & Mattie
Sept 5th 2006, God reached out His hand and took Lee home.
We spoke to her on Friday and she seemed chirpy and energetic. Lee said she’d been walking up and down the halls for exercise and wanted to return to work this week. She was a foster grandparent at a local school.
One of her friends called at 2am to say that she hadn’t answered her phone and when they checked, she was with our Lord already.
In the world’s eyes, Lee wasn’t much — just a short order cook for most of her life, hard work in a restaurant. Her husband abandoned her and Lee raised Pat and her brother, Gary, all on her own. Late in life, she accepted Jesus as her Savior and was faithful until He called her.
We’re trying to get Pat back to Lincoln as soon as humanly possible. She is Lee’s executor and the county coroner is awaiting Pat’s instructions.
It was Lee’s last wish that she be cremated and brought back to Africa, a foreign land she visited twice — she loved the African Christians and the work we are doing here. Pat will return on this final journey with her mother.
We ask for your prayers. All our sons know and will try to make the trip to Lincoln as soon as the details are known.
I’ll be in touch as soon as I know the details.