Doris B. Sweeney, 69, of Joplin, Missouri, formerly of Parsons, Kansas, passed away on September 2, 2022 after fighting a 3 ½-year, no-win battle with the devastating disease ALS. She faced this ravaging illness with the poise, dignity, and grace that she embodied her whole life.
Doris was born on July 8, 1953 to Margaret Mary (Durbin) and James Sylvan “Doonie” Beaven, Jr. in Owensboro, Kentucky. Being the youngest (and smallest) of six, she quickly developed her good nature and spunk, and, as she would say, being a little bit ornery. But, the attributes that we all saw in her were the compassion, goodwill, and love for her family, friends, animals, and everyone she met.
In the summer that she turned 16, her dad hired a skinny little kid for a summer job picking tomatoes that she cleaned and sold in their truck garden business. His name was Dan (or Danny back then) and he couldn’t help falling in love with the farmer’s daughter, and to his surprise and immense luck, she reciprocated his feelings. After three years of courtship, they were married on June 10, 1972. This summer marked 50 years of love and commitment.
Doris and Dan had three children: Shannon, Kelly, and Kevin. They also had five grandchildren, Grady, Katelynn, Quin, Danielle, and Everett, plus four step-grandchildren, Jesse, Trevor, Christiane, and Sean. Doris’s love for her family and friends was immense and never failed to show.
Doris was not one to let dust settle under her feet. Doris was an avid (and speedy) book reader, enjoying all genres. She loved flowers, collected Boyds Bearstones, enjoyed scrapbooking with her daughter, Kelly, and making jewelry with friends. Doris always ensured as much as possible, that she and Dan attended all sporting and school events of their kids and grandkids. During the period of time that the whole family was involved in theatre in Parsons, she was on-stage occasionally, but where she was really amazing was as a costumer, sewing many outfits for multiple productions. She served on the Kaleidoscope Children’s Theatre board and served in multiple officer positions in the Beta Rho Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.
Doris and Dan loved traveling. They visited much of the continental US ranging from Seattle to Long Beach, New England to Washington, DC, Tampa to San Antonio (a favorite), and many in-between. Not waiting for retirement, in the past decade, they made three trips to Ireland (their favorite) and visited Hawaii (twice), England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, and lastly Greece (fulfilling one from Doris’s bucket list).
Doris was preceded in death by her mother, Margaret Beaven, her father, Doonie Beaven, and her sister, Jane Hagan. She is survived by her husband, Dan Sweeney, of the home, her three children and their spouses, Shannon and Eric Otte (of Olathe, KS), Dr. Kelly and Trenton Gorman (of Joplin, MO), and Kevin Sweeney (of Pittsburg, KS), five grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, her brothers, Jimmy Beaven and Tommy Beaven, and sisters, Ruth Napier and Brenda Payne.
The rosary and visitation will be at the Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons, KS at 7:00 pm on Monday, September 12, 2022. The funeral Mass will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic School Gymnasium in Parsons, KS at 10:00 am on Tuesday, September 13, 2022. For those who attend either service, Doris’s favorite color was red, so a touch of red worn by attendees would be a sweet gesture in her memory.
A person with ALS is called a PALS. Doris, a “PALS”, also loved animals. Memorials are suggested to the Proud Animal Lovers Shelter (PALS) in Parsons, KS, or, if they prefer, to the church building fund of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Parsons, KS. These may be left at or mailed to Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, KS 67357.