Dora M. Sweeney

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2001

Dora M. Sweeney died Sept. 30, 2001, in Juneau.

The daughter of Finnish immigrants, Alfred and Mae Maki Lundstrom, Sweeney was born June 19, 1907, in Biwabie, Minn. The family moved to Juneau when Sweeney was an infant, and she attended Juneau High School and later a business college in Seattle. She and her husband moved to Port Angeles, Wash., in 1972, and after he died she returned to Juneau in 1986 to be nearer to family and friends. At the time of her death she lived at the Juneau Pioneers' Home with her sister Irene Lundstrom-McKinley.

Sweeney served in the final two Legislatures of the Territory of Alaska and was one of six female members of the Alaska Constitutional Convention in 1955 and 1956. She signed the Alaska Constitution in 1956, and subsequently served three House terms in the Alaska Legislature. She retired from her legislative career in 1965. In 1966, she was made the first woman sergeant-at-arms in the House of Representatives. She also served three terms as state president of Alaska Business and Professional Women, and was state president of the Easter Seal Society of Alaska for two years.

She was honored with many awards and honors during her life, including, in 1957, the first Woman of the Year award given by the Juneau Rotary Club, the Outstanding Citizen Award from the Alaska Press Club and the Distinguished Service Award from the Juneau-Douglas Education Association. In 1993, she was presented with a Meritorious Service Award from the University of Alaska Southeast. She also was given an award from the Joe Kappler Senior Citizen's Hall of Fame in recognition of her years of service to seniors and the community.

Sweeney was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, Edward; sister Daisy Lundstrom-Brown-Burrell; sister Della Lundstrom-Clark; and brother Alfred Lundstrom.

She is survived by sister Irene Lundstrom-McKinley of Juneau, and numerous nieces and nephews.

At Sweeney's request, there will be no memorial services.

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