Patrick Charles Sweeney, 70, who had been a Judge Advocate General officer in the Air Force before going into private practice in Billings, died Friday, Jan. 3, 2014.
He was born in Billings on June 18, 1943, to Naomi and Charles Sweeney. At the time of his birth, his father, a B-17 pilot during World War II, had been declared missing in action and would spend nearly two years in German prisoner of war camps before being liberated by the allies in 1945.
In 1946 the family moved to a farm outside of Hardin. The family moved into Hardin in 1953 and he graduated from Hardin High School in 1961, playing defensive lineman on the varsity football team.
He earned a law degree from the University of Montana in 1968. He worked during summer breaks on construction of the Yellowtail Dam south of Hardin. He married Diana Patrick, and they had five children.
In 1969, Mr. Sweeney entered the Air Force as a commissioned officer, beginning a 20-year career as a Judge Advocate General officer (JAG). He was stationed in New Jersey, California, Michigan and Greece.
After he and his wife divorced, he was stationed in Washington, D.C., where he finished his Air Force career as a lieutenant colonel and was honorably discharged.
He returned to Montana and went into private practice in Billings, first as a partner with Allen Beck and later as a sole practitioner. In 1993 he married Lottie Blades, and acquired another son, Brett, whom he adopted in 2006. The marriage also brought a stepson into his life. They divorced in 2013.
Survivors include his mother; a brother, Kevin Sweeney; a sister, Nancy Keyes; children, Shana Silvestri, Charles, Michael, Darrel, Robert and Brett; a stepson, Seth Blades; and nine grandchildren.
Services were Jan. 11 at Dahl Funeral Chapel.
Donations may be made in his name to Special Olympics Montana, P.O. Box 3507, Great Falls, MT 59403.