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Judi Sweeney 05/20/2024

Judi Ann Sweeney, age 76 of River Falls, WI passed away surrounded by family and many, as Judi would say, “awesome” friends on Monday, May 20, 2024 at United Hospital in St. Paul, MN. Judi was born the daughter of Albert and Francis (Winters) Chief in Cumberland, WI. She grew up in Cumberland and graduated from Cumberland High School with the class of 1965. Judi was married to Joe Sweeney. They were blessed with two sons, and they later divorced. Judi settled in River Falls after meeting Gordon Schaar. They were also blessed with a son, and they later separated. Judi stayed in River Falls. She went to school to be an electrical technician in 1975-76 and finished her training in 1990 while working for Viking Electronics in Hudson, WI, where she worked until she retired. Family and friends often heard the phrase “grandma loves you very much” or “mama loves you very much”. Whether you were family or not she was “grandma” to all the younger friends that came to visit. She liked to drink beer, listen to music, especially Elvis, and spend time with her sisters. Judi also enjoyed woodworking, watching movies, putting puzzles together, arts and crafts, feeding and watching birds, and coloring on her iPad. In her early years she loved shooting pool in league and for fun. Judi took pride in maintaining a nice patch of flowers. She collected everything from coins and Elvis memorabilia, to classic cars. Judi liked fishing, or drowning worms and she called it and enjoyed visiting around the campfire with family and friends, traveling, and trips to the casino. Judi was a relaxed, happy person who made friends easily. She was a Tribal Elder with the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin. She is preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Francis; and her sister, Myrna Ostenson. Judi is survived by her sons, Jeffery Sweeney, Joel (Bonnie) Sweeney, Jason Schaar; “adopted” son, Austin (Hannah Hagen) Delamater; grandchildren, Christopher (Kerri Jo) Sweeney, Joshua Sweeney, Dillon Sweeney; great-grandchildren, Shawn Sweeney, Joshua and Natalee Sweeney, Cayden Sweeney; sisters, Carol Clark, Donna (John) Mishler; two loving kitties, Petey and Emmy; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. A Funeral Service will was held at 6 pm on Thursday, June 13, 2024 at Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services 805 E Division Street River Falls, WI.  With visitation on Thursday, June 13, 2024 from 4-6 pm at the funeral home. Please dress casually, that’s how Judi would want it. If you have anything Green Bay Packer or Elvis please wear it and share it. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

Click here to watch a recording of Judi’s service.


  • Cheryl J Posted May 24, 2024 4:54 pm

    Judi will be missed by so many people. Everyone she met became “family.” We share so many wonderful, memorable moments together. We had a friendship that knew no boundaries and was filled with love. I will miss her immensely.

  • Jason schaar Posted May 26, 2024 12:56 pm

    I will love you forever mama,fly high and watch over all of us,you are the most amazing mom anyone could ever have,until we meet again,we love you dearly❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Crabtree Brittany Posted May 28, 2024 9:28 am

    Grandma was my best friend and a great grandma to my son Zachary. You will be greatly missed. We had so many memorable memories. I love you so much Grandma.

  • Brandon Hart Posted May 28, 2024 11:19 am

    i knew you through my grama betty, you were always kind funny and fun to be around!! i hope you and betty are up there together haveing best time ever watching over all of us!! we all will miss you.

  • Toni Ostenson Posted May 28, 2024 12:00 pm

    You were the best auntie ever. You had the biggest heart. I hope you are living it up, up there in heaven with all the people you love. I will miss you. Until we see each other again love you so much.

  • Rebecca Keller Posted May 30, 2024 12:12 am

    Judi was such an amazing lady. I’m missing our coffee days and long conversations about anything and everything. She had a really cool, generous soul. I will absolutely miss the pork chops she fixed especially for me. So good. I’ll forever miss my dear, sweet friend and love you forever the rest of my life until I can meet you again. Love you.

  • John Rose Posted June 1, 2024 10:19 pm

    Judi was the best mom and friend that ANYONE could ask for. I remember she took me under her wing and loved me as a mother, friend, and mentor. You have taught me so many “old Indian tricks” and I haven forgotten any of them. I thoroughly enjoyed our time spent together and appreciate being extended family. Judi, you are sorely missed and loved by all those you’ve come in contact with. I love you.

  • Linda VADNAIS Posted June 10, 2024 10:19 am

    I only had the honor of knowing Judi for a year, so wish it could have been longer! What a sweet lady! R.I. P. Judi, see you on the other side💜

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