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Obituary - William H. Sweeney

William H. Sweeney, DVM, age 82 of Vermont Township, WI died unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at his home. He was born October 3, 1933 in Dubuque, Iowa to James F. and Mae A. (Kingsley) Sweeney. He was a US Army veteran during the Korean War. Doc attended Sweeney School in Dubuque, Iowa District #8, Loras Academy, Notre Dame University, and transferred to Iowa State University where he received his BS degree.  He was married and had three sons. He taught High School science classes.  

He then went back to Iowa State University where he received his DVM in 1967.  After graduation, he practiced in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. He practiced as an associate veterinarian with Dr. Paul Nelson. Through his association with Dr. Nelson, he became involved in the Minnesota State Fair and in 1968 became the Official State Fair Veterinarian and continued as the state fair veterinarian until 2009, working 24/7 at the 14 day fair each year. In 1968, Bill’s brother, Jim Sweeney, DVM moved to the twin cities from Milwaukee and they opened the Bloomington Veterinary Hospital. In 1976, they expanded their practice and opened another clinic in Lakeville, Equine Medical Center. His equine calls extended from Duluth, Mn., to Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. Doc was the veterinarian for the Minnesota State Horse Expo from 1990 until 2015. Doc was selected by his peers and clients as the Minnesota Horseman of the Year in 2003. He was also honored by the North Star Morgan Americana Horse Show for being the show veterinarian from 1973 until his retirement in 2013. 

Doc was respected by fellow practitioners and clients for his dedication, knowledge, common sense, teaching, and professionalism. Up to the day he died, Doc received calls from clients asking questions and opinions. Doc loved all three of his sons and enjoyed their sports and their assistance helping at the Minnesota State Fair. He was united in marriage to Jacquelyn L. Behling on November 2, 1996 in Mt. Horeb, WI.

He was a member of St. Ignatius Catholic Church, a St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Mt. Horeb, WI.  He was also a member and co-founder of what is now known as the Minnesota Association of Equine Practitioner where he served as President and on its Board of Directors; the Tri-State Horseman Association, the Minnesota Thoroughbred Association, the United States Equestrian Association, and an Honorary member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

He is survived by his wife: Jackie,
 three sons: Patrick (Susie) Sweeney of Bloomington, MN;
 Dr. David (Dr. Terri Mauch) Sweeney of Omaha, NE;
Dan (Chris) Sweeney of Minneapolis, MN;
grandchildren; Nick (Stephanie), Stephanie, Josh, Sarah, Sam, Logan, and Tate;
sister: Anne Sweeney of Bernard, Iowa,
 two brothers: John F. (Diane) Sweeney of Florida,
 James A. (Lois) Sweeney, DVM of Minnesota;
and a special niece, Kathleen Sweeney,
father-in-law: Robert V. (Beady) Behling of Beaver Dam.
brother–in-law: Robert L. Behling of Washoe Valley, Nevada,
nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Sister Mary Clare Sweeney, VVM.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 AM on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, St. Michael the Archangel Parish, in Mt. Horeb, WI with the Very Rev. Richard Heilman, VF, Fr. Patrick McCorkell, SJ and Fr. Edward Sphokal, SJ concelebrating.  Burial will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Dubuque County, Iowa.  Visitation will be from 5:00 – 7:00 PM on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at Ellestad Camacho Funeral Home, 500 N 8th St., Mt. Horeb, WI and from 9:30 am till 10:15 am on Thursday at the church.

In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials to Jesuit Retreat, 8243 Demontreville Trail, Lake Elmo, MN  55042; or to Iowa State Veterinary School, ISU Foundation, 2266 Vet Med, 1800 Christiansen Drive, Ames, IA 50011 (in the memo line on the check please enter Equine Excellence Fund); or to AAEP Foundation, Attn. Memorial Fund Dept., 4033 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511.

Doc and Jackie had an adventurous, supportive and loving marriage and it was an honor to have been married to Doc. If God’s intent was to put Doc on this earth to be a good man, a friend, a mentor and a great veterinarian, He certainly accomplished His job.


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