Isabel McSweeney of Springs, a teacher at the Springs School for many years, died of complications of metastatic lung cancer on June 18 at home in Delray Beach, Fla. She was 78.
Affectionately known as Izzy to her friends, Mrs. McSweeney “embodied love and patience, and always put others before herself,” her children said.
Mrs. McSweeney was born in Manhattan on June 29, 1944, to Meyer Elinson and the former Shirley Scharlatt. She grew up in Belle Harbor, Queens, and attended Buffalo State University, where she earned a degree in elementary education. She spent the bulk of her 35-year career as a teacher at the Springs School.
On June 22, 1969, she married Philip J. McSweeney, and the two first settled in East Patchogue before moving with their daughters to Springs in 1977 to be closer to Montauk, where Mr. McSweeney docked his commercial fishing dragger. While Mrs. McSweeney was dedicated to the elementary school children she taught, her focus was always her family.
“She spent countless hours with her daughters, and later with her grandchildren, reading to them, playing board games, spending long days at the ocean, walking to Louse Point and later along the dirt road and woods around the Maine cabin she and Mr. McSweeney cherished in their retirement,” her family wrote.
It was in the quiet moments when Mrs. McSweeney’s love shone through, her children said: sitting on the front porch of the Maine cabin with her husband, evenings spent knitting, reading, and watching shows together, and baking banana bread and cookies for her grandkids.
She is survived by her children, Susan Coren of Virginia and Bridget Keane and her husband, Sean Keane, of Rhode Island, and her grandchildren, David and Sam Coren and Patrick and Delaney Keane. She leaves a sister, Martha Goldstein, and her husband, Marvin, of New Jersey, and a brother, Arthur Elinson, and his wife, Rosalie, of Florida. Mrs. McSweeney is also survived by her Maine family: Kim, Wendell, Nick, and Kaylee Harvey, her children said.
Her husband died before her.
Mrs. McSweeney was a member of Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Me. Services were held in Bangor on Tuesday, and burial took place at Corinthian Cemetery in Corinth, Me.
The family has suggested donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, or to a local library.